This history of the use of the word Meritage in labeling wines really is fascinating. The brainchild of a group of American vintners, who wanted a way to identify and promote American wines that used the same grapes as those used in Bordeaux. A contest was held to come up with a name to call this American blend. Of the more than 6,000 entries received, Meritage, a completely made up word to combine the words Merit and Heritage was chosen. It is pronounced like heritage, with an M.