A Creator of Good Balanced Wine
Breaking glass ceilings was never the plan, but for Lynn Penner-Ash it’s always been about creating good wine, a goal that her company, Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, still strives towards today. After what would be an enormous amount of achievements for some, she is the perfect example of where hard work and desire can take you.
After being offered a position as winemaker at Rex Hill Vineyards, she and her husband Ron Penner-Ash moved to Oregon in 1988. Following her success at Rex Hill Vineyards she began to explore a new idea. “My husband and I started thinking about starting a “small” project on the side that he could also participate in the wine industry,” Lynn explained. “We went to my current employer, Rex Hill Vineyards, and asked if we might do a small bottling with our name on the label.” After almost 15 years at Rex Hill Vineyards, she left in 2002 to grow Penner-Ash Wine Cellars full time with her husband.
Today Penner-Ash Cellars is best known for their Pinot Noirs, as they are 85 percent of the cellars’ production. Since the company’s first vintage in 1998, it has gone from 125 cases initially to 16,000 cases today. The company crafts its wines from individual vineyard sites and makes small bottlings to showcase these particular sites.
Thankful for how far they’ve come, Lynn Penner-Ash reminds readers,“We work very hard at crafting wines that are immediately intoxicating in a good way. The aroma of the wine must entice you to take that first sip. We are known for the balance and texture of our wines,” she continues. “The flow from start to finish … we don’t ask our customers to believe our wines will be good in a few years, they are good now.”
The Penner-Ash winery is one of the most beautiful in Yamhill County. Designed by WaterLeaf Architecture and Interiors and built by the O’Brien Constructors, LLC, the winery celebrates the Northwest and its Pacific Rim location with local, natural materials and clean, simple lines. It is a sight to behold.
Photos by Andrea Johnson