It's no secret I love food, but what goes best with food? Of course that would be wine. And needless to say, I love wine too.
I live just a stones throw from the incredible Willamette Valley which is Oregon's prize wine country and truly a breathtaking place to visit. If you have not been there, I highly recommend you add it to your bucket list.
Late September to early October is when the grapes are picked and the crush for that year begins. You will find me in one of the many exquisite tasting rooms in the Willamette Valley on any given Saturday (any given Sunday is reserved for football when applicable). On one such Saturday, we happened to catch a crush in process at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars.
What follows is a bit of information on the owner-wine maker, Lynn Penner-Ash.
Lynn’s interest in winemaking grew out of an early passion for the sciences. After a summer working for the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., she studied Botany at the University of California, Davis, the birthplace of the American wine industry. In her junior year she changed her major to Viticulture.
Then, after working the graveyard shift during crush at Domaine Chandon, she changed her degree again,from Viticulture to Enology.
After graduation, Lynn worked at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Domaine Chandon, and Chateau St. Jean. Intrigued by the emerging wine industry, Lynn and her husband Ron moved to Oregon in 1988 where Lynn became winemaker at Rex Hill Vineyards, becoming the first female winemaker hired in Oregon. Consistently producing award-winning wines, she became Rex Hill’s President and Chief Operating Officer in 1993 and continued on with Rex Hill until March 2002.
In 1998, Lynn started Penner-Ash Wine Cellars with husband Ron, carefully crafting small amounts of Pinot Noir and Syrah, while she was still at Rex Hill. Their early success with the label caused them to dream of what they could create and in 2001 Lynn focused full time on building Penner-Ash Wine Cellars. In 2005, Lynn and Ron designed and built their sustainable, gravity-flow estate winery surrounded by estate vineyards, a building that seems to spring from the land itself and is a reflection
of the values, spirit and winemaking philosophy of Lynn and Ron. Over the years, Penner-Ash has achieved impressive growth, going from 125 cases of Pinot Noir in 1998 to 15,000 cases of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Viognier and Riesling in 2015. Lynn has served on the board of the International Pinot Noir Celebration from 1996-2002, and acted as President in 1998. She is actively involved in the Salud! Barrel Auction and was a member of the steering committee from 1998 to 2001. Lynn has served on the Oregon Pinot Camp Board of Directors and is currently active on the curriculum committee.
I would like to add that this place should be on your list when you do visit the Oregon wine county. It is a beautiful tasting room with an inviting patio and a breathtaking view.
15771 NE Ribbon Ridge Road
Newberg, OR 97132