Beacon Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2018

Medium ruby color; raspberry, licorice, cola, earth, violets on the nose; raspberry, plum, red cherry, clove, mushroom on the palate.

Beacon Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2018

Dry; relaxed tannin and good acidity makes it polished easy drinker. Fresh, soft fruit. Smooth, balanced and elegant. Light-medium body. 100% pinot noir, Dijon 777 and Pommard clones. Aged 11 months in barrel, 25% new oak; 15% whole-cluster fermentation in macro bins; 14.2% ABV.

The husband and wife team of George Hillberry and Carla Rodríguez own Beacon Hill. The website explains they were driving through Willamette wine country in 2010 “when they stopped by Beacon Hill to pick up equipment they purchased from the prior owner. After a few friendly exchanges, Carla was able to connect with him given her time spent in his homeland of Romania, where she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer. George and Carla immediately fell in love with the property and realized the tremendous care and love that had been placed on the site. Six months later, in April 2011 George and Carla were official owners of Beacon Hill Winery & Vineyard.”

Beacon Hill Winery

Hillberry is a two-decade veteran of the Oregon wine industry. His family spent extensive time abroad when he was growing up. Hillberry’s formative years were spent in Brazil and Spain. The family, however, always considered Oregon home. Hillberry earned a business degree from the USC and an MBA from Baldwin-Wallace. In 2000, he moved to Oregon and started a vineyard management company and other wine-related operations. Those were sold in 2010 in order to purchase Beacon Hill.

Beacon Hill owner George Hillberry
Beacon Hill owner Carla Rodríguez

Carla Rodríguez was born and raised in Northern México and moved to Texas to earn an undergraduate degree in finance. In 2001, she joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Constanta, on the Black Sea coast of Romania, as an environmental volunteer. After her Peace Corp service, she spent six months traveling the world with a small backpack and two friends. She earned an MBA in international business from Thunderbird when she returned to the U.S., then landed a job with a high tech company in Portland. She expected a short stay in the Northwest; then met George. The website notes: “Carla continues to work full time in Finance and manages all aspects of the tasting room, private events, and the vacation rentals within the Beacon Hill property.”

Beacon Hill sources its grapes from La Colina and La Sierra vineyards in the Dundee Hills and the estate Beacon Hill vineyard in Yamhill-Carlton. The grapes for this effort come from Beacon Hill and La Colina. The vineyard and winery are LIVE certified—meaning the farming and winemaking is as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. They also are certified Salmon-Safe.

Beacon Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2018 is elegant, balanced, polished. Classic Willamette wine. Smooth with lingering finish. Tasty, demure fruit. Pair with salmon; lighter beef dishes; veal; turkey and other poultry. $45-50

Beacon Hill Winery website

Beacon Hill Winery at night
Beacon Hill dining room
Beacon Hill tasting room
Beacon Hill vineyard in dormancy
Beacon Hill vineyard
Beacon Hill vineyard
Beacon Hill grape vines