Joy Merrilees

Joy Merrilees

Shannon Ridge Family of Wines (Vice President of Production)

Joy Merrilees is a native of Lake County and brings a wealth of experience to her position at Shannon Ridge Vineyards & Winery, where she was hired in mid-2014. She has a B.S. in Plant Science and Landscape Design from Humboldt State University and continued her formal education through winemaking courses at Lincoln University in Canterbury, New Zealand, and the extension program at the University of California, Davis.

Her winemaking experience includes both domestic and international winemaking and production. This includes Steele Wines in California, where Joy started as a “cellar rat” in 2005 and was promoted to assistant winemaker two years later, and J. Christopher Wines in Oregon, where she was employed from 2011 to 2014. Overseas, she has worked at Margaret River Vintners in Western Australia and Isabel Vineyard Wines, Valli Vineyards, VinPro Limited, and Morworth Estate Winery, all of which are in New Zealand.

Highly motivated and comfortable with challenges, Joy is passionate about the growing wine industry in Lake County and her work at Shannon Ridge. In her own words, "I love logistics, and the rush of harvest, but probably the best part is calling the pick. The entire vintage hangs on that one decision. You just hope you've got it right." That she does get it right is reflected in the fact that her 2017 Shannon Ridge High Elevation Zinfandel and 2017 Vigilance Rosé received 92 and 90 points, respectively, from Wine Enthusiast.

Passionate about the growing wine industry in Lake County, Joy is also known for cheerfulness by her staff and her ability to fix anything needing repair. When not working at the winery, Joy loves to cook, entertain with friends, gardening, enjoying the great outdoors, and sailing as often as possible with her husband. Her personal philosophy is characterized by enjoying all the little things in life all the time and making every day an adventure.