Maison Méry Melrose
We grow grapes organically, and artfully transform our crop through vinification and distillation to make exceptional Cognac, Wine & Pineau.
The heart of our business is organic farming, viticulture.
We are an independent organic vineyard, distillery, and winery in the heart of the Grande Champagne region of Cognac led by Francois Méry, a fourth generation distiller and viticulturist.
François and his Father, Jean-Paul Méry at the estate in Salles d’Angles.
“My Father taught me how to grow the finicky aromatic white grapes Cognac demands and the secrets to harnessing indigenous yeast to ferment those grapes into the tart, fruity wine perfect for distillation”.
Our estate wines, and Organic VS and VSOP Grande Champagne Cognacs are made entirely from organic grapes we grow, vinify, distill, and mature ourselves on our family estate in Salles d’Angles, the village where our family has lived since 1946.
We are among the first wave of certified organic growers in Cognac, and one of a very small group of distillers that matures and bottles our own Grande Champagne Cognac rather than selling our spirit to large blenders.
Maison Méry-Melrose also age and blend old Grande Champagne Cognacs, made by the generations before us, using precious know-how which has been transferred from one generation to the next.
Lastly, the Méry family have a tradition of making Pineau des Charentes, the wonderful local aperitif, and during the harvest of 2018, François made Organic Pineau.
It’s a lot more work to do it this way, but the opportunity to share the spirit of our land and labor is worth the effort. Our small size means we can control every part of the process, from vine to glass, and our independence means we can follow our own vision, wherever it leads.
Jean-Paul Méry 1980
François’ father, Jean-Paul Méry, was born in 1947. Despite enduring some of the most difficult times for the Cognac industry in recent memory, including the crash of 1983, he was able to triple the size of the distillery, begin offering an independent Méry brand cognac, and significantly expand the land holdings of the family. Although Jean-Paul officially retired in 2007, he remains involved in the business, and can often be found spending time in the vineyard or helping François during distillation season (when he’s not ducking out to nab a hare or help neighbors cope with a wild boar).
Méry Estate built in 1851
The Méry family has been making Grande Champagne Cognac for more than 100 years, and each generation has reinvented the business in its own way. François’ great-grandfather, Alexander Coudreau, arrived in Cognac in 1911, not long after the devastating Phylloxera epidemic. As a farmer, he was tenacious, persistent, and an extremely hard worker. His daughter and son-in-law, Edouard Méry, purchased the land and property in Salles d’Angles that would become the Méry family estate in 1946. Edouard Méry became one of the very first families to become a contract producer for Rémy-Martin, perhaps the most respected Cognac brand in the world.
What is Cognac?
Cognac is an aged spirit made from distilled wine, and the rules governing its production are tightly regulated. It must be made in a defined region in France called Cognac, which is located in the state of Charente. There are six sub-regions in Cognac, and the best Cognac comes from the Grande Champagne region, where our vineyards are located. Cognac can only be made from a short list of allowed grape varieties, and must be double distilled on a copper pot still during a season that stretches from October to March. The resulting clear spirit, called eau de vie, must then be aged for at least two and a half years in casks made from French oak before it can be called Cognac. Every part of the process, from the vine to the barrel, matters—which is why we think it’s important to do every part of the process ourselves.
The Méry Melrose vineyards are in the
Grande Champagne cru (growing area) of the Cognac Region.