We are pretty big on first impressions. Thinking back to Arterberry Maresh's Jim Maresh's first visit to Avalon, he came carrying his lone wine - Maresh Vineyard Pinot noir 2005, which made our heads spin exorcist-style. Then his second visit soon after, with a bottle of wine that was nothing short of a total epiphany - his first Maresh Vineyard Chardonnay (also 2005).
Back then, Jim had two Arterberry Maresh wines. It was easy, right?
Now it's 2015. Jim's made some of the top Oregon wines several vintages running. He's racked up big Wine Advocate scores for nearly every wine he has made. Regardless of what you think of wine scores, that is a huge achievement.
The Story of Arterberry Maresh
The year 1959 is not one often associated with the Oregon wine industry, but it's the year that Jim and Loie Maresh purchased their 27 acre hilltop orchard smack in the center of Dundee's Red Hills. Gradually expanding to 124 acres of possibly the most "prime" vineyard real estate in Oregon, Maresh Vineyard is the fifth oldest in Oregon, with plantings from 1970 on.
Jim and Loie's daughter, Martha Maresh, married Fred Arterberry in the early 1980's. Fred made wine for the family (at the Eyrie Vineyards' winery) under the Arterberry Cellars label. Fred's 1985 Arterberry Reserve Pinot noir received 95 points from Wine Spectator, an unheard of score for the time.
In 1990, with Fred's passing, the Arterberry Cellars label disappeared. Rex Hill, Penner-Ash, Archery Summit, Daedalus, Sineann, Et Fille and Scott Paul wineries purchased the fruit, with some wines made under the Red Barn label for sale at the Maresh family tasting room.
Jim Arterberry-Maresh, Martha and Fred's son, grew up with the vines, hearing about his father's wines and learning the vineyard business. In 2007 he revived the Arterberry label, incorporating his last name to create Arterberry Maresh. Jim's wines show that Fred's skills have been passed down.