“When we were kids, at the ranch, Aunt Simone was afraid we’d be bitten by a rattlesnake, fall into a gold mine, or get eaten by a mountain lion.”

Rich Merryman, Vintner

Who We Are

Meet Our Winemakers

Andy Erickson

Consulting Winemaker

Jessica Tarpy Shaheen


Meet Our Vintners

Rich + Joan Merryman


Jim + Laurie Merryman


Meet Our Management

Casey Merryman

Vice President of Sales

Extended Family

History Timeline

How it Happened


Simone Vanophem Shaw, half Belgian aristocrat, half Alaskan miner’s daughter, buys land in Amador County and commences drilling. She calls this place Casino Mine Ranch, because it’s a gamble that there will be any gold here. But it’s a damn fine place to have a picnic.

World War II

Apart from mining, exploring, and scaring off bears, Simone’s favorite pastime is entertaining lavishly. During the war, Simone ensures that her guests will never be without coq au vin by raising chickens and growing mushrooms in the mine caves.

After the War

Hollis Shaw, a recovering Parisian gallery owner, is sent to check in on his recently widowed sister-in-law in the Wild West. Love happens. They marry. Simone demands that Hollis dress properly for evening meals, in an ascot and coat. Because every night is an occasion.


Hollis came from an illustrious New York art-collecting family that has now gone broke. He plants a walnut orchard and raises heirloom sheep. Simone gardens, and swims in the ice-cold pond, and plays the piano and sings. There never was much gold, but there will always be wine.

1960s and 1970s

Simone invites her grand-nephews out to stay at the ranch during summer vacations. Rich, Jim, and Steve Merryman come from meager means. They are both bewildered and intrigued by their glamorous aunt, who serves them formal meals off fine china, and wears pearls even when she shoots rattlesnakes.


The old place is in disrepair when Rich Merryman, with a twinkle in his eye, purchases Casino Mine Ranch from his parents. It is an escape from the city, where a kid can grow up fierce and raise hell, and where grownups can carouse and entertain in honor of Great Aunt Simone.


Rich calls Jim to tell him he’s planting a vineyard.
“Let’s make wine,” says Rich.
“Hell no,” says Jim. “Are you freaking nuts?”


Jim has caved in and joined the venture. (Rich knew he would.) A most unusual array of grapes is harvested. Winemaker extraordinaire Andy Erickson, who has been dragged into this fool’s errand, joins forces with the talented, brilliant, and very sensible Jessica Tarpy Shaheen to vinify the first vintage. And it is good.

“Here at the ranch, there are no rules.
Except: No whining. And: No ratting.”

Rich Merryman, Vintner