Our story, begins in Cognac.




Janis – I arrived in France in 2003 with a dream to cultivate my own vineyard and make wine.  I trained at a chateau in the Medoc, Bordeaux.  During that summer, while visiting Cognac, I met François.  I went on to study French, viticulture and winemaking.  I am Scottish, there are no vines in Scotland, only whisky!
François – Cognac is where I was born.  I have lived in Salles d’Angles, a commune in the Charente, all my life.  It is where my grandfather bought his vineyards and distillery in 1946.  My parents worked the land and distilled wine, selling to the large blenders of cognac.  My parents began bottling their own cognac and pineau in 1985, selling to friends, family and tourists in the summer!  I began working with my parents in 1995, after completing my studies, and work experience in Australia at an organic winery.

The Winery.

Janis – In 2005 we bought an old ‘chai’ and created a modern fully equipped space to make wine.  I was granted a rural lease on 6 hectares of organic cultivated vines.  With the support of François, we made our first organic wine in 2006.

Organic farming, a new venture.

François – Organic farming was a new venture for me, I had to self learn the method and technic of growing grapes the natural way.  It took me several years to master success, and I achieved this through investment in new machinery and researching traditional methods.
Janis – I am so proud of François for making the transition to organic farming – it means everything to me.  I know he feels pleasure and satisfaction as a result of his hard work and achievements.
François – Once I had mastered organic growing, it became a new way of life for me. I looked at the landscape in a different light, saw another future for my family. I decided to turn my part of the family vineyard to organic growing. We had established a great local market for the organic wines and I knew we could create something special with organic grown cognac and pineau.

Janis – I was amazed and grateful that François was brave enough to carve his own future. When he decided to convert his family vineyard to organic growing and create his own brand of organic cognac, he had my absolute support.

Méry Melrose was founded in 2012.

François – Once I was certified organic, we began cellaring organic cognac. We invested in new barrels and waited until the VS and VSOP were ready to be bottled.

JanisWe founded Méry Melrose in 2012, to become negociants, we would work together to create a market for our collection of organic grown products.  Our first batch, of organic cognac, was made with grapes from my vineyard.  While François focussed on organic growing and distilling, I supported the work in the cellar, to manage the aging and blending of the cognac.  I was assigned the task of marketing and business development.  We would work endlessly to discover a market for the cognac.
François – Growing grapes and distilling is something I learned from my father. Establishing my place in the spirits market was harder than I ever imagined.