- Q & A
Pomar Picnic is owned by Pomar Junction in Paso Robles, California, by the Merrill Family. Their agricultural heritage and grape growing history dates back at least eight generations in California's Central Coast. A former family ranch still is home to a grape arbor planted in the 19th century. Today, Dana and Marsha Merrill and son Matthew farm the vineyards while Matthew's winemaking is complemented by winemaker Jim Shumate.
The family believes in community and industry involvement. Dana Merrill was the first San Luis Obispo County Chair of the California Association of Winegrape Growers, a charter member of the pioneering vineyard Sustainability Group, the Central Coast Vineyard Team and is a past two term Director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.
After nearly 30 years of growing grapes for many of the finest wineries in California, ranging from ultra premium small producers to the largest international brands, the Merrill's decided to produce their own wines. In addition to the family estate, the finest blocks of grapes from Santa Barbara and Monterey Counties are selected from vineyards managed by a sister firm, Mesa Vineyard Management, Inc. All wines produced are exclusively farmed by the Merrill's who believe that controlling the planting and pruning through harvest, fermentation and cellaring is critical for success.
It seems as though Paso Robles has been in transition for the last 40 years. Noble grapes, those being Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay, were first planted there in the 70s with some early successes. Since then, however, the area has slowly learned that these grapes don't do as well in other areas because of the rather intense heat. The cool nights are what save them as this classically rich Chardonnay shows.
This style of Chardonnay is now becoming the norm as opposed to the exception. It sees no oak treatment and instead shows off its heritage of greatness. It's much more difficult to make a wine with no oak as the oak can oftentimes hide flaws in the wine. If there were flaws here, they would have no place to hide. The lovely pear and apple mixed with light citrus and spice is all natural here and would match beautifully with a bacon wrapped scallop.
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