Jonathan Lampe
May 25, 2016 | Jonathan Lampe

Homemade Margherita Pizza with the 2013 REX HILL Alpine Vineyard Pinot Noir

The first time I tried the 2013 REX HILL Alpine Vineyard Pinot Noir, I thought it would make an excellent companion to some Italian food. The Alpine has a note of bell pepper and tomato leaf that distinguishes it from the other single-vineyard bottlings REX HILL produced in 2013. It yearned to be coupled with a rich tomato sauce.

I opted for a homemade Margherita Pizza with fresh mozzarella, Roma tomatoes and fresh-picked basil. The pairing wasn’t a disappointment. While I’ll sometimes take the trouble to make my own pizza dough from scratch, I’m not above buying pizza dough from the store, or in a pinch, calling for delivery.


Homemade Margherita Pizza


500 grams all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
350 grams lukewarm water


  1. In a medium bowl combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water, and mix with your hand until the water is incorporated and a shaggy dough forms. The dough will be sticky, but don’t be afraid. Once the dough is incorporated, use your other hand to squeegee any excess dough off your hand and back into the bowl.
  2. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a clean large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature in a draft-free place until the dough is doubled in size. This may take up to 18 hours, depending on how warm your kitchen is. I usually plan for an overnight rise. You can make this dough 24 hours in advance by letting the dough rise in the fridge.
  3. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Divide into 3 equal portions. Take one portion of dough and gather 4 corners to the center to create 4 folds. Turn seam side down and roll into an even ball. Repeat with remaining portions. Let dough rest, covered, until soft and pliable, about 1 hour.
  4. You’re now ready to shape the ball into your pizza. It’s tempting to start spinning the dough overhead and tossing it into the air. Resist the temptation. In my experience, it usually ends with a face (and kitchen) full of excess flour. Instead gently pull the edges evenly, using gravity to stretch the dough out into the desired shape. Be careful not to rip the dough.
  5. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Get out a 9” cast iron skillet and press the dough into the pan. Load up the dough with your favorite sauces and toppings. Brush a little olive oil around the edge of the dough. Bake your creation in the oven for 15-20 minutes, checking it occasionally for bubbles.
  6. Remove from the oven when the crust is nicely browned and the center of the pizza is cooked.
Time Posted: May 25, 2016 at 2:44 PM Permalink to Homemade Margherita Pizza with the 2013 REX HILL Alpine Vineyard Pinot Noir Permalink
Kelly Irelan
May 18, 2016 | Kelly Irelan

Smoked Salmon & Dill Tartine paired with our 2015 REX HILL Rosé

Spring is my favorite season of the year, and I’m going to celebrate the longer and warmer days by saying #yeswayrosé. I encourage you to drink pink this season with the my favorite REX HILL wine, the 2015 REX HILL Pinot Noir Rosé. This 100% REX HILL Estate Vineyard grown Rosé is crisp and well-balanced with notes of strawberries, figs and rose petal jam.

For effortless entertaining, pair this wine with easy to eat and finger friendly bites, like Smoked Salmon & Dill Tartine. 

Smoked Salmon & Dill Tartine:

  • Toasted bread
  • Layer of fresh chèvre
  • Layer of smoked salmon
  • Sprinkle of coarse sea salt
  • Fresh dill & shaved radish to garnish


Time Posted: May 18, 2016 at 10:51 AM Permalink to Smoked Salmon & Dill Tartine paired with our 2015 REX HILL Rosé Permalink
Ryan Collins
May 6, 2016 | Ryan Collins

The effects of water on tannin levels in grape development - Part four: How does this help us understand dry farmed sites?

In February I had the pleasure of speaking at the Oregon Wine Industry Symposium on a panel talking about grape and wine tannins. Anna Matzinger, Steve Price and I wanted to clarify what tannins are, how their levels in wine affect texture and structure of the wine, where tannins come from, the role of soil moisture on grape tannin levels and how harvest date affects quality of tannins.

I was tasked with talking about the relationship between soil water status and grape tannin levels. It was a great opportunity to improve my understanding of the relationship, and helped me come to terms with the difference between dry farming here in the Willamette Valley and the irrigated vineyards in Southern Oregon. On dry farmed sites factors like soil type, depth and texture, along with the seasonal rainfall have a profound effect on tannin level. In vineyards where there isn’t enough soil moisture to sustain the vines for the entire season, supplementary irrigation is needed. In those vineyards you have more control over the tannin levels of the grapes. To understand this topic and prep for my panel discussion, I studied three key disciplines: 1) soil science; 2) plant physiology; and 3) irrigation management.

