Great wine shared with friends and loved ones is one of life’s joys and we hope that you will pay us a visit, taste our wines, enjoy our views and include Bluebird Hill wines for your own favorite occasions.
Neil & Sue Shay moved to the Willamette Valley in 2010 and after almost a year of searching for a home out in the country, found a six acre homestead nestled into the southwest Coastal foothills of the Willamette Valley in the Village of Alpine, west of Monroe, Oregon. Before moving in, it was suspected the lawn and pasture areas on the property might be a suitable habitat for bluebirds. As a pleasant introduction to their new residence, they were greeted by several families of bluebirds the very day they unloaded the moving van and moved into the house. As a well-known symbol for happiness, Neil & Sue welcomed and acknowledged their bluebird neighbors by naming our property “Bluebird Hill”. Daily, they are greeted by their bluebirds and the other friendly birds that frequent their feeders.
Inheriting an overgrown Christmas tree farm, it took three years to fully clear their land and they began planting grapevines as cleared land was available. Only once the trees started to go, could they truely appreciate the full potential of their property: aside from the long-distance view that Neil & Sue enjoy, the site is absolutely perfect for growing grapes, a warm hilltop site that enjoys gentle summer breezes with southeastern- and western-faced slopes to capture the sun’s energy.
In the early spring of 2013, there was just enough land fully-cleared to allow them to plant their first block of vines, a small plot of Pommard clone Pinot noir. Since then, more plantings have followed each year. Presently they stand at three acres, planted at a high density, perhaps more typical of France than Oregon. Although Neil & Sue love the Burgundian-style Pinot noirs and have many of their favorite Dijon clones planted along with Pommard and Wädenswil, Bluebird Hill wines strive to tell the story that the Willamette Valley is a unique place that can produce outstanding wine, reflecting it's own special terroir. Bluebird Hill wines are small-lot and handcrafted, and always will be, with a commitment to make distinctive wines from exceptional fruit using a combination of traditional and modern winemaking techniques with a focus on detail.
Neil & Sue look out every morning at exceptional sunrises and, after a good day’s work, enjoy the early evening light falling on their young vineyard. The location affords a rare treat …. Gorgeous vistas, a quiet place to sit, relax, and taste outstanding wines. Great wine shared with friends and loved ones is one of life’s joys and Neil & Sue hope that you will pay them a visit, taste the wines, enjoy the views and include Bluebird Hill wines for your own special occasions.
Assistant Winemaker & Vineyard Manager: Nick Cheatham
Nick is a proud graduate of Oregon State University’s Food Science and Technology program with a degree in the Fermentation Science option and a minor in chemistry.
Nick began his journey in the wine industry in 2014 when he interned for A to Z Wineworks on the bottling line and worked with them during the vintage. There, he
found a love and passion for the work, the people, and of course, the wines. Since then, he has worked in various vineyards and wineries across the Willamette Valley, in the Idaho wine industry and spent a harvest in New Zealand.
He hopes to provide valuable knowledge and experience to further enrich the Bluebird Hill brand, but also anticipates learning much from the experienced vintners, the Shays.
Nick resides in Corvallis where he spends his free time trail running, cycling, golfing, and playing guitar. He is looking forward to his future at Bluebird Hill and to the
opportunity to craft outstanding, small-lot Willamette Valley wines.
2015/2016 Vintages: Bobby Moy
Bobby came to Bluebird Hill with over ten years of experience in the wine industry; bringing his experience making Burgundian styled wines from Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and the Willamette Valley. His love for the wines of the Willamette Valley are what led him to attend Oregon State University’s winemaking program in Corvallis, where he had the fortune to meet proprietors Neil and Sue Shay.
Bobby believes wine is a product of its vintage and site and winemaking is an art form with its roots in science. The winemaker draws inspiration from the terroir to bring out the best of a specific site. And in kind relies on their understanding of the science to produce the desired artistic expression of the site.
Bobby spends most of his time in the Napa Valley where he makes Bordeaux and Rhone styled wines under the Chiron label. He lives in Calistoga with his lovely wife, Tiana, their baby and two dogs. When time permits you can expect to find him exploring the world by way of cycling, fly fishing, and backpacking.
Bluebird Hill Illustrator: Sky Evans
Sky is an award winning painter and muralist from rural western Oregon. Her blog, An Oregon Studio showcases her latest projects with essays that describe her process of creation. Sky started her painting career in high school, landing her first commissioned piece. That simple landscape was the beginning of a 35 year love of oil painting. Sky still creates landscapes and renders them in an impressionistic style using bold, intense colors. She explores abstractions of landscapes, fractal designs and her other favorite subjects; horses and dogs.
With a degree in Art and another in Education, Sky taught art and ran after school art programs in her community's school district for years. She has worked as a professional color consultant and owned a small business as a painting contractor specializing in faux finishes, murals, signs and other commercial art. She recently completed a wine label for
a local vineyard, Bluebird Hill Farm. As a muralist she has created murals as part of school driven projects as well as for private homes, businesses and Oregon State University. Her largest mural, Running
Horses can be seen off Hwy 99 near the Eugene Airport. 100 feet of sloping barn roof was the “canvas” for this large project that can even be seen from the air!
Sky often sets up as a vendor at Art shows and has shown in Portland, Eugene, Albany, Corvallis and Sisters. She sells her work on line through her blog, and prints through FineArtAmerica.com. To see her online gallery go to:
Label Design: Bill Owen
Bill Owen has led creative design efforts for niche and global brands for more than 20 years. For more information on Bill and the services his company provides visit his website at Owen Design.
Vineyard & Cellar Assistant
Clay Williams joined the Bluebird Hill team in the spring of 2018, working as a part-time vineyard and cellar assistant. He graduated from OSU receiving a double major in Speech Communications and Philosophy December 2019 and worked full time at Bluebird Hill January/February 2020. Clay was born and raised in Astoria, and when not studying or at work, he enjoys sports, and outdoor activities including fishing and hunting.
Vineyard & Cellar Assistant
Head Vineyard & Winery Dog
Vineyard & Cellar Assistant
Alexis Doyle has been working at Bluebird Hill Cellars since early 2019 and is currently studying Food Science and Fermentation at Oregon State University. Alexis has worked in the food industry for 8 years and this is where she first fell in love with wine and spirits. She enjoys the many opportunities she has had for hands-on learning at Bluebird Hill Cellars pertaining to winery and vineyard operations. Alexis grew up in Utah but loves living in the Pacific Northwest where she can take advantage of excellent backpacking, fishing and making home goods with all the beautiful Oregon produce. Upon graduating she plans to further her career in winemaking and is looking forward to working with Bluebird Hill Cellars in the future.
Tasting Room Associate
Assistant Vineyard & Winery Dog Willie