Rob and Brenda Mercer of Mercer Wine Estates, are blazing new territory at a significant vineyard site (near Chapman Creek in the southeast corner of the state) where they have already planted nearly 1,100 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, plus smaller plots of Malbec, Syrah and Chardonnay. With support from the Mercers, their longtime vineyard manager, John Derrick, was heavily involved in an application submitted to petition the federal government for AVA status for this new growing region designated as “The Burn.” Interestingly, the name is found on older maps of the area, apparently rooted in the farming practice of early settlers who would burn the grasses off once a year to let them regrow.