Their tasting room experience is one that needs to be preserved. A lot of wineries are focused on giving customers almost an “elite” experience. Fancy tasting room, special food pairings, a luxurious sit-down tasting, etc. All of those things are great, impressive, in fact. However, Ghost Hill does something that lets both the wine and the unique Oregon spirit shine through. Their tasting room is the raw essence of Oregon and the terroir that is so critical to Pinot noir. See for yourself.
You follow the signs, drive up to what seems to be someone’s home, complete with swing set and treehouse outside, and then you realize it’s a tasting room! Simple, charming, and the epitome of rustic, they are a must-experience. They operate seasonally (meaning visit them while you can because they cut us off from the wine around Thanksgiving). Ghost Hill uses all estate fruit to craft their wine, and is named for the hill beside their vineyards, which you can see from their open-air treehouse tasting room.
They are named Ghost Hill because of a haunted hill that you can see from their tasting room. It’s named such because a gold miner was murdered for his gold, and some people say they’ve seen his ghost. The images below show, from left to right, “ghost” hill, the tree in front of the tasting room blocking the view of the vineyards in the distance, and finally, where the vineyards meet “ghost” hill.
The wine was of course noteworthy as well. The wine that got them chosen for IPNC last year was the 2010 Bayliss-Bower Vineyard Pinot Noir, a wine that is elegant, has licorice and spice notes, and is a classic Oregon Pinot noir. It’s everything that Oregon Pinot noir should be, smooth and captivating, with a little bit of fruit and lots of character. We also had the 2009 Prospector’s Reserve Pinot Noir, a bolder wine, a 2012 “Spirit of Pinot Noir” Rosé, a dry and heavy rosé, and a 2011 Pinot Noir Blanc, another lovely white Pinot noir. They did this in stainless steel instead of oak, so it’s crisp with citrus notes and delicious.
The white Pinot noir and their “classic” Pinot noir were definitely stand-outs from everything I’ve tried so far. They are unique and well-made.
Visit the Ghost Hill tasting room Saturdays and Sundays between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 12220 Bayliss Road, Carlton, OR 97111.
They are open year-round by appointment, so if you are determined (with good cause), call Mike and Drenda Bayliss at 503-550-0104 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.