The Maresh family has had a long and memorable presence in the Dundee Hills of Oregon. I spoke with Martha Maresh and she detailed the family history. Jim and Loie Maresh were Wisconsin natives who met as students at Marquette University. The two bought a 26-acre farm in the Dundee Hills in 1959. They expanded their holdings to 140 acres while Jim worked for Dunn & Bradstreet and served as a reserve officer in the Navy in Portland. Originally theirs was the only home on their hill and they enjoyed the life of farming cherries, nuts and prunes. In 1969, David Lett had the only vineyard in Yamhill County. At the time, Dick Erath suggested to the Maresh family that they had a superior site for growing grapes. In 1970, they followed his suggestion and planted three acres of vines. This was the first vineyard on Worden Hill Road and Oregon's fifth oldest vineyard.
The Maresh estate now consists of 124 acres of several varieties including Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. About half the grapes (600 cases) are vinified as Red Barn Pinot Noir. This wine has been made by several winemakers through the years (the Maresh’s traded grapes for wine) and sold only through the Red Barn tasting room. The remainder of the grapes Pinot Noir have been sold to Daedelus Cellars, et Fille, Scott Paul, and Sineann. Rex Hill produced a Maresh Vineyard Pinot Noir for many years until the winery was sold a few years back.