South Hill Crew
Our Underwood vineyards and winery require a huge effort to keep things running smoothly. We lean on our experience as winemakers in New Zealand but are always having to update our knowledge to reflect different growing conditions and wine making.
As we did in New Zealand we depend on many people to do the best they can trying to improve through new ideas and technology. Spencer Jones is responsible for the wine making at Underwood. We also rely on the experience and help from Phil and Spencer Hill’s two experienced winemakers in New Zealand, Matt Rutherford and Jules Randell. Although travel is involved, at the end of the day, it is very rewarding.
Oregon Kosher has given us tremendous support in making our kosher wines. Many of their staff have spent numerous hours at the winery.
Philip & Sheryl Jones
Founders / Directors
Philip and Sheryl purchased land in the Columbia Gorge in 2006. Vineyards were planted and a winery built over the next three years. Today this has grown to 45 acres of vineyards on 176 acres. Phil is the older but passionate guy at the vineyard. Spencer Hill’s New Zealand success was based on Phil’s winemaking passion for getting things right. Within four years of being the Winemaker at Spencer Hill, the winery had won the top Chardonnay prize in the world at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London. Many top awards followed over the next two decades. His passion is now focussed on the Columbia Gorge with their son Spencer taking over the lead wine making duties.
Philip graduated from the University of California with a B.Sc. in Viticulture and graduate degrees in Pest Management and Winemaking. He is considered an expert in Integrated Pest Management and Sustainability in agriculture. Before starting the New Zealand winery he spent 15 years as a agricultural consultant to various federal and state agencies and numerous agricultural companies.
Sheryl graduated from California State University with a B.A. in Psychology and spent 15 years as an independent sales consultant in California. Arriving in New Zealand she became Spencer Hill’s Sales Manager.
Sheryl manages the South Hill Tasting Room.
They are both active pilots and have raised two sons.
Owner / Winemaker
Spencer earned his B.Sc. in Winemaking from Lincoln University in 2013. He has worked alongside Matt and Jules at Spencer Hill and other prestigious wineries in New Zealand. He has also worked at wineries in Sonoma and Oregon. Spencer is passionate about the wines of Washington and Oregon, and has joined us here in the Northwest with the aim of developing the South Hill brand further and taking the winery and vineyards into the future.
Consulting Winemaker and Spencer Hill's Owner
Matt and Phil have worked together since 1990. For many years he worked with Phil as Assistant Winemaker, then Head Winemaker at Spencer Hill. He provides valuable support to his team at Spencer Hill with his wine making, viticulture skills and knowledge of the wine industry. Matt is an expert in the requirements of making kosher wines and also has a thorough understanding of the wine markets worldwide. He enjoys his visits to the Columbia Gorge and a chance to be hands-on with the wine making.
Jules joined Spencer Hill in June of 2011 as Associate Winemaker working with Phil Matt. A graduate of Lincoln University with a B.Sc. in Winemaking he has had significant experience as a winemaker at a number of Australian wineries. He been Spencer Hill’s Head Winemaker in New Zealand since 2014. His extensive experience both in New Zealand and Australia add valuable insight into making our wines in the Northwest. Jules is a perfectionist and his wines are highly esteemed.
Irineo is our part time Viticulturist and manages a crew for maintaining the vineyards. He works with Spencer and Phil in planning and maintaining the vineyards. He spends the majority of his time at Phelps Creek Vineyards where he has worked for over 20 years. His experience and knowledge are exceptional.
Oregon Kosher is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Kashrus through education, research, and supervision. Oregon Kosher provides all of the supervision and labor for making our kosher wines. Tuvia is responsible for helping us with the required labor when making the kosher wines.