The creation of ROCO wines is the result of twenty years of dreaming, research, and planning. In 1987, the same year Rollin Soles began to develop the prestigious Argyle Winery, he also purchased a unique hillside property in the Chehalem Mountain Range.
It was not until 2001 that Rollin and Corby Soles planted the hillside to Pinot Noir, and in 2003 produced their first Private Stash Pinot Noir. The result is a vineyard and wines that reflect the very best distillation of Rollin’s 30 years in Oregon viticulture and the property’s special characteristics. By 2009 the Soles built their on winery and added a tasting room in 2012. Rollin resigned his full time position at Argyle in early 2013 and began to focus his full attention on ROCO. Rollin remains as Argyle chief consulting winemaker.
The Soles’ small Wits’ End Vineyard is situated on the southern slopes of the Chehalem Mountain Range, approximately six miles from the small town of Newberg in Yamhill County. The site is superbly located. In the winter the Chehalem Mountains protect the vineyard from the northeast Arctic winds, and in the summer the Dundee Hills (to the south) transition the Pacific Ocean winds into gentle afternoon breezes.
The vineyard was planted to a high plant density (2,200 vines per acre) on devigorated rootstocks with what Rollin considers ”the three sexiest Dijon Pinot Noir clones available”. Further, the vineyard is enhanced by the unusual presence of two year-round springs. The private, cloistered nature and tranquility of the site flows into the essence of the wine. From this seven-acre vineyard the Soles’ produce a limited wine allocation for their family and friends, but are willing to share a small amount with true Pinot lovers each year.
THE ROCO LABEL
The thunderbird image on the ROCO wine labels is a representation of an ancient petroglyph discovered in Columbia River Gorge prior to damming the river near The Dalles, Oregon in the 1950’s. The petroglyph was removed from the canyon wall before the flooding. You can view the actual glyph, along with several others that were salvaged from the floods, at Horsethief Lake State Park in Washington. The bird image captures the wild essence and intriguing history of the Pacific Northwest and ROCO wines.