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  • Writer's pictureNeil & Sue Shay

Spring Fever Update

We’ve been trying to deliver our blog posts on a monthly basis, but things have gotten set aside over the winter and now, here in mid-March, we have SO much to relay to you all.....

Catching up in roughly chronological order, the tasting room remained open through the end of December. We’re happy to relay to all our guests and customers, that we followed up a successful opening year in 2016, with a great 2017. We opened in May of 2016 with 214 cases in stock, in May of 2017 we opened with about 500 cases, and we plan to open for Memorial Day Weekend in 2018 with about 750 cases. Over the winter, we have gotten our wine placed in some new locations, both restaurants and wine shops.

Also over the winter, we entered some of our wines in three wine competitions, the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival, and the Savor NW Wine Competition held at Cannon Beach. Long story short, we are pleased to report that our 2016 Bluebird Hill Chardonnay has received three gold medals, our 2015 Pinot noir received a silver and a bronze, our 2016 Pinot gris a silver and Riesling received bronze medals. At Newport, our Chardonnay made it all the way to the Best of Show Competition, where we’ve been told our Chardonnay placed second overall, among ALL the wines entered in the show judging’s. We take it as a good sign when one of the judges called us the day after the judging was over, and ordered a case of our Chardonnay! Anyway, we are really grateful and humbled for this appreciation of this wine and we look forward to sharing it with many of you this summer!!

Around the winery, we have been letting the wines rest over the winter, spring bottling is imminent. The 2017 wines, the Pinots and the Chardonnays, are on track and we have been stirring the lees in the barrel (‘batonnage’) on a monthly basis since harvest, to mix some of the flavors from the sediment into the wine. To be bottled this spring are the 2016 Willamette Valley Pinot noir (~115 cases), our new 2016 Pinot-Syrah blend (125 cases), a new 2016 Syrah (~50 cases), reserve 2016 Pinot noirs and Chardonnay, and our 2017 Rosé and Duology white blend.

In the vineyard, things are shaping up nicely: we’ve done all our pruning, and are very close to finishing up tying the pruned vines down to the bottom trellis wire. In the beginning of January, we had a stretch of mild and dry winter weather which allowed us to do a bunch of tractor work out in the vineyard, working on a multi-year project to ‘terrace’ the vineyard so that the alleyways, between the vine rows will be more or less flat, with most of the slope contained in the vine rows themselves. This will allow us to walk and do tractor work in the alley ways (important things like spraying!!) on flat, rather than sloped ground. This will make for better precision work, and generally, safer and easier travel throughout the vineyard.

Upcoming on the Bluebird Hill Schedule: Our inaugural Wine and Food Trivia is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, April 8th, at the winery. Space is limited so RSVP here to reserve your spot. Saturday/Sunday April 13 & 14 is our Spring Open House, noon to 5:00 pm, we look forward to getting together with many of you that we haven’t seen since the fall, so please PLEASE put this weekend on your social calendar and make a point to come out and visit for a couple of hours. On Sunday afternoon, May 13, we’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day at Bluebird Hill – Mom’s get a free wine tasting! Then, the season starts in earnest with our Open House, Friday May 25th to Monday May 28th (Memorial Day Weekend) and we look forward to seeing you and pouring our new 2018 releases and our recent medal winners!

We look forward to seeing you all in the upcoming months!

Cheers, Neil & Sue

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