Intrepid Originals, Always Looking Ahead
The ROCO Story Is a Story of Vision
When Rollin Soles and Corby Stonebraker-Soles came to Oregon in the 1980s, they arrived at the leading edge of a movement. But in those early years, the movement we know today hadn’t yet picked up full momentum. The idea of Oregon wine was actively in the making, emerging in real time through the daring efforts of people like Rollin and Corby and a diverse group of entrepreneurs who wanted nothing more than to produce world-class wines in an unproven but promising winegrowing region. They built wineries, developed foundational industry organizations, and worked to establish Oregon as the premier place to make Pinot Noir and Chardonnay outside of Europe.
Now more than 35 years later, ROCO showcases Oregon winemaking at its peak—through a talent that has produced hundreds of 90+ scores from leading industry critics, repeated placement in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the World, and multiple bottlings served in the White House.
Clarity is king in the ROCO cellar. Expertise is an expectation. So we never stop asking questions. We never trust popular ideas. We always test our hunches. Firmly rooted in the science of agriculture and fermentation, we carefully build a vision for what every bottle can be, relying on Rollin’s mastery of the techniques and methods of winemaking and Corby’s instincts as an artist to transform the raw material of beautiful fruit into the exquisite wines you take to your table.
Rollin Soles, Owner & Winemaker
The story starts in Texas, takes side trips through Switzerland, Australia and California, and ends up in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Educated as a microbiologist, Rollin Soles’ winemaking combines the friendly grit of a Texas-born work ethic with the uncompromising rationality of a true scientist. In a wine world cluttered with nostalgic ideas, Rollin wants to know what’s really going on—in the vineyard, in the cellar, and in the glass. It’s the hallmark of a winemaking career that began overseas and has since landed Oregon bottles at the highest ranks of American craft. As Oregon’s original producer of sparkling wine, Rollin insists on a pioneering, innovative spirit in the ROCO cellar—always seeking new insight and trying new ideas to keep our wines among the very best this valley produces.
Corby Stonebraker-Soles, Owner
Corby arrived in the Willamette Valley in the mid-1980s before tasting rooms lined downtown streets and Oregon wine attracted visitors from all over the world. But she arrived with the strategy experience of a corporate marketer and the creative vision of a working artist. So she sensed opportunity and knew how to bring it to fruition. Working alongside friends and family, she helped establish multiple wineries and the now-famous International Pinot Noir Celebration, serving for a time as its executive director. In her multi-hat role as owner of ROCO, Corby continues in a leadership capacity for the Oregon wine industry as one of the few pioneers still directly involved in developing market intelligence and managing the daily operations of a thriving winery. Her mission is to make ROCO a place of excellence in service—so that, from both near and far, our patrons experience the very best in Willamette Valley hospitality.
The ROCO Team
Jarod Sleet, assistant winemaker
Though born in Kentucky, Jarod didn’t fall in love with the liquid inside oak barrels until he’d moved to Oregon and attended culinary school as an aspiring chef. The instinct to learn about food—its sources, techniques, and surprises—eventually led him to Oregon wine country, first as a harvest intern and then onto Oregon State University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in viticulture and enology. Following winemaking stints at Cana’s Feast, Archery Summit, and Argyle, Jarod joined ROCO in 2017 as our assistant winemaker.
Lucia Lemma-Walker, assistant general manager
Raised by a family in the wine import and distribution business, Lucia is a master of how wine moves around the world. Her family’s focus on Italian wines led them to bring the famous Produttori wines to Oregon for the first time decades ago, and Lucia’s own study of business and the Italian language helped drive the family venture for years before she joined ROCO as our regional sales manager. She affords us a true wealth of knowledge and experience—ranging from brand management to wine education to sales.
Neil Frew, Hospitality Manager
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Neil made his way to the West Coast pursuing a career in music. Originally selling wine as a way to pay the bills, his love for fermentation grew into an obsession and finally into working directly for wineries in the Willamette Valley. He lives with his family on a small farm in the Dundee Hills, where you’ll find him growing apple trees, making hard cider, and playing his drums well past everyone’s bedtime.
Renee Hunt, Marketing and Wine Club Manager
Renee was born and raised near Boulder, Colorado. Her studies in psychology and neuroscience, followed by a master’s degree in nutrition, give her a unique understanding of the intersection between health, food, and the mind. Renee came to the world of fine wine after a successful career in marketing and brand management for rapid-growth health and nutrition education start-ups. Now living amongst the vineyards in the Willamette Valley, Renee’s inspired by the way wine connects us to the natural world and how it brings people together in conversation. As a surfer and budding gardener, she’s right at home at ROCO with her deep appreciation for the outdoors and the ways in which it shapes and enriches our lives.