An Environmental -- and Taste -- Conscious Winery Rex Hill, located in the Willamette Valley, is equally known for its leadership in Oregon's sustainability movement and its award-winning wines.
A family-owned winery in the Willamette Valley since 1982, Rex Hill makes wines with quiet power, elegance, and eloquence, giving true expression of site, vintage, and climate. The landmark winery, located at the gateway to Oregon's wine country, is known for its leadership in Oregon's sustainability movement and for entertaining wine education for both the industry and the public.
Rex Hill takes pride in making handcrafted Pinot Noirs. Grapes are hand-picked, hand-sorted, and fermented in lots as small as one and a quarter tons to preserve the complexities and nuances of the wines. The collective winemaking experience at Rex Hill is among the most storied in the Willamette Valley.
In late 2006, Rex Hill's founders retired, passing the winery to the two Oregon winemaking families of A to Z Wineworks. They brought their enthusiasm for sustainable business and farming practices to the winery. Rex Hill is one of the original participants in the Carbon Neutral Challenge and Low Input Viticulture and Enology (LIVE) and is proud to have three wines recently labeled Oregon Certified Sustainable. John Muir is quoted, "When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." This tenant persuades both the short- and long-term goals at the winery. Rex Hill is committed to helping its independent growers farm their land more sustainably. What is more important than certification per se is the overall health of each farm and a belief that one should always return more than one takes.
The estate vineyards are dry-farmed using Biodynamic principles. Teas and other preparations are grown and made with collected rainwater onsite. The staff is invited to get its hands dirty in the organic vegetable gardens just outside the tasting room. Company tractors run on biodiesel fuel. And biodiversity in the vineyard is encouraged by planting beneficial cover crops.
Uniquely positioned at the gateway to the Willamette Valley, Rex Hill's winery building dates back to the 1920s. The old fruit and nut dryer has been carefully converted to the winemaking facility and tasting room. The fruit- and nut-drying tunnels serve as caves and seminar space for many wine education opportunities, including food and wine workshops like "First of the Farmers' Market," a monthly tasting academy, and an introduction to the principles of Biodynamic farming.
Accolades abound, including four years as Wine & Spirits' Winery of the Year. Named "One of Four Best Bets in Wine Country" by the Portland Monthly in 2008, Rex Hill is considered a must on any wine tourer's agenda. The winery, gardens, and tasting room are surrounded by the Rex Hill estate vineyards, where visitors can see firsthand what the winery values on a self-directed sustainability walk, pick blackberries at the vineyard's edge, or search the skies for one of the rehabilitated hawks released onsite. The tasting room is open to the public, with daily tastings of Rex Hill's world-class wines.
Rex Hill has been making wines from the Willamette Valley for more than 27 years. Pinot Noirs with a sense of place and Chardonnays made from appropriate Dijon clones deliver wines representative of vintage, craft winemaking, and a commitment to excellence.
WHAT TO BUY
'08 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Red raspberries, violets, Bing cherries, Asian plum, wet stones, clean earth, huckleberry $28
'06 Reserve Pinot Noir Nectarines, peaches, Black Doris plums, vanilla, ginger, cloves, brown sugar $42
'07 Jacob Hart Vineyard Pinot Noir Wild raspberries, marionberries, huckleberries, cherries, blueberries, fresh-cut peaches, rosewood $52
'07 Willamette Valley Chardonnay Nectarine, roasted vanilla bean, lemon verbena, white pepper $18
30835 N Hwy 99W
Newberg, OR 97132
Tasting Room Open Daily 10–5
Directions can be found on the website or by calling the winery.