Rex Hill Winery
Rex Hill Winery is owned and operated by Paul Hart and Jan Jacobsen, assisted winemaker, Lynn Penner-Ash (photos left) and a team of dynamic wine lovers.
Rex Hill has won many awards for their Pinot noirs, and their selection of single vineyard Pinots are always highly rated. The wines are made with particular attention to the "terroir" of the vineyard, that is, the particular soil and climactic conditions in the vineyard and the way they effect the wine.
The wines express the terroir of the vineyard as well as any Oregon winery has ever accomplished. Rex Hill's wines are some of the best to ever come out of the Yamhill Valley, and out of Oregon, for that matter. In complexity, richness, and ageability, the wines are impressive.
Paul Hart is proprietor of Rex Hill Winery, which he founded with his wife, Jan Jacobsen, in 1982. Paul holds a degree in mathematics, with extensive work in science and philosophy. His background in the wine industry is significant. In addition to establishing Rex Hill Winery, he has developed nearly 200 acres of vineyards in Yamhill County, Oregon. In 1988 he founded Oregon Grape Management Co., which currently manages 350 acres of vineyards in Oregon (primarily Yamhill County), with another 100 acres under development. He is currently president of the Yamhill County Wineries Association and the Oregon Wine Marketing Coalition.
First crush at Rex Hill ocurred in 1983, with grapes from many different vineyard sites. As the winery matured, the Harts purchased many excellent vineyard sites, and today hold extensive Willamette Valley and Washington State vineyard acreage.
Rex Hill's white wines are particularly rich and even her "value" Kings RIdge label wines are aged in oak. Try their Kings Ridge Chardonnay for a great value, and their Reserve Chardonnay to see what can be accomplished with the soils and climate of Oregon.
The Kings Ridge line was introduced in 1988 and allowed Rex Hill to achieve two goals: to successfully work with fruit from some of our younger vineyard sites, and to offer loyal customers, and novice wine drinkers, a line of elegant wines at a reasonable price. As the vines have matured, fruit from a variety of sites is now carefully blended to achieve the distinctive characteristics that have earned these wines a devoted following. To enhance the brightness of the fruit, Kings Ridge wines spend less time in the barrel, and are bottled and released sooner than Rex Hill or Reserve selections.
At present, Rex Hill owns or manages over 225 acres of prime vineyard property. The vineyards feature a number of microclimates that produce about 75 different wine lots each year.
The grapes from each vineyard are kept separate through much of the winemaking process. Only as the wines approach bottling are the final selections made. The best barrels from the best vineyards are set aside to be blended into a Reserve wine or bottled separately as a vineyard designate. The rest of the wine is blended into a Willamette Valley appellation and Kings Ridge blend.
Rex Hill has a production goal of 40,000 cases. Currently, the winery produces about 50% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Gris, with smaller quantities of white Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Blanc.
Rex Hill is unique in that the Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris are all barrel fermented or barrel aged in French oak barrels. For the vineyard-designated wines, the barrels are more than 50% new oak. During fermentation the wines go through a secondary or malolactic fermentation. The wine is left on the lees to promote a more complex wine with an extended palate.
In addition to overseeing production of Rex Hill Vineyards' 250 acres of Willamette Valley vines, Fox will be developing newly acquired vineyard sites, and working closely with Lynn to meet the winery's continued goal of producing elegant, expressive wines.
States winery owner Paul Hart, "Lynn and I have long been excited about the prospect of moving Rex Hill into even higher levels of quality and production, and I am confident that Stirling is the right person to help guide our vineyards through the challenges ahead".
In addition to his tenure at Willamette Valley Vineyards, Fox held the position of production supervisor for six years at Tyee Wine Cellars, worked in the wine research laboratory at Oregon State University, and served as president of the Washington County Wineries Association (1999/2000).
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