Winter’s Hill Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Oregon 2022

Medium copper color; strawberry, lemon on the nose; strawberry, raspberry, lemon, citrus, grapefruit on the palate.

Winter’s Hill Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Oregon 2022

Dry; fresh acidity; low tannins; no oak. Light-plus body. A bit sharp, but nice texture. Reserved style; solid rosé of pinot noir. 13% ABV

The Gladhart family owns Winter’s Hill Estate. John and Lena Winter established the property in 1961 as an orchard and farm. When their daughter, Emily, and her husband, Peter Gladhart, planted the first vineyards in 1990, they named the vineyard Winter’s Hill in to honor the Winters.

John Winter was born “Hans Viehweg” in Hannover, Germany. When Hans and Lena settled in Chicago when they immigrated to the United States in 1929. Upon gaining citizenship, Hans changed his name to John Winter. John and Lena built a business and raised a family in Chicago, but loved the mountains and open spaces of the West. When their children were grown, they moved to Oregon to start a new life in the Willamette Valley. Emily met Peter Gladhart while both served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador. Emily and Peter spent their first 20 years together in academia, then decided to build a winery in the Dundee Hills on the property of Emily’s parents. Taking a leave of absence from Michigan State University, they moved to Oregon.

Winter’s Hill principals (website landing page)

They first planted 21 acres of vineyard, then six years later added an additional 14 acres. By that time their son, Russell, was part of the operation. Russell was taken with wine working in the family vineyard as a teenager. He went on to work at vineyards and wineries in Oregon and New Zealand. He met his wife, Delphine, working together in an Oregon winery. Russell then studied enology and viticulture at the Centre de Formation Professionelle et de Promotion Agricole de Beaune in the heart of Burgundy in France, Delphine’s home country. They married in 2004, moved back to Oregon, and formed a partnership with the Gladharts. Delphine made wine until 2014; Russell is the winemaker today.

The 2022 vintage delivered its share of fears. Spring 2022 was cool and wet, delaying bud break. Late frost gave a scare, but vines weathered the incident. By late May, vines were 3-4 weeks behind usual schedule. Fortunately the summer was warm and dry, but the grapes were still behind schedule and by early September there was fear there was not enough time for the grapes to mature. Luckily, September and October were warm and dry and the vines delivered a lovely crop. Fruit hand-harvested, stems removed, then soaked overnight to extract color from the pinot noir skins. Gentle pressing in the morning. Cool fermentation to preserve aromas.

Winter’s Hill founders Emily and Peter Gladhart

Winter’s Hill Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Oregon 2022 is not a big style or blockbuster rosé—rosé most often is not. But it is a tight and delicious presentation of red fruit and citrus tang with good, natural acidity. This is wine you don’t have to think about, just swallow and enjoy. That is a very good thing in wine. Works well as an aperitif and summer sipper; pair with fish and shellfish; salads, fruit, vegetarian fare. Cheese—feta, halloumi, rochetta, gruyere, aged cheddar. $25-27

Winter’s Hill Estate website

Winter’s Hill winemaker Russell Gladhart
Winter’s Hill vineyard