Hayes Valley 2021 Merlot
Pairs with: Beef Wellington
Good for: When you need something strong in character.
I am from: Central Coast, California
The story: The lore of Hayes Valley extends back to the 1800s. After achieving independence from Spain, Mexico divided the Santa Clara Valley into ranchos in 1821. The massive ranch known as Rancho San Francisco de las Llagas, was formed in 1828 and owned by Carlos Antonio Castro. Castro used the property mainly for raising cattle, but also planted over 500 acres of vineyards and orchards. This area is truly enchanting with its native California oak trees and surrounded by rolling hills. It is also an ideal climate for growing grapes; cool, foggy nights followed by warm sunny days. In the late 1800s, a pioneer named Martin Murphy purchased a 9,000 acre parcel from Castro and named the area, San Martin, after patron Saint Martin. When Murphy died, the property was inherited by his family and later purchased by Lazard Lion. It wasn't until 1921 when the property was sold to Lion's business partner, Frank Hayes, that the area adapted the name Hayes Valley. It was still primarily a cattle ranch but the vines also continued to thrive. Unfortunately, the vineyards eventually succumbed to prohibition. But many years later, new vines were planted and the Central Coast AVA was established in 1985. Hayes Valley wines and the labels are a celebration of the revival of Central Coast viticulture and the history from whence it came. The font used on the label is reminiscent of the original cattle brand for the Hayes Valley Ranch. The rendition of the antique wood clamp is symbolic of the pioneer era that originally settled and established this area.
Why you'll love me: This is a classic, medium-bodied merlot with a bouquet redolent of plum and mocha.