A view lot in the country is what Loie and Jim Maresh (like marsh-mallow) were seeking in 1959 when they found a 27-acre hilltop farm for sale in the Red Hills of Dundee, Oregon. The owner refused to sell a view lot only, so the couple courageously bought the whole farm. The Maresh property was eventually expanded to over 140 acres as adjacent farms were put up for sale. And in 1970, it was Dick Erath who convinced them to plant Pinot Noir in what would become the fifth oldest vineyard in Oregon and the first vineyard on Worden Hill Road.
Today, the Maresh family - led by Loie and Jim's daughter Martha who married Fred Arterberry, Jr. in 1980 - farms those original Pommard and Wädenswil Pinot Noir plantings, plus own-rooted Chardonnay vines from 1983, the year third generation winemaker, Jim Arterberry Maresh was born. Ranging from 500' to 800' elevation, their non-irrigated vineyard enjoys long hang-time and is among the last to ripen in the valley. Here, the Dundee Hill's red Jory soils are the result of thousands of years of lava flow, uplift, flood and erosion, and this beautiful landscape of southeastern facing ridges experiences slightly warmer and drier growing conditions than surrounding microclimates. The Maresh vineyard's volcanic soils drain well, yet retain moisture when the vines need it the most, and Jim's philosophy is to hand select the finest blocks of fruit to produce unfined and unfiltered wines of purity, focus, elegance, perfume, and complexity. New oak is kept to a minimum to allow the fruit to shine and minimize the presence of wood tannins in the wine.
The 2016 Arterberry Maresh Pinot Noir Dundee is their flagship red, and one of only four wines produced under the family's label. (Maresh Vineyard is a famous source of fruit for winemakers throughout the valley.) Heady aromas of ripe red and dark berries, dried flowers, and a smoky mineral overtone seamlessly lead to juicy, alluringly raspberry and cola flavors on the palate with a peppery lift and fresh finish. This suave, focused Pinot is incredibly balanced with notable restraint in a vintage marked by unusually warm conditions. Fans of Burgundy and perfumed Piedmont reds will appreciate the value of this sophisticated sipper, perfect for relaxing at the end of a long day or to pair with holiday spreads packed with mushrooms, game birds, rich risottos, roasted root vegetables and stinky, washed rind cheeses.