Nelson Hill Winery
One of the tiniest producers in the Anderson Valley, Nelson Hill Winery exclusively crafts premium, Burgundian-style Pinot Noir from the Hill family's Deep End Vineyard.
Nestled in the heart of Mendocino County in the Anderson Valley lies the quaint, picturesque site of Nelson Hill Winery. Here, Greg and Barbara Hill are pursuing their passion and dream of making a memorable, Burgundian-style Pinot Noir.
The project of Nelson Hill Winery began in 1999 when Greg and Barbara bought a small Anderson Valley ranch from the Pinoli family, a pioneer Italian-American grape-growing family who first planted wine grapes in the Anderson Valley in 1911. The Pinoli family owned many acres of land in the region and is said to have founded one of the first bonded wineries in the Valley.
This historic ranch, and future site of Nelson Hill Winery, was located in the "golden mile" of wineries, close by Golden Eye, Roederer Estate, Husch, and Navarro Vineyards, and it included an old farmhouse that was believed to be one of the oldest - if not the oldest - the entire Valley. It was the perfect setting for Greg and Barbara Hill to start their family winery. They immediately went to work renovating the farmhouse and in 2001, planted a small Pinot Noir vineyard they named Deep End Vineyard (referencing the more northern, or 'deep' and cooler end of the Anderson Valley). The vineyard was planted on a south-facing slope exactly where the redwoods meet the oaks in a unique ecosystem. It also benefits from the combination of cool nights and fog funneled in from the nearby Pacific Ocean, and consistently sunny, warm days - the ideal setting for Pinot Noir.
Greg and Barbara Hill developed their passion for wine, and particularly Pinot Noir, over the course of many trips required by their old professions. Now both retired, Greg was an editor for the Wall Street Journal, and Barbara served as the vice president and treasurer for Adobe Systems Incorporated. Their recent retirement has given them the time and energy needed to focus on Nelson Hill Winery full-time.
With the help of consulting vineyard manager and winemaker Deny Dudzik, Greg and Barbara Hill crafted their first commercial vintage for Nelson Hill Winery in 2007 - just over 100 cases of Pinot Noir from their own Deep End Vineyard. While their production numbers haven't grown much since, their presence in the industry certainly has. Now with several 90+ scores and a handful of medals to their name, Nelson Hill Winery has become a well-respected name among Anderson Valley's boutique producers.
We are happy to present this passionate Pinot Noir producer to our Pinot Noir Wine Club members. Cheers!
Deny Dudzik - Vine Manager & Winemaker
Deny Dudzik wears two hats at Nelson Hill Winery, acting as both vineyard manager and winemaker for the small family label. Trained as a field biologist, Denny is an International Certified Crop Advisor who consults widely on vineyard practices. He was also the co-winemaker at Handley Vineyards for a decade, giving him a unique combination of skills. Deny works closely with Ardzrooni Vineyard Management, the largest vineyard manager in Anderson Valley, whose team uses sustainable, environmentally friendly methods on Nelson Hill's Deep End Vineyard to produce the fullest expression of fruit without the use of herbicides and pesticides.
In the cellar, Deny's goal is to maximize the expression of Deep End Vineyard's fruit, while capturing the delicacy and subtlety of the Pinot Noir varietal. He is assisted by Phillip Baxter, co-founder of Baxter Winery, which provides custom-crush, barrel storage and bottling services for Nelson Hill Winery. Phillip and Deny are both firm believers in the Old World winemaking techniques that have made French Burgundy the standard for Pinot Noir for centuries.