Pale ruby color; cherry, chocolate, blueberry, pomegranate, brown sugar, forest floor on the nose; red cherry, plum, blueberry, raspberry, blood orange, mushroom on the palate.
Dry; light-medium body; light, polished tannins; good acidity. Juicy red fruits, especially cherry, abound in this almost delicate wine. Definitely in the Oregon/Willamette Valley pinot noir style. Reserved, appropriate oak from 11 months in barrels, only 30% new. Smooth, balanced. Excellent on the mid-palate through extended finish that leaves you pleasured and eager for another sip. Food friendly with 12.9% 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.”
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.
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. La Sierra is almost 12 acres planted exclusively in pinot noir with an average vine age of 14 years. 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 Winery & Vineyard Pinot Noir La Sierra Vineyard 2018 is delicately delicious, classic Willamette Valley pinot noir. Resplendent in red fruits, especially red cherry, with dollops of the earth and forest floor characteristic of quality pinot noir. Pair with turkey; salmon and similar fish; lighter beef dishes; venison; veal; baked/roast chicken. $45-50