In 1981, Doug and Darci Hill settled down on an acre of land at the northern edge of Yountville. Their children, Ryan and Carly, grew up playing in the vineyards, tending chickens, and played baseball and basketball. They also helped their neighbors grow organic fruits and vegetables for the local restaurants including Thomas Keller’s world renowned French Laundry restaurant.
After three decades of farming grapes for some of Napa Valley’s finest wine producers, Doug and the family decided that their family should enter the wine business. Hill Family Estate was born out of the desire for the family to work together – sharing the experience of crafting fine wines that showcased the grapes that Doug farmed and then introducing those wines to the consumer at a tasting room in their hometown, and American foodie capital, Yountville, California.
Hill Family Estate produced their first wines in 2001, a Merlot and a red blend called Origin. Production ranges between 9,000 to 12,000 cases annually. Having a repertoire of 12 different vineyards to draw from they are able to select only the highest quality fruit for their wines.
Today the Hill Family owns 120 acres of vineyards with a focus on Atlas Peak, Carneros and Oak Knoll. They are 100% family-farmed, family-owned and family-operated – producing fruit for both Yountville wineries and their own family business.
Doug, the vintner and vineyard manager, farms the grapes and helps craft the wine while Ryan runs sales and manages the winery. Ryan is active in the local community and passionate about helping other small producers springboard their brands. Carly lives and works in San Diego and hosts tastings and dinners in Southern California while Darci can be found at the tasting room, with Jack (the dog) by her side, tending to the flowers and enhancing our curb appeal. Hill Family Estate is the culmination of Doug’s vision – a way to share his love of the valley, of farming and of wine with his children and wine lovers everywhere.
Since the inaugural vintage, winemaking at Hill Family Estate is led by Alison Doran. Alison was introduced to Doug while he was growing grapes and she was making wine for Lewis Cellars. Doug loved Alison’s style, personality and determination to produce the finest wines possible. Alison developed this skill while being mentored by renowned wine expert Andre Tchelistcheff, completing a degree in winemaking from UC Davis and spending time in the legendary winery-filled region of Alsace, France. Today, Doug and Alison work closely together selecting the highest quality grapes and producing ultra premium wines.