Arterberry Maresh is the winery of third generation grape grower and winemaker Jim Maresh. His family owns one of the first and best vineyards planted in the Dundee Hills, an area of the North Willamette Valley known as the "Gold Coast" of Oregon wine.
We're pretty big on first impressions. Thinking back to Arterberry Maresh's Jim Maresh's first visit to Avalon, he came in carrying his lone wine - his 2005 Maresh Vineyard Pinot noir, which made our heads spin exorcist-style. Then his second visit soon after, with a bottle of wine that was nothing short of a total epiphany - his first Maresh Vineyard Chardonnay (also 2005).
More About Arterberry Maresh
Here at Avalon we are pretty big on first impressions. Thinking back to Arterberry Maresh's Jim Maresh's first visit to Avalon, he came in carrying his lone wine - his Oregon Dundee Hills Maresh Vineyard Pinot noir, which made our heads spin exorcist-style. Then his second visit soon after, with a bottle of wine that was nothing short of a total epiphany - his first Maresh Vineyard Chardonnay.
Back then, Jim had two Arterberry Maresh wines. It was easy, right?
Now it's 2012. Jim made three of Avalon's top 10 2009 Oregon Pinots, and 2 of our top 10 2008 wines. He has racked up big Wine Advocate scores for nearly every wine he has made. Regardless of what you think of wine scores, that is a huge achievement.
In September 2012, Wine Advocate gave Arterberry Maresh Pinots their best reviews and scores yet, and said: " As a matter of fact, along with 2008 and 2011, we've probably just had something new in Oregon history: three great vintages in four- ... for Jim Maresh, anyway."
Wine Advocate describes Jim's Maresh Vineyard in glowing terms: "...(Oregon's Maresh Vineyard) is now rightly recognized as a veritable rue des grands crus, one along which grew an amazingly high percentage of the best Oregon Pinots I have thus far experienced."
In 2011, Jim made a $15 2009 Pinot - DH Porth - from ridiculously good Dundee Hills fruit, that sold out deservedly fast. His 2008 and 2009 wines are sold out. On his follow-up release to a 94-point Arterberry Maresh Pinot, he lowered the price. Who does that?
The Story of Arterberry Maresh
The year 1959 is not one often associated with the Oregon wine industry, but it's the year that Jim and Loie Maresh purchased their 27 acre hilltop orchard smack in the center of Dundee's Red Hills -- now called the "Cote d'Or" of Oregon Pinot noir. Gradually expanding to 124 acres of possibly the most "prime" vineyard real estate in Oregon, Maresh Vineyard is the fifth oldest in Oregon, with plantings from 1970 on.
Jim and Loie's daughter, Martha Maresh, married Fred Arterberry in the early 1980's. Fred made wine for the family (at the Eyrie Vineyards' winery) under the "Arterberry Cellars" label. Fred's 1985 Arterberry Reserve Pinot noir received 95 points from Wine Spectator, an unheard of score for the time. (Only eleven Oregon wines in total have received a 95 from Wine Spectator).
In 1990, with Fred's passing, the Arterberry Cellars label disappeared. Rex Hill, Penner-Ash, Archery Summit, Daedalus, Sineann, and Scott Paul wineries purchased the fruit, with some wines made under the Red Barn label for sale at the Maresh family tasting room.
Jim Arterberry-Maresh, Martha and Fred's son, grew up with the vines, hearing about his father's wines and learning the vineyard business. Last year, he revived the Arterberry label, incorporating his last name "Arterberry Maresh." Jim's first releases show that Fred's skills have been passed down. The third generation of Maresh Vineyard and Arterberry Maresh Cellars is off and running!
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