VISIT Our Tasting Room

Experience Merlot Month with Markham

We invite you to join us this October for an exploration into our favorite varietal, Merlot! From virtual tastings to in-person events, we have something for everyone throughout Merlot Month.
Wine barrels in the background, person pouring red wine into two glasses.

Did you know? Markham Vineyards was the 4th producer of Merlot in the Napa Valley, and for more than 40 years, we’ve cherished this lavishly textured, versatile noble red grape.

Merlot Month is finally upon us!

This October, unite with passionate wine lovers in a worldwide movement to celebrate this lavishly textured, versatile noble red grape. And as we continue to be a leader in the production of this famed Bordeaux varietal through our certified sustainable farming and dedication to its excellence for over 40 years, we are celebrating both virtually and in person!

We invite you to join us for an exploration into our favorite varietal as we showcase the unique characteristics of our Merlot grown on different vineyards throughout various Napa Valley appellations in a variety of ways. 

Follow @markham_vineyards and share your stories with us all month long using #MerlotMe. 

Celebrate Virtually

“Merlot Rising” Virtual Tasting with Karen MacNeil

Thursday, October 21 I 5-6 pm PT

Join three of Napa Valley’s leading ladies of Merlot in a virtual tasting lead by Karen MacNeil, award-winning author of The Wine Bible.

Karen will be joined by Markham Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls, Peju Winemaker Sara Fowler, and Rutherford Hill Winemaker Marisa Taylor for a lively discussion and tasting of three sumptuous Merlots from diverse regions of Napa Valley.  These passionate winemakers will engage with fellow Merlot fans and share some inside details of what makes the best Merlots so enduring. 

Karen MacNeil was named as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Wine Industry in 2018, recipient of nearly every major wine award, and considered one of America’s foremost wine teachers. 

You can register for this event here and we will see you Thursday, October 21st at 5 pm PT. And don’t forget to pick up your Attendee Tasting Packs in advance. We can’t wait to see you there!

Featured Wineries:

  • Kimberlee Nicholls, Markham Vineyards – featuring The Altruist 2017
  • Sarah Fowler, Peju Winery – featuring “Legacy Collection” Merlot 2018
  • Melissa Wise, Rutherford Hill – featuring “Oakville Merlot” 2018”

Click here to purchase your “Merlot Rising” Tasting Kit featuring all three wineries.

Click here for a list of all of our Markham Retailers. Please drink responsibly. 

Visit the Markham Merlot Month Shop

“Magicians of Merlot” Virtual Tasting with Mark Oldman

Thursday, October 14 | 4-5 pm PT

Mark Oldman, author of “How to Drink Like A Billionaire” will reveal all the secrets of fine Merlot as he hosts three Napa-based magicians of the grape in celebration of October Merlot Month. As the author of several wine books, and a 15-year veteran seminar presenter at the Aspen Food & Wine Festival, the discussion with Markham Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls, Duckhorn Vineyards’ Neil Bernardi, and Rutherford Hill Winemaker Marisa Taylor will entertain and educate in a fun and interactive way.

Each winery will share reflections on the grape’s ageability, peak food pairings, emerging trends, and personal stories with this glorious grape. You can register for this event here and we will see you Thursday, October 14th at 4 pm PT. And don’t forget to pick up your Attendee Tasting Packs in advance. We can’t wait to see you there!

Featured Wineries:

  • Winemaker, Kimberlee Nicholls, Markham Vineyards – District Series Yountville Merlot 2018
  • VP GM Neil Bernardi, Duckhorn Vineyards – featuring Napa Valley Merlot 2018
  • Winemaker Marisa Taylor, Rutherford Hill – featuring Oakville Merlot 2018

Click here to purchase your “Magicians of Merlot” Tasting Kit featuring all three wineries.

Click here for a list of all of our Markham Retailers. Please drink responsibly. 

Visit the Markham Merlot Month Shop

Celebrate at our Historic Winery

Excellence in Merlot

Our first Merlot was released in 1980, and this famously food-friendly Bordeaux native has played a starring role in the Markham Cellar ever since. Merlot shines in Napa Valley, and for four decades, our sustainably farmed estate vineyards have been among the most coveted Merlot plantings in the region. 

Take a journey with us to discover why Merlot is fruit-forward and opulent like Cabernet Sauvignon, while offering remarkably plush tannins and a signature elegance on the palate. You’ll taste through Estate wines and single-vineyard offerings, culminating in our Right-Bank Bordeaux-inspired blend: The Character. Do not miss this deep dive into one of Napa Valley’s finest wines. It will make you a Merlot fan for life. Book your experience here. Reservations required. 

  • Experience Length: 75 minutes
  • Wines: Curated Merlots including District Series, Marked Parcels, and The Character Right-Bank Bordeaux Blend
  • Regular Cost: $65 per person / Merlot Month Special: $50 per person
  • Regular Member Cost: $30 / Merlot Month Special: $25

Sips & Sounds

We love our laid-back wine country Saturdays! This month’s “Saturday Sips & Sounds,” will feature local Napa musicians plus fabulous wines, but (especially) this month we invite you to sample through our fan-favorite Merlots! So sit back, sip and relax in the beautiful outside courtyard of our historic stone cellar. Winery Experience Reservations required. We look forward to welcoming you!

October musicians include: 

October 2| Zak Fennie
October 16 | Frankie Bourne

Legends of Merlot Harvest Dinner

Saturday, October 23 I 5-9 pm PT

Harvest coincides with Merlot Month, so naturally, this year’s theme is Legends of Merlot—an ode to the delicious varietal we cherish so much and the world-class Merlot our winemaking team has crafted decade after decade.

For those who scored a seat to this now sold out event, are in for a special evening held under the sparkling stars of wine country and set against the backdrop of our stunning historic stone cellar. The intimate group of diners will enjoy an evening filled with delicious Merlot in your glass and enticing conversations with Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls, our winemaking team, and fellow lovers of Markham Merlot! Make sure to mark your calendar early to secure your seat for next year’s event.

Stock your Cellar with Merlot

Brand New Wine Release of our Marked Parcels

As harvest approaches each year, Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls walks the vineyards with Vineyard and Sustainability Manager Adrienne Uboldi, looking for the best examples of Merlot within an AVA’s and vintage. She hand-marks the parcels to be reserved for these limited vineyard-designate bottlings. 

We are thrilled to announce the release of three new Marked Parcels Merlots, each has extremely limited production and unique nuances. Stock your cellar with our Merlot Month Shipping Offer:

3+ – 25% off Shipping
6+ – 50% off Shipping
12+ – 1 Cent Shipping – Sitewide.

Save on shipping sitewide from October 1- 31st.

Visit the Merlot Month Wine Shop here.


Cheers with us beyond Merlot Month

Whether you choose to celebrate with us in-person or virtually (or BOTH!), we can’t wait to embark on this journey with you throughout Merlot Month. And the fun doesn’t end in October. It’s never too early to start thinking about your holiday plans, and there is a lot to love at Markham during the holiday season! From planning a private event in our stunning cellar to picking out the perfect gift for your friends and family in our wine shop, we’re here to make the most of this magical time of year!

Don’t forget to share your Merlot Month memories with us on social media so we can see your journey!