Maresh Red Hills, the fifth-oldest vineyard in Oregon, is in the center of the Dundee Hills, the historic hotspot for wine grapes that stretches roughly from Dayton to Lafayette. Atop Worden Hill on the west side of Dundee, Maresh (pronounced “marsh”) Red Hills Vineyard is the place where, 50 years ago, the road ended.
“A view lot in the country” is what Loie and Jim Maresh Sr. were seeking in 1959 when they found a 27-acre hilltop farm for sale in the Red Hills of Dundee. The owner refused to sell a view lot only, so Loie and Jim courageously bought the whole farm.
No matter that Jim’s closest exposure to farming was passing the Agriculture building on his way to business classes at the University of Wisconsin. The Maresh Farm was eventually expanded to over 140 acres as adjacent farms were put up for sale. It was Dick Erath who convinced Jim Sr. and Loie to plant Pinot Noir in 1970 in what would become the fifth oldest vineyard in Oregon and the first vineyard on Worden Hill Road.
The Maresh family has had a long and memorable presence in the Dundee Hills. In 1980 Jim and Loie’s daughter, Martha, married Fred Arterberry, Jr. who was one of the first winemakers in Oregon to have a degree in fermentation science from the University of California at Davis. Fred Arterberry was one of the early pioneer winemakers the 1970’s and produced many highly acclaimed wines from the Maresh Vineyard. In 1983 Martha and Fred had a son, Jim Arterberry Maresh. His father’s winery label — Arterberry — closed upon Fred’s death in 1990. Beginning in 2005 Jim founded his own winery, Arterberry Maresh, and is the first in Oregon to represent a third generation in Oregon’s wine industry.
Raised on his family’s farm since he was born has given Jim a strong connection to and appreciation of the Red Hills of Dundee. He knows the vineyards, the neighbors and the various seasons and vintages that challenge and reward each grape grower and winemaker. His is a deep history of family, farming and winemaking. His wines reflect that heritage and the experience of three generations farming since 1959.