Winemaker, Merryvale Vineyards
Growing up in the Sonoran Desert, wine and winemaking weren’t part of Merryvale Winemaker Andrew Wright’s early life. A chance encounter with the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York on a post-college road trip awakened him, however, and with a healthy appetite he devoured volumes of wine literature and the wines they described, expanding his palate and shaping his philosophies.
Andrew began his winemaking career planting vines in the high desert outside of Sonoita, Arizona, for Callaghan Vineyards, where he worked the vineyard for several growing seasons prior to entering the cellar of Arizona Stronghold. These early experiences in frontier winemaking forged a deep appreciation for hard work, experimentation, and winemaking with intention.
Since moving to Napa Valley in 2012, Andrew has worked in the vineyards and cellars of Harlan and BOND Estates, Promontory and The Napa Valley Reserve, as well as for Fruition Sciences and their clients (which included Merryvale at the time). In talking about his experience, Andrew notes, “Napa’s incredible soil and climate diversity are unique in the world—with unparalleled growing conditions we have the opportunity to craft wines of depth and density while retaining balance and freshness. I am eager to explore all the winemaking possibilities the diverse terroir of Merryvale provides.”
As Winemaker, Andrew is in charge of production at the St. Helena winery. He oversees all winemaking operations for Merryvale wines. Andrew deeply believes that winemaking is the synthesis of philosophy, agriculture, science, and art. He illustrates, “Merryvale’s Profile Estate Vineyard is one of exceptional terroir. The differences in soil type, vine orientation and hillside exposure combine to produce wines of great power, complexity, and elegance. Every growing season we expand our understanding of our vineyards while further refining the winemaking processes in the cellar, resulting in world class wines that reflect a unique sense of place and attention to detail.”
Andrew graduated with a History degree from the University of Arizona before studying Winemaking at UC Davis. He lives with his family in St. Helena, and when not making wine, he enjoys cooking, hiking, and attempting to play the guitar.
Country born: United States
Years in the wine industry: 10-15 years
Andrew deeply believes that winemaking is the synthesis of philosophy, agriculture, science, and art.