Meritage

Meritage

Meritage, rhyming with “heritage”,came about after a group of American winemakers decided that they wanted to stop giving their great blends generic names. Earlier winemaking was particularly heavy on the “varietal” style of winemaking, in which a wine that is at least 75% of one grape can be named after that grape. After the 1976 “Judgement of Paris,” in which relatively unknown American wines beat out French wines at a blind tasting between high-profile wine influencers, American winemakers knew that they could produce some fantastic wines. The problem was that they were restricted by names like “red blend” because there was no Bordeaux-like cultural significance. So a group of American vintners came together, formed an international contest with 6,000 entrants, and created the name “Meritage,” which combines the words “merit” and “heritage.”