If you’ve visited ROCO Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley or enjoyed a bottle of their acclaimed Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or sparkling wine, you’ve most likely come across an image of a petroglyph. It’s a special symbol to winery owners Rollin and Corby Soles. The two are avid backcountry hikers and petroglyph hunters, and have integrated this native artwork into their wine.
The glyph used for the winery logo – a regal bird with outstretched wings – once sat at the bottom of the Columbia River Gorge near Celillo Villate. The Army Corps of Engineers saved a number of petroglyphs before damming the river in the 1950s. This particular work of art can now be viewed at the Horsethief Lake Park (Columbia Hills State Park) in Washington state.
Rollin and Corby encountered the image during one of their hikes and felt a connection to both the indigenous artist and the symbol. Artists themselves – Corby works with glass and Rollin’s wines are bottled works of art – they understand the desire to forge a lasting legacy. And they know what it means to work with the land to create something of value.
The rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest has long inspired its inhabitants from indigenous peoples to the pioneers of the Oregon trail and modern nature-lovers. In fact, you’ll find a map of the Oregon Trail on bottles of RMS Sparkling Wine.
Subtle nods to the rich history of the Pacific Northwest abound at ROCO Winery. From the logo to the wine label and artwork on site, these native symbols serve as daily reminders to respect the land and the people who came before us.
Learn more about the petroglyphs and pictographs of the Columbia River Gorge here:
“Archaeological studies show the area from The Dalles, Oregon to Pasco, Washington, attracted vast numbers of tribal people from around the West who came to fish, socialize, and trade. During salmon migrations this area attracted thousands. These tribal groups believed in a connection with their environment and the spirit world existed within the basalt rock features. Petroglyphs and pictographs were created along the massive basalt walls of the rivers and canyons. More than 160 rock art sites have been found in this lower Columbia area, with nearly 90 of them being along the Columbia River between The Dalles and Pasco, with other large concentrations along the middle and lower Deschutes River, and scattered sites in the Yakima and John Day river drainages.”