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Charles and Molly Meeker bought their first vineyard at the end of West Dry Creek Road in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley in 1977. In 1984, Charlie and Molly established their winery — The Meeker Vineyard — with Charlie as the winemaker. In its early years, the winery specialized in Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay.
The winery’s first red wine release, a 1984 Zinfandel, was an instant success, winning eight wine competition medals and becoming the third most awarded Zin in the country that year. Thereafter, among other awards, the 1985 Meeker Zin was a Wine Spectator “Best Buy”, the 1986 Zin was a “Spectator Selection”, and the 1990 Zin was included among the Wine Spectator’s “100 Best Wines of the World”. During this period Charlie was also honored to present a Meeker Zinfandel at one of the famous Windows on the World wine dinners in New York. And Zinfandel wasn’t the winery’s only success – for example, the Spectator gave a 91 to one of Charlie’s early Chardonnays.
All this while Charlie was working full time in Los Angeles in the motion picture business (first as an attorney, then as a film producer, and later as a studio executive), so his winemaking career was confined to weekend and holiday trips (many, many trips!) to Dry Creek Valley. Finally, in 1990 when Charlie became President of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, this two-career life became too much, and the Meekers hired a full-time winemaker for the winery.
In the late 1990s, Charlie and Molly sold their original winery property and bought a new property on Dry Creek Road, on the eastern side of Dry Creek Valley. In 1999, they left Los Angeles permanently to run the winery full time, with Charlie resuming as Head Winemaker and Molly in charge of pretty much everything else.
The Meeker family takes pride in an unconventional attitude towards wine. As Molly would love to tell you with a smile: “We take nothing seriously but the wine itself.”
The fruit for the 2018 Meeker Pinot Noir, Petaluma Gap came from the Yomoah vineyard, which is located just west of Adobe Rd and south of Corona Rd, in the heart of the east side of the AVA. The Adobe Rd corridor has been exploding with planting over the past decade, and vineyards like this one are why. The vineyard saddles a small crest that sits about 60ft above the valley floor. The blocks wrap around the crest in a way that gives varied sun exposure, developing varied ripeness and phenolic complexity.
Tasting notes: 100% Pinot Noir. Cassis and fruit punch, cherry pie, vanilla pound cake. Arching, medium structure, firm fade into a gentle finish, and medium acidity.
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