Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County
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Matt Meyer is the son of Silver Oaks’ founders Bonny and Justin Meyer and was raised at Silver Oak, but he’s more famous in our office as one of invino’s all-time-best-selling producers.

Meyer’s Cabs are big yet elegant wines that more than live up to this guy’s incredible origins. But the wine that gets the most fuss among our Tasting Panel is the Meyer Family Syrah, sourced from the cool, coastal reaches of the Mendocino County’s Yorkville Highlands AVA (one of California’s newest appellations). Yorkville’s seriously BIG fluctuations in temperature result in wines of amazing structure and unabashed acidity. With the slight elevations in temperature, the Highlands produced a voluptuous, chocolately Syrah that nonetheless retains its classic cool-climate blue fruit and meadow flower notes with a subtle nuance of savory vanilla and spice on the finish.

Aged for nearly two years in barrel and accented by a touch of Petite Sirah (2%), this invino favorite is a crowd-pleaser of a red that eschews simplicity in favor of deep, pure and brooding Old World-style Syrah (think Hermitage, but without that Northern Rhone red’s intimidating price).

  • North Coast Syrahs like this one emphasis minerality and structure with lush, rich fruit and show a balance between heft and elegance uncommon in many domestic Syrahs.
  • Meyer’s Family is operated by the husband-and-wife winemaking team of Matt and Karen Meyer. Matt Meyer grew up at Silver Oak (his folks owned it) while Karen studied oenology in her native Australia before expatriating to California’s Northern Coast.
  • Yorkville is a newish appellation and one defined by extremes. First, most of the vineyards that make up Yorkville sit up at 1,000 to 2,200 feet in elevation. Second, the proximity of the ocean and its frigid nighttime winds means the temperature drops dramatically during the growing season.

The nose exhibits classic cooler Syrah notes of blueberry, violet, pepper, and wet earth. Complimented by a splash of grit this is a classic example of our cool-climate Syrahs.


In addition to household chores, Matt and Karen Meyer share the winemaking duties at Meyer Family Cellars. They may spend most of their waking time together now, but they arrived at this point in their careers having followed very different paths.

Matt Meyer
From an early age, Matt's goal was to be a winegrower like his father. As he grew up, he spent much of his time in the vineyard and cellar at Silver Oak. The passion he developed for wine led him to the University of California, Davis, where he was awarded a Masters in Viticulture in 2002.

Karen Meyer
Karen was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia. After a harvest in Margaret River, she was hooked on wine. She completed a degree in enology at Charles Stuart University, then spent the next few years working harvests around the world. In 1999 Matt and Karen met in Oregon while working the crush at Argyle Winery in the Willamette Valley.

Bonny Meyer
Bonny and Justin founded Silver Oak Cellars together with their financial partner, Ray Duncan in 1972. Always a labor of love, Silver Oak’s inaugural vintage was crushed that fall a week after Justin and Bonny returned from their honeymoon.

In the early years Bonny managed Silver Oak business and sales while Justin oversaw winemaking and managed burgeoning Franciscan Vineyards, purchases by the partners in 1975. A couple years after the partners sold Franciscan, Justin left and took over primary management duties at Silver Oak. Always part of the management team, Bonny focused on PR, marketing, and package and facility design. The original Silver Oak and Meyer Family Port labels both won design awards, as did the Oakville Silver Oak winery when it was completed in 1982. Today Bonny is an active partner in Meyer Cellars and continues to focus on marketing and design.

Bonny is Principal of Meyer Family Enterprises, investor in the financial markets, commercial property, and green technologies. She is a strategic philanthropist and a community activist. She loves to sail, play guitar and sing with friends. Now and then she skis and drives fast when no one is looking.

The legend of Bonny’s Vineyard states that Bonny gazes upon and blesses her vineyard every morning and that’s what makes the wine so extraordinary. Others say the wine is a manifestation of Justin and Bonny’s love for one another. But no one really knows for sure


Serve with hearty stews, slow braised meats, and anything lamb!