Oenophiles will enjoy HillCrest Vineyard
While I was visiting Roseburg, Oregon staying at the fabulous Thundering Waters Inn, the innkeepers (Jim and Christina) recommended a few things for me to do…tops on their list was a visit to HillCrest Vineyard for a tour and tasting—one of their favorite wineries in the area.
Jim and Christina were gracious enough to personally accompany me to HillCrest, where Dyson DeMara (the patriarch of the family business) showed us around and shared some of their newest wines. I’ve been to a number of wineries, from Sonoma, Napa to Yakima Valley, but I’ve never enjoyed the experience as much as I did at HillCrest. Dyson is so knowledgeable about his craft, it gave me a whole new appreciation for wine making. To produce quality wine requires a delicate balancing act between science, art and experience. Listening to Dyson speak, to hear his passion for wine-making…it’s very inspirational.
HillCrest Vineyard is Oregon’s oldest winery and was the states first to product a Pinot Noir…which is now synonymous. The Umpqua Valley (Roseburg area) has become known as “the undiscovered wine region,” but I suspect with the quality wines being produced, that it won’t stay that way much longer.
“Using the states oldest naturally farmed vineyards, we handcraft all of our wines without any employees. From planting our own vineyards, to bottling and the tasting room, only our family’s hands touch these wines… or as we like to say ‘family made, not family managed,‘” says Dyson DeMara – HillCrest Winemaker Extraordinaire.
During my time at the vineyard, Dyson was kind enough to take us into the heart of the operation…there we got to see how the wine is crafted, stored, aged to perfection, and then bottled and labeled. I’m always excited to learn how things are produced, and to get this level of personalized attention was a fun and unique experience.
The DeMara family does not sell their wine in stores, it’s only available at the vineyard in their tasting room. And, they only produce around 1400 cases annually, so getting to taste it is certainly a treat. If you visit the Roseburg area, be sure to check out the Thundering Waters Inn for your lodging needs…they serve up scrumptious appetizers paired perfectly with local wines, often from HillCrest Winery.
If you’re in the Umpqua Valley area (Roseburg) and enjoy wine…do yourself a favor and stop by HillCrest Vineyard for a truly enjoyable, educational and personal wine tasting experience. The tasting room is charming with its history and accolades adorning the walls. If you’re lucky, you might even get a glimpse of the first bottle of Pinot Noir ever produced in the state.
Click the following link to see a few of the pictures of HillCrest Vinyard I took. If you enjoyed this post and video, please click the “like” button below and share with friends and family. If you’ve ever been to HillCrest, please let my readers and me know what your experience was like.