Salem – Oregon, September 3, 2014
Over the last decade, Oregon wines have firmly planted their popularity in the hearts of wine aficionados. In homage to our state’s early wine production, the tale of Oregon’s first commercial Pinot noir vineyard will be highlighted during the dedication of a new historical marker. The unveiling of the interpretive marker is slated for Tuesday, September 16th at 1:00 p.m.,at historic HillCrest Winery and Distillery in Roseburg.
HillCrest Winery’s historical marker application was approved by OTE and the Oregon Historical Marker Committee last year. The colorful marker commemorates Oregon’s first commercial Pinot noir vineyard and its founder, Richard Sommer. Planted in 1961, Sommer’s vines flourished in the Umpqua Valley. At the time, Sommer defied convention—most experts believed it was impossible to grow fine wines in Oregon. Yet Sommer recognized the significance of sharing latitude with European winemaking regions and used prime agricultural land to establish HillCrest—Oregon’s first winery to plant and bottle Pinot noir for retail sale.
The public is invited to attend the afternoon ceremony at HillCrest. The dedication will feature the winery’s current proprietor, Dyson DeMara, and members of the Oregon Historical Marker Committee. Wine tasting is planned following the marker dedication.
Oregon Travel Experience (OTE) oversees the official Oregon Historical Marker Program and its volunteer committee. OTE is a semi-independent state agency located in Salem with a focus on transportation-related services. The agency manages 29 rest areas across the state, permits highway logo signs and administers to two heritage programs: Heritage Trees and Historical Markers.
For more information about the Oregon Historical Marker Program, please contact OTE Heritage Program Administrator Annie von Domitz at 503-373-0864.