In 1958, the Bucher family founded their dairy on Westside Road and they have run it ever since then. In 1997, John Bucher decided to diversify and started planting Pinot Noir on the property. Located in the Middle Reach area of the Russian River Valley, the highly regarded grapes soon became “Bucher Pinot Noir” vineyard designates for neighboring wineries, as well as their own brand. Merry and Ken had been talking with John and Diane Bucher for many years about purchasing grapes from Bucher Farms, and 2016 ended up being the right time to do it. Merry chose 2 hillside blocks of Pinot Noir that were available: North Pyramid, planted to the Pommard clone, which does exceptionally well on Westside Road; and Frost Hill, planted to Merry’s own clone, UCD37. Merry challenged her newly hired associate winemaker, Heidi von der Mehden, to make the first Bucher vineyard designate. Heidi made all of the winemaking decisions, from calling the pick to barrel mix to final blend. The Bucher vineyard gives complex aromas of dark fruit and floral scents balanced by a savory component. This leads to broad tannins on the palate.

Photography by George Rose.

Russian River Valley
Total Acres
1.93 (Frost Hill Block); 1.2 (North Pyramid Block)
Hilltop & NE/SW (FH); Hillside, NW/SE (NP)
Soil Type
Yountville clay loam
Year Planted
2008 (FH); 2009 (NP)
420A, 101-14
Scion Wood Clones
UCD37 (FH); Pommard (NP)
Vine Spacing
4 x 8 feet, vertical spacing