Not all sheep are well-traveled. Traversing the globe from New Zealand nearly three decades ago, the seed-stock for Genopalette’s rare, natural colored Merino sheep, aka black Merino sheep, came to the U.S. from their origins in select minority New Zealand flocks. As in life, where only about 1 in 1,000 sheep are naturally colored, our original sheep were a micro-flock of color in a mega-flock of white sheep.
In 1988, Andy McMurry traveled the length and breadth of New Zealand, personally selecting sheep with the rarest colors, softest fleeces, and most refined genetics. Mission accomplished, and by now thoroughly enchanted by these sheep that turn grass into gorgeous, undyed luxury fiber, Andy set out to share his vision with the world. From these early days in the 1980s and into our new century, the mission of Genopalette has been to spread the spectacular uniqueness of this fiber’s truly natural comfort, style, and beauty.
In addition to Merino, we provided an infusion of imported, highly specialized, colored Romney that featured icy blue-grey tones, intense luster, silky drape and softness that far surpassed the norm for the Romney breed. Even after seven or more generations of breeding using elite NZ and AU Merino sires, these remarkable traits are still evident in Genopalette wool – wool in the micron range of super-fine and even occasional ultra-fine Merino fleece. Call that rare wool rave!
Andy McMurry is active in local sustainable agriculture organizations of which he was a founding member. He has been awarded a county Grassland Farmer award as well as a sustainable agriculture grant demonstration award. His operation has been presented at a state sustainable agriculture conference. Andy constantly strives to take the sustainable management of his flock to new heights.