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Saltbird Cellars Merlot 2018

Saltbird Cellars Merlot 2018

The 2018 Saltbird Cellars Merlot is a testament to why we grow Merlot on Long Island and why it is a varietal that we can depend on to ripen into beautiful fruit every vintage.”

– Robin Epperson-McCarthy, Owner & Winemaker


The origins of this Merlot was due to thinking through plans gone astray. This luscious block of seaside Merlot normally makes up the base of the Harbinger blend. In 2018 we didn’t have the heat at the end of the season to get the Cabernet Sauvignon ripe enough to create the Harbinger blend. The Merlot was gorgeous so rather than forcing a blend that I knew would not reach the same caliber as previous vintages I decided to let the Merlot stand alone. This is the first single varietal red that I have Vinified under the Saltbird label and I look forward to many more vintages of Merlot.




Before launching her own label, Robin spent her formative years honing her craft by working harvests in the Awatere & Marlborough Valleys of New Zealand, the Tamar River Valley in Tasmania, and the Macedon Ranges in Australia. Her deep roots on Long Island and travels on the other side of the globe are expressed this focused series, where she applies the methods from her travels to the best blocks of North Fork grapes. Saltbird Cellars represents the freedom to follow your passion, no matter where it takes you.

BEHIND THE NAME AND DESIGN : Every Wednesday, you can find Robin racing in a regatta along the Peconic Bay. Having grown up along the coast, sailing is in her blood. The name “Saltbird” a tribute to her connection to the sea; an imagined creature evoking her love for maritime life. The bottle artwork is hand painted in ink and watercolor by Nadira Vlaun.