In 2008, Martha Maresh and Steve Mikami began construction on the Powell Hill Winery. Named after the original pioneer family who farmed the land, the winery sits at the highest point of Maresh Vineyard with a view to the Cascades. Completed in time for the 2011 vintage, it is the first of its kind on the farm. Well placed within a mile of all vineyards, this proximity allows more intimate knowledge of each particular site throughout the seasons and a greater understanding of the sense of places.
Fruit is hand harvested, handled minimally and processed immediately. Sugar, acid or water additions have never been needed. Restrained extraction techniques and a preference for neutral French oak helps to highlight the purity of old vine fruit. An interest in judiciously exposing young wines to oxygen early helps achieve aromatic integration, fine texture, length and longevity. The wines are transparent and unadorned, all estate bottled, unfined and unfiltered.
Raised on the Maresh family farm, Jim worked in the vineyards at an early age and learned to farm grapes in the Dundee Hills from his grandparents, Jim and Loie Maresh and his mother, Martha Maresh. His first winemaking lessons came from gleaning grapes after harvest and in 2005 he founded Arterberry Maresh Winery honoring his father’s earlier label (Arterberry) and his Maresh history. Jim produces only Pinot noir and Chardonnay from the Dundee Hills – with no filtration or additions (water, sugar, acid, nutrients, ect…) Each vintage reflects the year in the vineyard and every vintage has it’s story.
Destemmed in 1¼ ton lots, Jim’s light touch in the winery allows the intrinsic character of the wine to blossom. Passive temperature management ensures spontaneous fermentation proceeds and is monitored and guided by sensory analysis, gentle extraction techniques and low peak temperatures. Immediately upon reaching dryness, the lots are gently pressed in a half-ton wood bladder press and settle 2-4 weeks before being transferred to 5%-10% new French Oak barrels for 14-18 months. They are only racked to prepare for bottling.
Focusing on purity, precision and freshness, the Chardonnay from Arterberry Maresh is built to age. Whole clusters of Chardonnay are gently pressed and see an extended settling period before being racked to 10%-15% new French oak barrels for fermentation. Malolactic proceeds naturally and is followed by a 16-month elevage on wholly undisturbed lees.