Before I get into this I will say that I think the Internet is great for researching topics but I really like books.


Now that you understand how soil science, plant physiology & irrigation affect grape growing, how will this help us understand dry farmed sites?

  1. Sites with deep soils and high PAW, like those on the valley floor, never have enough stress to restrict shoot growth or berry size. They end up producing huge canopies with high amounts of shading and large berries that lack concentration of phenolic compounds.
  2. In years where we have low summer rainfall and the shoot tips stop growing before veraison we can confidently predict that the tannin and anthocyanin levels will be higher than average. Subsequent wine quality will also be higher than average.
  3. When winemakers talk about the differences in tannin structure between marine sedimentary soils and volcanic soils this could be explained more by the soil tension during the season than the mineral content of the soils.
  4. Site selection trumps winemaking every time. You can’t make great wine from deep fertile soils. 



Time Posted: May 6, 2016 at 3:15 PM Permalink to The effects of water on tannin levels in grape development - Part four: How does this help us understand dry farmed sites? Permalink
Leanne Bellncula
May 4, 2016 | Leanne Bellncula

Playing with your food - Kettle Chips part 2

I, on the other hand, have been known to be a chip fiend.  There is never a shortage of chips (Kettle) or crackers in my pantry!  So, you can imagine my delight when I was asked to be part of a Kettle Chip & Wine Pairing tasting.  However, I tend to be a purist when it comes to chips – only straight-up original Kettle Chips for this chip lover.  I was certainly skeptical at the variety of crazy flavors beautifully arranged on the platter before me.  Three crunches in, I was pleasantly surprised at how some of the most unique flavors of chips seemed to bring out the best in the wines and vice versa.  I was particularly shocked at how well the Salt & Vinegar chip paired with the A to Z Pinot Gris.  Who knew?!  That’s what I love about food and wine…  Some of the most unusual combinations sometimes make the most beautiful, unexpected pairings.  So, keep playing with your food!

Time Posted: May 4, 2016 at 2:00 PM Permalink to Playing with your food - Kettle Chips part 2 Permalink
Jonathan Lampe
May 3, 2016 | Jonathan Lampe

Playing with your food - Kettle Chips part 1

College days aside, I’ve not really considered a bag of potato chips to be a meal. With the diversity of flavors seen on the grocery shelf these days, however, most of the flavor components of your favorite dish are represented. Sweetness can be found in Honey Barbeque or Maple Bacon flavors, acid in Salt & Vinegar, spicy heat in Jalapeño. Of course, they all have the salt element.

It made sense, then, when I attended a wine tasting here at the winery that took this concept and applied it to wine pairing. We were provided a variety of chips and wine with which to create pairings and see how the flavors came together.

I often mention to folks in the tasting room how well our Chardonnay goes with salt in food. It was a pleasant reminder to see that the humble, plain potato chip could have quite an effect on the flavor of the Chardonnay. It also provided me inspiration for my next movie night snack.

Even more interesting was how the Barbeque flavor and the Maple Bacon both paired so well with Pinot Noir. Both flavors provided a sweetness that complimented the earthy tartness of the wine such that I plan to open a Pinot the next time I heat up the grill.

Perhaps the best part was that this exercise is easily and inexpensively replicated. If you enjoy hosting wine tasting nights with friends, pick up a few bags of chips and see what flavor combinations surprise you.

Time Posted: May 3, 2016 at 5:13 PM Permalink to Playing with your food - Kettle Chips part 1 Permalink

The Tasting Room will be closed on Thursday, November 3rd for our annual hospitality summit. We will reopen on Friday, November 4th from 11am-5pm.


The health and safety of our customers and staff are our primary concern as restrictions on our county are relaxed. We are currently assessing how we will again open to the public in a safe and healthy way and will continue to post updates on our website as our plans solidify.


In the meantime, we are still able to take your calls, answer emails, and pack wine to deliver to your door. To arrange a wine delivery, please reach out to Jamie, our Wine Club Manager at 


Stay well. We look forward to seeing you again before too long for a toast!


The REX HILL team