The name Meiomi translates as ‘coast’ in the language of the indigenous Wappo and Yuki peoples of northern California. It celebrates the approach they take when constructing their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. This is based on a multi-regional blend of grapes grown in the coolest regions, perfect for the varieties (Region I on the UC Davis Heat Summation Scale) these regions are influenced by the proximity of the cold Pacific Ocean.
Joseph J. Wagner is a fifth-generation winemaker from a family with farming and winemaking roots in the Napa Valley dating back to the 1880s. In his youth, he worked many spring and summer days in the vineyard and cellar of Caymus, learning the basics from pulling leaves, to dragging hoses. Then he began to focus his efforts on what was to become his passion and career in the wine business. He has been overseeing vineyard operations and winemaking since 2002 and is now Consulting Winemaker for Meiomi.
The grapes are sourced from vineyards in Sonoma County, Monterey County and Santa Barbara County. Each vineyard parcel is chosen for the unique flavours, textures and aromas it contributes to build Meiomi's broad flavour profile. There are a huge number of factors to consider when comparing these vineyards, from soil profile, regional and local climatic conditions and vineyard orientation. Monterey for example has a cooler climate and has more volcanic soils; whilst in Santa Barbara it is the orientation of the limestone hills that allows for sea fogs in early summer and the Santa Ana winds in early autumn that make a difference to the ripeness and quality of the grapes.
With such diverse grape parcels to work with, the blending will always be a key activity at Meiomi. The Chardonnay is constructed to be approachable, balanced and textural with a range of flavours from cool apple to tropical pineapple. The Pinot Noir acquires its texture and structure primarily from Monterey fruit, gains bright red fruit from Sonoma and richer spicier fruit from Santa Barbara.
Meiomi’s Pinot Noir credentials were recognised by Wine Spectator in 2015, when their 2013 wine was placed 20th in a list of their top 100 wines for the year.