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  • Writer's pictureNeil & Sue Shay

Sunny Daze on the Hill

As I write this, it is a beautiful, sunny, pleasant day, we are now seeing many of these in a row. Sometimes, it winds up being hot near the end of the day but, at the top of the hill, we really don't see a lot of heat buildup until the middle of the afternoon.

The drip system for the vines planted in the spring is doing great. All the young vines are looking wonderful and many of them tied to the trellis wires. We can now look around the entire vineyard and report that we no longer have any plants in grow tubes (for the first time since we started planting in 2013). We also have a cute little system for watering the new vines that are between older plants. We are using plastic jugs that have had plastic drippers popped into the bottom of the jug, filling a trailer load of these in one shot and then bringing them to all the various locations around the north and south blocks. We are able to find all these plants because we have a blue ribbon tied to the top wire wherever we have a new vine mixed in with older plants. Makes it easy to spot them and keep them watered on a regular basis. Using these drip jugs is a much more sustainable solution for watering than trying to do watering via hose: a lot less wasted water and watering drip-by-drip gets the water deeper in the ground to the benefit of the vine roots.

In the tasting room, we have gotten some good reviews of our new releases. The 2015 Willamette Valley Pinot noir, and the PN Reserve and PN Barrel select have been big hits, along with the 2015 reserve Chardonnay. We have gotten really kind comments on our two- and three-varietal white wine blends, ‘Duology’ and ‘Trilogy’, these wines are really enjoyable light ‘summer sippers’. The 2016 Rosé is disappearing off the shelf, too. Finally, our three dessert wines, the Riesling, Birdhouse Blueberry-Pinot, and Oregon Bing Cherry have also received high praise. These wines are being enjoyed for their true fruit aromas and flavors and for the fact that they are only lightly sweet. We’ve seen old friends and welcomed a lot of new visitors in the time we’ve been open this spring and early summer!! Thank you everyone for your visits!

Speaking of dessert wines, we’re doing some mobile tastings at Anderson Blues blueberry farm in North Corvallis on Arboretum Road off 99W. Anderson Blues has been the source of blueberries for our blueberry dessert wine for 2015 and 2016 and hopefully we’ll be getting more blueberries from them in a few weeks. The 2016 dessert wine is a blend of 70% blueberry wine and 30% pinot noir. We’re doing more tastings at the Anderson’s on Thursdays and Saturdays in the coming weeks, so check our website or their Facebook page for updates.

ART ON THE HILL: Bluebird Hill, that is, Saturday and Sunday, July 15 & 16 we are hosting ten local artists ranging from paintings to woodworking to jewelry and everything in between. Wine tastings to boot. Noon to five both days.

PLAY GOLF AND SUPPORT YOUR NEIGHBORS: Bluebird Hill, Diamond Woods, and Subaru of Corvallis are teaming up to put together a charity golf outing on Friday afternoon, August 25th at Diamond Woods in Monroe. The outing will benefit the United Way of Benton and Lincoln Counties with a special emphasis on the South Benton charities that UWBLC supports. United Way of Benton & Lincoln Counties works to “Break the Cycle of Childhood Poverty”: 13% of children in Benton County live in poverty. Your sponsorship supports programs equipping and preparing kids for academic success and stable successful futures. TOGETHER we can accomplish more than any single group can on its own. The golf is 4-person scramble format, with team prizes for best team scores, also best team score for a mixed (2 male, 2 female) team, and a prize for the best 4-woman team. There will be 18 hole prizes, a raffle, box lunch, and barbecue afterwards. We are looking for players, teams, prizes, hole sponsors, and other sponsorships. We will accept gifts suitable for prizes, and donations to support the purchase of prizes. More info and sign ups at .

OTHER SAVE THE DATE STUFF: Upcoming is more Yoga at the Vineyard (July 22 and August 5 & 19) with guest yoga instructors – Saturday mornings. July 29 we will be at Philomath Uncorked, and August 12 is our signature party, Pinot on the Patio: catered food, games, food and wine trivia contest, music and door prizes.

WWWs: Women and Wine Wednesdays: This is Sue’s brainchild all the way, and off to a good start. The next one will be held at Paint & Wine in Corvallis on August 9th. For details on all our events visit our Facebook page and our website.

We’ll be really glad to see YOU soon at Bluebird Hill!


Neil & Sue Shay

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