Mer Soleil began in the late 1980s, with a journey to the central coast of California in search of ideal conditions to plant Chardonnay. Our first vineyards were in the Santa Lucia Highlands, a small but exceptional appellation about a 30-minute drive from Monterey. With morning fog, bright sunshine and howling gusts of afternoon wind, the region’s dramatic weather leads to an extended growing season, enabling us to make wines with distinctive aromas and flavors. It was only natural that we would make a Pinot Noir in addition to Chardonnay. The Santa Lucia Highlands is well-known as the perfect home for both these varietals. We named Mer Soleil after the two forces of nature – the sea and sun – that shape this region’s singular character, and they are every bit as powerful in creating our Pinot as our Chardonnay.
Mer Soleil is led by Owner and Winemaker Charlie Wagner, who is passionate about how these wines celebrate the remarkable landscape and character of the Santa Lucia Highlands and Monterey coast.