Two pioneering Oregon wine couples and a veteran vineyard manager won awards at the Oregon Wine Board’s annual dinner in February in Portland.
Jim and Loie Maresh earned the Founders Award. They founded Maresh Red Hills Vineyard in the Willamette Valley’s Dundee Hills area in 1970, and it is the state’s fifth oldest vineyard. Wine made from the fruit of their vineyard earned early acclaim for Oregon’s signature wine, Pinot noir.
Earl and Hilda Jones, owners of Abacela Winery in Roseburg, in Southern Oregon, won the Lifetime Achievement Award. They were the first to make Tempranillo wine in the Pacific Northwest, planting grapes in 1995 and pursuing their passion for the Spanish-style wine for 20 years. A news release from the Oregon Wine Board credits them with altering the course of Oregon wine history and adding to the state’s “arsenal of acclaimed wines.”
Chad Vargas, vineyard manager of Adelsheim Vineyard in the Willamette Valley, won the Outstanding Industry Service Award. He is described as active in the industry’s relations with federal and state representatives and is chair of Low Input Viticulture and Enology, or LIVE, an organization that pushes industry sustainability. He also served on the technical committee for Oregon State University’s Wine Research Institute.
The awards dinner was held Feb. 24 in conjunction with the annual Oregon Wine Symposium in Portland.