Mondavi connection launches new Umpqua Valley winery

By on October 28, 2013

Scott Kelley and Dyson DeMara plan to make PInot Noir, red Bordeaux blends, Syrah, Chardonnay and Riesling at Paul O'Brien Winery in Roseburg, Ore.

Scott Kelley and Dyson DeMara plan to make PInot Noir, red Bordeaux blends, Syrah, Chardonnay and Riesling at Paul O’Brien Winery in Roseburg, Ore. (Photo courtesy of Scott Kelley)

ROSEBURG, Ore. — Scott Kelley and Dyson DeMara have spent much of their careers working at some of the world’s most recognizable wineries, and their friendship now has them making wine together in Southern Oregon.

Scott Kelley, left, and Dyson DeMara have launched Paul O'Brien Winery in Roseburg, Ore.

Scott Kelley, left, and Dyson DeMara have launched Paul O’Brien Winery in Roseburg, Ore. (Photo courtesy of Scott Kelley)

This fall, they launched Paul O’Brien Winery in downtown Roseburg, and branding their new custom-crush project came naturally — a blend of their middle names, starting with DeMara’s.

“The relationship began at Robert Mondavi Winery in 1999, and we have been friends ever since,” Kelley told Great Northwest Wine.

Paul O’Brien Winery is billed as the Umpqua Valley’s first urban winery, and production began last month with crush at the former Hansen Chevrolet building. They plan to open up the doors to their tasting room, restaurant and market next spring.

“We’re using Old World and New World technologies to make wines that are tailored to our customers’ stylistic goals,” DeMara said in a news release. “Our hope is that locals and tourists can have a place downtown to taste wine and really experience wine and food culture.”

DeMara said he will continue to own and operate nearby historic HillCrest Winery and Distillery, the state’s oldest estate winery which he purchased in 2003 from the late Richard Sommer.

Paul O’Brien plans to produce Bordeaux blends, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Syrah within the 27,000-square-foot building.

DeMara is into his fourth decade as a winemaker, a background that includes famed Pine Ridge Vineyards as well as viticulture, research and marketing in Asia, Europe and South America. He continues to make wine in France, Germany and Spain, in addition to the 1,400 cases he produces at HillCrest.

He indicated that Kelley will be handling a majority of the day-to-day duties at Paul O’Brien.

Scott Kelley and Dyson DeMara have launched Paul O'Brien Winery at the former Hansen Chevrolet Building in Roseburg, Ore.

Scott Kelley and Dyson DeMara have launched Paul O’Brien Winery at the former Hansen Chevrolet Building in Roseburg, Ore. (Photo courtesy of Scott Kelley)

“Scott’s vast experience and technical winemaking skills will provide custom crush clients a real opportunity to make great wines and grow their brands,” said DeMara, who spent 11 years at Mondavi before the HillCrest purchase.

Kelley graduated from University of California-Davis then began making wine at Edgewood Estate in the Napa Valley.

In 1999, Kelley joined the Robert Mondavi team as assistant winemaker at La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi and took over as director of winemaking two years later. In 2003, his role expanded to include the Mondavi family interests in Italy — working with the wines of Luce, Lucente and Ornellaia in collaboration with Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi — as well as in Australia on a joint venture with Rosemount Estates.

In 2007, Kelley took over as director of winemaking for Estancia Estates in Acampo, Calif. His focus there was Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and this new project removes him from his native Monterey County.

“We’re excited to see the manifestation of our vision for an urban winery in Roseburg,” Kelley said. “Paul O’Brien Winery will be the gateway to the Umpqua Valley and provide a unique opportunity for tourists and local wine lovers alike to experience the region.”

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the president and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for 15 years. He is a frequent wine judge along the West Coast and contributor to Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine, the region's longest-running golf publication.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Afternoon Brief, Oct. 31 : WIN Advisor

  2. Regina M. Lutz

    November 6, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Congratulations and Best Wishes to Dyson and Scott! Two of the most extremely talented wine gurus anywhere…I’m betting this new venture will be a huge success. Nice to see the two of you doing so well!

    Best,

    Regina

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