Meritage Alliance
What's happening
  • Barren Ridge, Cobbler Mountain Cellars, Jefferson Vineyards, King Family Winery and North Gate Meritage wines win big in Virginia Governor's Cup Competition (see Accolades).
Read More
New Members
  • Cambridge California Cellars
  • Villa Bell'Angelo
  • Union League of Pennsylvania
  • The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards
  • Three Arches Winery
Read More
25 Years of Meritage
Header

Our Story


In 1988, a group of American vintners formed The Meritage Association (now The Meritage Alliance) to identify and promote handcrafted wines blended from the traditional "noble" Bordeaux varieties.

Historically, most New World wines are labeled after the grape variety that comprises at least 75% of that wine.  A label with "Cabernet Sauvignon," for example, indicates that the wine is made from a minimum of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

Many winemakers, however, believe the varietal requirements do not necessarily result in the highest quality wine.  The pioneers in this movement created the term "Meritage" to identify wines that represent the highest form of the winemaker's art - blending - and distinguish these wines from the more generic moniker, "red table wine."

"Meritage," pronounced like "heritage," was selected from more than 6,000 entries in an international contest to name the new wine category.  Meritage is an invented word that combines "merit" and "heritage" - reflecting the quality of the grapes and the ancient art of blending wine.

Over the years, the word "Meritage" has been widely adopted into the English lexicon.  Housing developments, apartments, hotels, restaurants, financial firms and even car washes use "Meritage" in their names, and it is often used to describe a mixture of several things or something of unusually high quality.