After 27 harvests at Ridge Vineyards, winemaker Eric Baucher moved to Foley Family Wines’ Napa Merus estate to further perfect his winemaking.

St. Helena, CA, 1. March 2021. – Merus Estate, Napa Valley’s premier vineyard known for its decentralized production of Cabernet Sauvignon, is proud to announce and welcome Eric Boge, who joins us as Chief Winemaker after working at Ridge Vineyards in Cupertino, California. With his extensive experience and expertise in Cabernet production, Mr. Baugher will be responsible for refining the style of winemaking at Merus and expanding partnerships with suppliers throughout the Napa Valley.

We needed someone who could improve our Merus program, both in the vineyard and in the winery, says Bill Foley, owner and winemaker of Foley Family Wines. Eric will create a classic-style Cabernet and use his years of experience to elevate the style and prestige of our coveted Merus Cabernet Sauvignon.

I look forward to working in this great place and using my knowledge to take Merus to the next level of quality, said Mr. Bauger. This beautiful vineyard gives me the opportunity to work with high quality Cabernets. As we work to replant our vineyards with heritage Cabernet clones in California, I look forward to working with the best Merus growers to produce one of the finest wines in the Napa Valley.

Baucher studied biochemistry and molecular biology at Santa Cruz University and joined Ridge Vineyards in 1994, rising from chemist to assistant winemaker. In 2004 he was appointed winemaker of Monte Bello Winery, and in 2016 he was appointed Director of Operations. During his long tenure, Mr. Bagher earned two 100-point scores for Cabernet and Bordeaux blends in 2013 and 2017, and placed two wines on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list.

My previous experience making high quality Cabernet from the Santa Cruz Mountains is a good knowledge base for working with Napa fruit, continues Baucher. Bill Foley has great goals for the winery and I see great potential for excellence and reputation among Cabernet collectors.

About Merus Estate

Merus Estate is one of the premier producers of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Napa Valley. Merus began as the quintessential garage wine, made by Merus founders Erica J. Gottle and Mark Herold in a two-car garage behind their Napa home. The wine has gained international acclaim since its first vintage in 1998 and has cult status for its divided Cabernet Sauvignon. Bill Foley brought Merus to Foley Family Wine in 2007 and then purchased a historic ranch nestled in a ravine on the east side of the valley that would become Merus’ new home. The new tasting room in the basement and the second tasting room in the caves have been renovated in a surprising way by Erica Gottl from Amsterdam, co-founder of Merus and design consultant for UXUS. The cellar and tasting room are closed to the public and can only be visited by invitation.

About the Foley family wines

Foley Family Winery, founded in 1996 by Bill Foley, is a portfolio of highly sought after wines from some of the world’s finest vineyards. Each brand in the company’s portfolio has its own style and heritage. The Foley Family Wines owns the following estates in California : Foley Sonoma (Geyserville), Chalone Vineyard (Monterey), Foley Estate (Sta. Rita Hills), Lincourt Vineyards (Solvang), Merus (Napa Valley), Foley Johnson (Napa Valley), Culeto (Napa Valley), Chalk Hill (Sonoma County) and Sebastiani (Sonoma County), Lancaster Estate (Sonoma County), Firestone Vineyard (Santa Ynez Valley), Eos Winery (Paso Robles), Roth Estate Winery (Sonoma County) and Banshee (Sonoma County). The company also owns the Three Rivers plant in Walla Walla, Washington, D.C., Acrobat, Oregon and the Four Graces plant in Dundee, Oregon. In New Zealand, the company owns Wawasur (Marlborough), Clifford Bay (Marlborough), Grove Mill (Marlborough), Dashwood (Marlborough), Martinborough Vineyard (Martinborough), Te Kairanga (Martinborough) and Mount Complexity (Bannockburn, Central Otago).

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