Capturing the earth, the weather and the year in a bottle, wine is ultimate farming. It was in 1995 when Elaine and I added vines to the fields of vegetables, grains and arborvitae on my family's 5th generation Willamette Valley farm. We designated this 20-acre estate vineyard St. Columban. In 1999, we co-founded Owen Roe Winery in what was formerly the machine shop for the farm. We rolled out the tractors and combines and rolled in the tanks and barrels, transforming the space into a full production winery.
The winery is situated on 1500 acres that my family has farmed since the 1850's. Adjacent to Champoeg State Heritage Area where Oregon's first provisional government was founded in 1843, each generation has cultivated crops, family, and memories. A legacy we are inspired to carry forward. In 2012, Elaine and I created a new winery and gathering space that would honor the past and contribute to the rich history of this land.
Blessed with a bounteous lineage of female family members, Lady Hill Winery is a tribute both to the family farm that has been home to the Zorn-Owen ancestors since the 1860s, and the long, lady-laden ancestry of the Zorn-Owen family.
As I write to you from the Hudson’s Bay Company desk of my forefathers, in the home that has sheltered over 150 years of family, please know I am nearly as proud to bring you our Lady Hill Winery house of brands as I would be to present each of my children in this house.
Welcome to Lady Hill, a True Northwest winery!
Jerry and Elaine Owen, Proprietors
True Northwest in History & Spirit
There was a time when “Oregon Country” meant the entire Pacific Northwest. Running north from the border of California and taking in what is now Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia, “The Northwest” was one vast contiguous territory. As a wine region, it still is. Wine grapes, after all, know no borders.
We are crafting wines that express the diverse character of the Pacific Northwest wine countries. Neither an "Oregon winery" nor a "Washington winery," we work with heritage vineyards and growers--wherever they are in the Northwest—who understand that wine is made in the vineyard. Be it Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Syrah or Barbera, our vineyard partners produce the finest fruit for the wines which we delight in sharing.
The Pacific Northwest is one of the most exciting and dynamic wine regions in the New World. Our higher latitude means we get more sunlight than Napa Valley during the growing season and the coolness of our nights delivers dramatic diurnal shifts that allow grapes to naturally retain acidity and achieve fresh varietal character.
Carefully fashioned with a love for the region, respect for the heritage of the land, and a commitment to preserve it for future generations, Lady Hill wines express the authentic spirit of the True Northwest.
A Family Brand, A Family of Brands
Elaine and I wonder at the mystery of our children bearing the marks of their siblings, yet each being their own person. So it is with each of our brands. While all share family traits, each express their own authentic individuality.
We are blessed to raise our family and make wine in the Northwest. It is a bold country, beautiful and bountiful—we aspire to make wines that reflect these qualities. These are wines that embody the radical elements of this land and its people. I strive to be as liberal, that is, "marked by generosity," as our wines: Radicle Vine, Procedo, Ad Lucem, Lady Hill, and Fons Amoris.
We invite you to take your own True Northwest journey through the varying expressions of Lady Hill wines.
LIVE at Lady Hill
When Elaine and I launched Lady Hill, we wanted to do two things. Make excellent wine and build a space for gathering friends, family and visitors near and far--a place for lasting memories. As I invite you to visit the Winery built on my family’s 5th generation farm, I can not help but think of a line from a favorite Robert Frost poem. The farmer in the poem is going out to clean a pasture spring and he invites another: “you come too.”
For me, it was important to build Columban Hall in the family tradition. The old machine shop built by Uncle Joe in the 1940s stood where the Hall now stands. It had no hope of surviving without a major restoration. It had been an important presence on the farm for decades, along with the old dairy barn, with its huge timbers and weathered, time-worn floors and walls. These buildings were the wonders of my childhood.
I believe a barn is the visual “soul” of a farm. It defines what a farm is all about. When I talked to the architect, I showed him pictures of signature barns that expressed proud farming traditions. He drew up plans for the new Tasting Hall--it was to stand in place of the old barn as a landmark and to echo architectural features found on the family homestead. We used fir boards saved from the old barn for the flooring on the second story. For me, it's not only a beautiful feature, it’s a reminder of where we come from, of what our ancestors worked to provide for us and what we can pass on to the next generation.
Perhaps it was architect Rod Merrick's application of the Golden Ratio in his plans that created the remarkable acoustics and transcendent light. The ratio, well known in the Classical world, is often found in nature and has been used for centuries as a guide to create harmonious, natural looking compositions in design work. Happily, this fulfilled our vision for Columban Hall as a venue for music, meetings, celebrations, and displays of art; what we like to call LIVE at Lady Hill.
Back to the wine. Wine has accompanied such gatherings and events since ancient times, and it's natural for it to do so now--now as much as ever. We are in the heart of summer, the farm is in full production, the patio warm and inviting, the large glass doors are up creating a natural flow from indoors to out. We are pleased to share Columban Hall and the accompanying portfolio of Lady Hill wines for gatherings either you create, or ones we are inspired to host; our spaces are your spaces.
Visit any day of the week, 11 am - 5 pm and our tasting staff will guide you through a flight of wines to delight your palate on a tour of the True Northwest.
April is National Poetry Month!
LEGACY • QUALITY • DELIGHT
LEGACY speaks to our heritage - the family homestead and the heritage we strive to uphold, and a tradition of making a product that improves with time and is handed down.
QUALITY expresses our belief that without quality our work is without purpose - quality in all aspects: product and service and experiences.
DELIGHT describes the feeling we want our guests and friends - both customers and employees - to experience and associate with Lady Hill.