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  • Neil & Sue Shay

Catching Up


Bluebird Hill Cellars June 2017

The last of winter and most of spring have gone by in a whirlwind. It does give us a great deal of satisfaction, however, when friends or regular visitors will stop by and say ‘Wow – I can’t believe how much has happened since last time I was here!!”. Working our way backward, this is what has been happening out in the vineyard:

1. Our new tractor and air-blast sprayer has been out and working in the vineyard. Our first few sprays have been mainly sulfur, to ensure that powdery mildew does not become an issue in the vineyard.

2. We’ve laid out all of the wire in the north and south blocks. We have a total of 110 rows of vines and now every row has four permanent wires and two ‘catch’ wires (which are raised up gradually during the season to keep all of our grapevine shoots vertically oriented). We estimate this to be about 38 miles of wire!!

3. Another 900+ vines went into the ground mid-April, bringing our estate total to ~ 3.25 acres planted at our high density 5’ x 5’ spacing (meaning, 5’ between the rows, and 5’ between vines within the rows). This year, a bunch more Chardonnay went into the ground and an array of Pinot noir clones went in to replace the dearly departed vines that did not make it through their first few seasons. We’re hoping that next spring will leave us with fewer than 25-50 vines to plant and that will fill in every empty space and replacement on the property! We have set up a drip irrigation system to water all of our new vines for the next year or two to make sure they thrive during the dry, sunny Oregon summer.

4. All the wooden end posts are now in the ground. This includes about 100-plus posts that were pounded into the south block, and eight more posts in the north block, allowing us to plant four more rows of Chardonnay at the top, northeast corner of the property. As mentioned above, miles and miles of wire was strung out in the front to complete the main support wiring system and a bit more were added in the rear block to convert the support wiring from the 3-wire system we installed in 2015, to the 4-wire system we installed this spring in the front block.

In the winery, we’ve bottled most of the 2016 whites and the 2016 Rosé. We can’t wait for guests to sample them all. We’re offering two white wine blends this year, a 2-wine blend of Chardonnay and Viognier and a 3-wine blend of Pinot gris, Viognier and Chardonnay. We’ve gotten a lot of compliments on these already (along with the Rosé) so we encourage you to come out early and check them out, along with our Chard and Gris. They’re going to be great hot-weather summer sippers... Dessert wines are ready too: including port-style Bing Cherry, dessert Riesling, and Blueberry-Pinot. The blueberries are NOT estate, but local, coming from the Anderson Blues Blueberry Farm just north of Corvallis. Finally, and last but not least, are the Pinots: it looks like the Oregon Wine Press-Cellar Select 2014 Zenith Vineyard Pinot noir is now sold out (the 2014 Barrel Select PN sold out over the winter!). Our new PN releases include the 2015 Willamette Valley Pinot, 2015 Zenith Vineyard Reserve, and 2015 Barrel Select. We recently tasted our 2016 Zenith Vineyard PN at the annual Zenith Vineyard Winemakers’ event and the general consensus was the 2016 is maturing well and is a good representation of the special Eola Hills terroir of Zenith.

As far as the upcoming tasting room season goes, we’re looking for a great season and have lined up many great events including a Solar Eclipse Brunch party, Yoga at the Vineyard, monthly Women and Wine Wednesdays, our second annual Pinot on the Patio in August and several other events including a separate wine and food trivia night. Check out the full list of events below.

We’re also accepting appointments for a limited number of special events this summer, for friends of the winery to be able to bring their friends and enjoy a special wine tasting or sunset dinner on the grounds. Depending on the event, we can easily take care of your party, from 4 to 24 people, depending on what you have in mind. So talk to us, and let’s work to help organize a memorable event for you and your friends, relatives, or co-workers!

UPCOMING EVENTS (Check our website for further details)

JUN14 Women & Wine Wednesday BLUEBIRD HILL CELLARS|MONROE

WED 5:30 PM · 7:30 PM

Join us for an evening of Wine, Fun & Fashion on the Hill LuLaRoe Fashion with Rosey Gording and Jewelry by Jan - Inspired by nature, Jan's designs are bold, organic and tribal, with an earthy flair. . The choice of materials influences the design so many pieces are one of a kind. Tasting fee $10