Toby Hill, owner and winemaker at Phillips Hill Estates, was formally trained in the Arts. His intense study and mastery of composition in the abstract has been translated into the delicate balance of making wine. Toby's 1997 purchase of land in the Mendocino Ridge appellation overlooking the Anderson Valley led him to his new passion and personal re-invention in wine country. Toby's stylistic approach is free form; his philosophy is to be completely in touch with the grape to wine process. This appreciation transcends itself to the essence of how the wine develops and evolves within the layers of nature.
His new artisitc endeavor began when a local winemaker decided not to begin a brand and offered Toby four barrels of an unfinished 2002 vintage of Pinot Noir from Oppenlander Vineyard in Comptche, Mendocino. What started as an opportunity to express his work on a wine label became a new artistic obsession for an expression not only on the bottle, but in the bottle as well - a transformation from the art of the visual to that of the sensory.
Phillips Hill Pinot Noir has evolved into a more refined, down to earth and graceful old meets new world style. The fruit is sourced from local vineyards close to Toby's home and winery. Here, he is able to spend ample time in the vineyard to closely monitor the grapes' growth and maturity. As for Toby's future and natural progression as a winemaker, he will be farming his soon to be established estate vineyard - a new opportunity to express the composition of the earth, the vine, the grape and the wine.