Hedges Family Estate HIP Merlot 2012
The House of Independent Producers (HIP) Merlot refocuses the attention of the drinker to a varietal that gives reason to its dominance in the world. With minimal winemaking intervention, Merlots ability to display grace, some say better than that of Pinot Noir, is unmatched. The world's greatest merlots come from the Northern Hemisphere. Site specific, this wine derives from the Bacchus vineyard, known for wines of approachability and acidity, and the serious appeal of its condition is wonderfully expressed. HIP is a project directed by Christophe Hedges, bringing to the table some of the more compelling Columbia Valley AVA vineyard sites.
It was 1986 when Washington native Tom Hedges found his first employment in the wine industry marketing American wines in Taiwan. From that humble beginning, Hedges Cellars, then a "virtual" winery, found its first customer: the government of Sweden. Tom and his wife Anne-Marie marketed their Cabernet/Merlot blend to foreign buyers exclusively for two years before going domestic and opening up North American distribution. Still without their own winery, they took a chance buying acreage on an obscure little hill called Red Mountain.
The Hedges have concentrated their efforts on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and the concept of terroir since their first vintage in 1987. With Anne-Marie Hedges' roots and childhood in the Champagne region of France, it was only natural that a French-style chateau would be built on the slopes of Red Mountain amongst their vines.
Their daughter, Sarah Hedges-Goedhart, is the head winemaker with their son Christophe Hedges being the General Manager. Hedges Cellars transitioned to Hedges Family Estate, and farming practices became more focused towards being organic, vegan, and some of our vineyards are being certified Demeter. Our future direction is clear: we will continue to work as a family to unite farming, winemaking, and the promotion of our wines and the Red Mountain AVA.