Winter’s Hill Reserve Pinot Gris, Dundee Hills, Oregon 2021

Pale gold color; white peach, lemon zest, apple on the nose; Meyer lemon, white peach, tart apple, nectarine on the palate.

Winter’s Hill Reserve Pinot Gris, Dundee Hills, Oregon 2021

Dry; full, rich, complex in the mouth. Medium body. Whiff of light oak notes. Aged in French oak for nine months to enhance body and structure; barrels 5-6-year-old used/neutral barrels. 100% pinot gris grapes from vines more than 20 years old. The 2021 growing season was warm and dry, but deep root systems enabled them to find water resources. Significant canopy management to promote vine health. 13.3% 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.

Winter’s Hill principals (website landing page)

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 vineyard

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.

Winter’s Hill Reserve Pinot Gris, Dundee Hills, Oregon 2021 is serious pinot gris with interesting tart fruits, some depth and complexity. Becomes more mellow with some air time in glass. Clearly a food-friendly wine, but for the right audience will work as an aperitif or sipped solo on patio, porch, picnic, beside pool. Pair with grilled fish—halibut, trout, mahi-mahi; seafood and shellfish in general; pork; spicy food; salads; vegetarian fare; sautéd mushrooms; cured meats, charcuterie board. Cheese—very versatile; morbier, raclette, taleggio, munster, livarot, mozzarella, feta, cheddar. $29

Winter’s Hill Estate website

Winter’s Hill founders Emily and Peter Gladhart
Winter’s Hill winemaker Russell Gladhart