Luminous Hills is the name of the home estate of Seven of Hearts owner and winemaker Byron Dooley. Just three wines are made under this label, the 'Estate Grown' Pinot is a blend across the site while 'Lux' and 'Astra' are specific selections of blocks of vines and Pinot Noir clones matched together to create superior wines of some style. Lux takes in two clones from two particular areas, a Pommard clone from the lower slopes providing depth and body while 777 clone from volcanic Jory soil gives the wine lift, lightness and elegance. Astra is all about dramatic aromatic fruit from the Northeastern blocks of vineyard.
Winemaker Byron Dooley was introduced to wine whilst studying at Oregon State University and upon graduating ended up working in Silicon Valley. When the technology bubble burst in 2000, he and wife Dana sold their house in San Francisco and bought a farm in Napa County. He then studied winemaking and viticulture at Napa Valley College and experimented with planting a small vineyard with Bordeaux grape varieties.
On finishing his degree, Byron and Dana bought a property in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA of Willamette Valley and after seeking local expert advice planted 15 hectares on what was now known as Luminous Hills with Pinot Noir, choosing clones particularly well suited to his site.
In 2006 he made his first wine in Oregon and began contracting selected growers in both Willamette and Colombia Valleys to create a portfolio of limited production wines that reflect their distinctive terroir. Many of these are made in quantities of fewer than 100 cases.
Today wines are produced under two labels : Seven of Hearts is the name for the labour of love that is Byron’s regional and single vineyard wines, whilst wines bottled as Luminous Hills come exclusively from his home vineyard. Lux and Astra are both selections of different sections of vineyard and clones to further show off this unique terroir.