Wine Runs Through the Vines of These 7 Families For many families, planting roots somewhere is the dream, these seven families planted vines and have been making great wine ever since. BY TOURING & TASTING
Rollin and Corby Soles, proprietors of the Oregon-based ROCO Winery.
“ An Oregon winemaking pioneer, Rollin’s very first ROCO vintage was poured in the White House.”
These couples and families have decades of experience producing amazing wines and having guests come to visit and taste. In one instance, the family roots in winemaking date back to the 1770s! In a world where family-owned businesses seem harder to identify, here are seven to patronize.
ROCO Winery is named after Rollin and Corby Soles for a very good reason—it represents the combined energy of a tireless married couple who dreamed for decades of starting their own wine label in the Chehalem Mountain range of Oregon’s fertile Willamette Valley.
Surrounded by hillside vineyards and gardens, everything about ROCO Winery speaks to perfection including its personal, engaging tasting experience. The wines of Winemaker Rollin Soles have been named among Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines 13 times, a distinction unmatched in Oregon. An Oregon winemaking pioneer, Rollin’s very first ROCO vintage was poured in the White House. In 2013, he was named one of the “20 Most Admired Winemakers in America” by Vineyard & Winery Management. ROCO wines have a proud track record of impeccable structure, a rich, deeply pleasurable palate, and long life. The boutique winery, owned by the notable husband and wife team of Rollin and Corby Soles, produces a selection of high quality Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. But it doesn’t stop there. In the fall of 2016 ROCO will release its first 2013 Brut Sparkling wine, RMS. Rollin pioneered Oregon’s traditional method Sparkling wine production at Argyle Winery where he produced world-class sparkling wines for three decades.
13260 NE Red Hills Rd
Newberg, OR 97132
Anaba (anna-ba) Wines, named for the anabatic winds that soar through its vineyards, creates classic, elegant wines borne by the wind. The 16-acre estate sits in the western part of Los Carneros AVA where cool Pacific breezes flow up its gently sloping vineyards, slowing down the ripening process and allowing the grapes to develop robust flavors and distinctive varietal characteristics.
After Founder John Sweazey tried his hand at winemaking and studied production techniques in France, he and his wife Kathleen were drawn to the quality of Los Carneros’s Burgundian and Rhône grape varieties and the relaxed, friendly nature of Sonoma County’s farming community.
Their first vintage of Anaba wines all received awards for excellence at the 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. With each subsequent vintage, Anaba Wines have received recognition and, today, the talented duo of Ross Cobb and Katy Wilson oversee the winemaking program. Both bring a wealth of experience with cool climate varietals. Their shared attention to detail, devotion to the land, and passion for producing elegant Pinot Noir is resulting in some of the finest wines from Sonoma.
Through eight generations in the grape growing industry, Mettler Family Vineyards has cultivated an unrivaled kinship with the earth. Beginning in Germany in the 1770s and continuing with their arrival in California’s Central Valley region of Lodi in the late 1800s, the Mettler family has a tradition of producing premium wine grapes, both for their own label, as well as for other winemakers and respected wines.
As stewards of the soil, the Mettlers have chosen to run their farm as both sustainable and certified organic. Consistent leaders in farming techniques, they utilize practices such as composting, cover crops, hand hoeing, and modern trellising to get the most out of their grapes while being mindful of the health of the vine and the regeneration of the soil. “Embracing organic and sustainable farming keep our vineyards nourished and viable for generations to come,” says Vineyard Manager Jason Eells.
The tasting room is a “must-see” nestled in the middle of 25 acres of vineyards. Arriving guests enter a secluded world of lushly landscaped grounds. The venue can accommodate up to 80 guests for indoor events or 250 guests can enjoy the outdoors around the picturesque pond shaded by willow trees or the courtyard strung with twinkle lights. The winery’s general manager, Kimberly Mettler-Eells, ensures that all events flow seamlessly.
Situated on a portion of the Rogue Valley’s famed 250-acre Hillcrest Orchard, which has been farmed by Jack Day’s family since 1908, RoxyAnn Winery’s 70-acre estate vineyard is ideal for growing Bordeaux varieties.
The first harvest in 2001 yielded 150 cases of Claret, an outstanding blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which sold out in two weeks. RoxyAnn Winery now produces 15,000 cases of award-winning Claret, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, Syrah, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Viognier. In 2014, the family hired Winemaker Kent Barthman. Kent, whose wines have received many 90-plus scores, is excited to demonstrate the full potential of the region.
The tasting room is housed in The Honor Barn, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Beautiful and spacious, it serves as a reminder of the farm’s long history, while the world-class wines showcase the uniqueness of their vineyard and Southern Oregon as a whole.
3283 Hillcrest Rd.
Medford, OR 97504
Cassandra Durst takes great pride in her handcrafted wines sourced from premium California appellations. Durst Winery’s tasting room is located right behind the Durst family’s home. Open daily from 12 until 5, the Dursts invite guests to grab their friends, children, dog, and a picnic, if they like—for an unforgettable day of relaxation and fabulous wine at the picturesque Durst estate.
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines has celebrated 40 years of family winemaking, and a four-decade legacy of pioneering winegrowing on California’s Central Coast. Since its founding in 1974 by wine industry visionary Jerry Lohr, J. Lohr has established itself as one of North America’s most successful family wineries. With a certified sustainable estate program spanning approximately 5,000 acres in Paso Robles, Monterey County’s Arroyo Seco and Santa Lucia Highlands regions, and Napa Valley, J. Lohr is also one of California’s leading estate-focused wineries. From this diverse vineyard program, J. Lohr makes an acclaimed portfolio of wines recognized for their vibrant fruit character. J. Lohr has also established wine centers in both San Jose and Paso Robles—two ideal destinations for lovers of great California wine.
At J. Lohr, the focus is on flavor from vineyard to bottle. Reflecting the diversity of its estate vineyards, J. Lohr offers four tiers of award-winning wines: J. Lohr Cuvée Series, wines inspired by the classic Bordeaux blends but crafted to embody the power and complexity of great Paso Robles winegrowing; J. Lohr Vineyard Series, limited-production wines highlighting the terroir of the most esteemed vineyard parcels; J. Lohr Estates, acclaimed wines that have become benchmarks for their regions; and J. Lohr Gesture, Rhône-inspired wines and select varietals available exclusively in the Wine Centers and online.
6169 Airport Rd.
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Twenty-seven years ago, a pure passion for Pinot Noir launched Rick Moshin’s second career as a farmer and the winemaker for Moshin Vineyards. A university math instructor when he purchased his first vineyard in 1989, Rick and his family were fortunate to acquire ten acres of the most desirable river valley property in the Middle Reach of the Russian River Valley. Rick has since acquired two more adjacent vineyards whose grapes grow on gently sloped Goldridge soil. These vineyards define the true elegance and appeal of this specific terroir with famous soils and microclimates. They are farmed with respect through the practice of sustainable methods and biodynamic traditions.
Although Pinot Noir is the passion at Moshin Vineyards, the family-owned and -operated winery specializes in several other small-lot varietals including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Petite Sirah, and Zinfandel.
The tasting room is bright and cozy, and the entire Moshin family and staff warmly welcome guests. It’s a great stop for wine enthusiasts who have a passion for Pinot Noir and other elegant wines that express the distinctive characteristics of their exceptional terroir in the heart of the Russian River Valley.