Newberg icon reimagines space, experience
By OWP Staff
On Jan. 15, REX HILL’s rebuilt tasting room opened to guests following a multi-million dollar renovation over the past year. The new hospitality center, designed by Ernie Munch of MAP Architecture, offers 180-degree views of surrounding estate vineyards, forests and the Dundee Hills just beyond, with floor-to-ceiling moveable glass walls.
“We’re thrilled to invite guests to experience our exciting new space,” says winemaker/co-owner Cheryl Francis. “We’ve wanted to renovate the tasting room since we bought REX HILL in 2007 to connect the vineyards more closely with the winery and honor the legacy afresh with a design that seamlessly unites the old and the new.”
Over the past decade, sister brand A to Z Wineworks built a campus around the longtime Newberg winery. The original 1983 REX HILL winery was constructed around a fruit and nut drying barn sitting on Rex Hill dating back to the early 20th century. The tunnels, originally used to move drying fruit and the site of many a convivial wine dinner through the years, have been beautifully incorporated into the innovative design.
A large fireplace sits behind the main attraction: REX HILL Pinot Noir. ##Photo courtesy of REX HILL
The luminous new tasting room, constructed by The Grant Company, contains an Oregon white oak tasting bar with a gleaming white quartz bar top, ideal for assessing wine color and clarity. An open beam Douglas fir ceiling and large fireplace create a warm welcome, with inviting modern wood and leather furnishings for guests. The expanded outdoor patio in front of the estate vineyard looks out onto the winery’s iconic Corten steel sculpture, “Song for an Architect,” by renowned Portland artist Lee Kelly.
The REX HILL tasting room offers a daily full-service wine tasting experience by appointment at www.rexhill.com/experiences. A flight of five wines, a selection of 11 reserve wines and offerings by the glass are available as well as a curated assortment of menu items, such as a Cascadia Creamery cheese plate and a Northwest Provisions Board with charcuterie, smoked fish, olives, local hazelnuts, pickles and crackers.
Currently, in accordance with Yamhill County COVID-19 protocols, all tastings are held outdoors under the covered portion of the heated patio. Guests with reservations are welcome to visit the new tasting room before and after their tastings to browse the retail area and enjoy the views. When the weather permits, tastings are also available for larger groups within one to two households on the uncovered portion of the patio.
A full menu of pairings to accompany wine tastings will be available from the new state-of-the-art kitchen once indoor tasting resumes. At that time, enjoy exclusive group tastings in the wine cellar barrel room and private fireside tasting loft.
The winery is currently accepting reservations online for daily wine tasting appointments. These tastings are held on the partially-covered, heated outdoor patio until COVID-19 restrictions in Yamhill County allow for tastings in the spacious, modern, indoor seating area. Guests are welcomed into the indoor tasting room to check in, shop and enjoy the views.