When we first began exploring the concept of a vineyard in southern Oregon back in 2001, we were absolute novices. While it sounds incredibly trite, we knew we loved wine and the thought of making our own wine seemed so “romantic.” Though we had no idea how to start, we proceeded cautiously and thanks to a lot of research and hard work, as well as the contributions of a lot of great people (see acknowledgements below), Red Lily Vineyards has become a reality. Along the way, we’ve had to redefine the concept of “romance” with respect to the wine business. After all, it’s farming first with every vision that term conjures up, and technical winemaking second. Nonetheless, we feel a compelling satisfaction that we’ve achieved something unique with Red Lily. And of course, the real romance comes from drinking the wine!
While Red Lily Vineyards is named principally for the rare Bolander’s Lily that grows in the neighboring Siskiyou Mountains, it has another very special meaning to us. Our daughter and youngest child is named Lily and given her “bold” personality, she certainly deserves to share as namesake.
— Les and Rachael Martin
Red Lily Vineyards is and will hopefully always be a “dream in progress.” And like any dream, it requires a lot of hard work and patience. We are forever grateful to our families and friends for their love and support, without which Red Lily would not be possible. In particular, Rachael’s parents, Larry and Becky Sullivan, have been instrumental in our success. Larry was the first one to suggest the possibility of growing grapes on our site and subsequently did a lot of the back-breaking labor involved in establishing our first vineyard. Meanwhile, Becky watched over our young children while we worked on our early vintages and kept us apprised of any important wine-related information (she could give “Jeeves” a run for his money).
We’d like to offer special thanks to the following people:
Randy Gold, Pacific Crest Vineyard Services
– Randy has helped us on virtually every aspect of establishing our vineyards, from the initial site analysis through planting, and he continues to manage our vineyards.
– Sarah was an immensely talented winemaker at Foris Winery and subsequently became head winemaker at RoxyAnn Winery. Sadly, Sarah passed away in February 2004 at the same time as she was establishing her own wine label, Sarah Powell Wines. We greatly miss Sarah and her unrelenting pursuit of perfection.
We’d also like to acknowledge and thank the following individuals for their contribution to our success:
(a great friend and a consummate wine expert!)
Jack Day, RoxyAnn Winery
Michael Donovan, RoxyAnn Winery
Richard and Pat Ellis, Pebblestone Cellars
Don and Gloria Goodman
(Don and Gloria are “friends that are family”, and Gloria came up with the Red Lily name.)
Gus Janeway, Velocity Cellars
Greg Jones, Ph.D., Southern Oregon University
Don Kano, Kano Communications, Inc.
Kurt and Laura Lotspeich, Pheasant Hill Vineyards/Trium Wine
Richard Vasquez, Smile Design Group
Eric Weisinger, Eric Weisinger Wine Consulting and Vineyard Services USA (Email Eric)