Where Art Can Be Found in the Vineyard and on the Labels
The Hills, father and daughter, are artists. Bill (William) Hill started his winegrowing career in 1979 with the inaugural vintage of William Hill Cabernet Sauvignon.
Bill sold the William Hill Estate Winery in 1992 but never stopped developing vineyards and making wine under various boutique labels. Elana Hill was born and raised in Napa. After high school, Elana moved around California from Santa Cruz to San Francisco, Orange County and finally Los Angeles before moving back five years ago to work with her family. In that time away, Elana received her MFA in painting from Claremont Graduate University. Her first involvement in the family business was in 2011 when Bill asked to put her artwork on their Prime Solum labels – the 2009 vintage was being bottled that year – and since that time they have always included a new painting of Elanas on every vintage.
Bill has been recognized by Wine Spectator as one of the “Top 50 wine producers in the world who innovated, perfected, and led the international campaign for higher quality wine.” During his career, he developed over forty American “Grand Cru” quality vineyards, stretching from Santa Barbara to Washington State, perhaps the most of any vineyard architect and designer in the U.S.
Elana “moves through urban and rural spaces” collecting textures, forms, and silhouettes to use in her paintings and says “I’m feeling as if I am navigating languages written by others, taking notes in order to create my own. Electricity, sewage, water, gas, and humans are pumped through the dense flesh of cement, metal, and dirt in our cities.” She adds, “In the rural country I grew up in, like urban spaces, persistent new growth pushes through the bones and shells of exhausted structures. These paintings are a micro and simultaneous- ly macro vision of the spaces in which we exist.”
TASTING ROOM EXPERIENCE
Tasting experiences are often hosted by Elana, (who also wears hats as winegrower and tasting room manager) and offer tasting flights and wines by the glass or bottle from the family’s Prime Solum and Expression 38° labels. Options include a pairing menu of locally produced small bites and sharable platters and more expanded experiences that include barrel tastings, vintage vertical tastings, food pairings, and single varietal comparisons of Pinot Noir from Oregon and the California Coast. The winery welcomes walk-in guests for standard tastings or wines by the glass, but appointments are necessary for some of the more in-depth experiences. Look for vineyard experiences in the future, which will include a tasting with a visit just up the street to their family vineyard, Brokenrock.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
1021 Atlas Peak Road, Napa, CA 94558 www.primesolum.com // 707-492-3531
Article By: Eve Bushman // Photos By: Junior Rodriguez