ROSEBURG, Ore. – HillCrest Winery and Distillery, the birthplace of Oregon Pinot Noir, is pleased to announce that earlier this month the winery was awarded historical status by Oregon Travel Experience. A state marker will be placed at the winery in the spring of 2014 to commemorate the first planting of Pinot Noir grapes in the state in 1961.
“The planting of this historic site in the Umpqua Valley near Roseburg and the release of HillCrest’s first Pinot Noir in 1967 marked the beginning of the modern fine wine industry in Oregon and the recognition and success it has and continues to bring the state,” said Tom Danowski, director of the Oregon Wine Board.
HillCrest was established by Richard Sommer, the “Father of Oregon Wine” and co-founder of the Oregon Wine Board. Sommer was the first graduate of the University of California at Davis to venture north and produce Pinot Noir in Oregon. Additionally, under his leadership, HillCrest became the first winery in America to use stainless steel tanks.
“We are deeply appreciative of the honor bestowed upon us by Oregon Travel Experience,” said Dyson DeMara, proprietor. “We look forward to the months ahead as we work with the organization to create the marker, and prepare for its debut next year.”
HillCrest produces 1400 cases of wine each year from the state’s oldest dry farmed, hillside vineyards. In addition, the winery continues to hone the cutting edge with the use of its patented concrete fermenters and use of ancestral winegrowing techniques.
Wines are available for tasting and purchase in the winery’s tasting room. For more information, visit www.hillcrestvineyard.com.