The Meeker Vineyard 21035 Geyserville Ave., (707) 431-2148. Tasting daily 10:30-6.
Charlie Meeker used to be in The Biz in L.A. (as an attorney, then as a film producer, and later as a studio executive and president of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), so his winemaking career then was confined to many, many weekend and holiday trips. Finally, in 1999, he and his actress wife, moved here to make wine full time. The tasting room is inside the town’s 1903 former bank building, and the sampling occurs at a wine bar made from a single slab from a fallen oak. The signature wine is “Handprint Merlot,” called that because the bottle has an actual handprint from one of the winemakers. They say they spend 50 days each year dipping their hands in paint and imprinting them on a total of 16,000 bottles of wine (and spend $40,000 for the paint!). No two of the trippy bottles are exactly alike, and yellow and orange indicates Charlie did it. Oh yeah, and the wine is darn good, too.
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image ©2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers