Meet the Family ~ Dyson & Susan Demara, Owners of HillCrest Vineyard
It all began at the tender age of 18 with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and a young girl, who is now his wife. Struck by the wine bug, Dyson began his career over 35 years ago working for Pine Ridge Winery in the Stags Leap AVA of Napa Valley and later moved on to the Robert Mondavi Winery. In his four decades in the wine business, Dyson has owned vineyards and wineries in both Napa Valley and Oregon. Today he and his family craft old world styled wines in Oregon at HillCrest Vineyard which is Oregon’s oldest estate winery and the birthplace of Oregon Pinot Noir. In addition, he travels three times a year to make wines as well in the Mosel Valley of Germany, Priorato, Spain, Roussillon, France, Sicily, Italy and Burgenland, Austria. Dyson's journey of wine has been highlighted with appearances in the wine movie Mondovino, in the History Channels “History of Wine” and on OPB as well as citations in many books. Probably the two greatest highlights of his wine career are that he was the first western lecturer on wine at the University of Beijing and he was one of 15 winemakers selected in the world to present their wines at the 900th anniversary of Klosterneuberg, the world’s oldest winery in Vinenna, Austria. Dyson believes in the words of the great Henri Jayer that the trick is there are no tricks and he makes wines using the most natural techniques that taste like a place and not a grape....To the Genie in the bottle!
Susan grew up in the Napa Valley and moved to San Diego to attend college and that is where she met Dyson. She has always been interested in the culinary arts and became even more interested in food and wines after enjoying the Rieslings of the Mosel valley while visiting friends. Upon her return to the states she worked in a French Restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area and later moved to Portland to attend Western Culinary School. When Susan finished school she worked at Auberge Du Soleil and Oakville Grocery in the Napa Valley
While living in Napa they purchased a vineyard in the Atlas Peak AVA in the Napa Valley where she started to focus more on the wine and vineyards. At HillCrest Susan has her hands in all aspects of the winery, from vineyard and winemaking to receiving guests. Susan loves to explore the world of food and wine and enjoys her regular travels. Susan and Dyson live with their three children Hanna, Parker and Tucker in the Umpqua Valley.