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  • Writer's pictureNeil & Sue Shay

The Weather Outside....

Well.... not exactly ‘frightful’, as the song goes, but after getting home a week ago yesterday from the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival, we woke up the next morning to 9-10 inches of snow at our place, simply beautiful, although the roads in Monroe were treacherous until afternoon! We have had some big snows before, but not for a few years, so it has been something a little out of the ordinary for us here. It was enough snow that the vehicles outside were cleaned with a push broom.

Winery Update: We have been pinching ourselves for a couple of months now, as one wine judging after another comes rolling in. We mentioned in December’s blog about the James Suckling scores (e.g. 92 for our 2016 Reserve Chardonnay), and since then, good results keep rolling in. The next feedback we received was from the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. We entered five wines, the 2017 Chardonnay was awarded a gold medal; this followed a gold in 2018 for the 2016 Chardonnay, some of you might remember. Next came First Taste Oregon 2019 (in Salem), and we scored a gold for our 2017 Pinot gris. The next news had us really pinching ourselves! At the Portland Seafood and Wine Festival, the 2016 Reserve Chardonnay was Best of Show – White Wine, meaning that we outscored about one hundred other white wines. Also at the same event, our 2016 Estate Pinot noir received a Double Gold. After that, we heard from Dr. Rusty Gaffney, otherwise known as the ‘Prince of Pinot’, he authors one of the longest continuously published wine blogs out there, the ‘Pinot File’. This blog focuses mainly on Pinot noir and Chardonnay. We sent in five wines, and all got scored well. Our 2016 Willamette Valley Pinot noir scored at 89, and a ‘best buy’. The Zenith, Walnut Ridge, and Estate Reserve Pinots (all 2016) received 91, 92, and 93 points, respectively, and the 2017 Chardonnay scored a nice 93! These two 93’s are our highest point scores for any wine in our short history. Here is the link to Pinot File: . The last that we know now was from the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival, and we scored a gold there, for the 2016 Pinot noir.

Bluebird Hill Cellars: Selected 2019 Wine Awards

2017 Pinot gris 2018 SIP NW Magazine “Judges’ Pick”

2019 First Taste Oregon Gold Medal

2017 Chardonnay 2019 SF Chronicle: Gold Medal

2019 Pinot File: 93 Points

2016 Reserve Chardonnay 2018 James Suckling: 92 Points

2019 Portland Seafood & Wine Festival:

Best in Show-White

2016 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2018 James Suckling: 88 Points

2019 Pinot File: 89 Points & Best Buy

2019 Newport Seafood & Wine Festival:

Gold Medal

2016 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2018 James Suckling: 90 Points

2016 Walnut Ridge Reserve Pinot Noir 2019 Pinot File: 92 Points

Vineyard Update:

We’re almost done with the main chore of late winter, the pruning and vine tying. All the vines have been pruned back to the two canes that will remain as the one-year old wood for 2019. The task of tying these canes to the main, bottom wire (we actually use a special stapler for this) is about 75% done. Then, it’s a waiting game, until the buds start to open and the shoots emerge. We’ll do shoot thinning at that point....

Unlike last winter, which did not have excessive rain, this winter has been pretty rainy, and we have not run any of our equipment out in the vineyard for months. When the soil dries out a little, we will do a round or two of roto-tilling in the alleyways, to try to finish off the multi-year task of terracing the vineyard so that the alleyways are pretty level, while most of the vertical drop in the hill is in the vine row. Then, we have about one hundred new vines to plant – filling in the remaining empty spots in the vineyard, resulting from either missing a spot to plant, or losing a young vine due to the hot, dry summer weather. This should not be too difficult, on average, we’re putting in one new plant per row, across the entire vineyard.

Upcoming Events: Here is the list of our upcoming events. We hope to see you at our tastings locally, upstate, and on the coast!!

Thurs-Sun March 7-10: @ Savor Cannon Beach

Fri-Sun March 8-10: @ SIP McMinnville

Wed March 13: Wine Tasting @ Marriott Corvallis

Sat March 16: @ Downtown Corvallis Wine Walk

Wed March 20: @ Eugene Country Club Lobby tasting (Members only)

Fri March 29: Wine Dinner @ Corvallis CC (for CCC members)

Fri April 5: Wine Dinner @ Corvallis CC (for BBH Wine Club & General Public)

Fri-Sun April 12-14: Spring Open House

Sat Apr 20: @ Bo's Wine Depot/Eugene

Apr 26-28 – @ Astoria Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival (Pending)

Apr 27: @ Vino, Vintage & Victory Festival

May 12: Mothers Day on the Hill

May 24-27: Memorial Weekend Open House

Event details can be found here.

We are currently open by appointment only with the exception of the selected events, wine dinners, and festivals listed above. As well, we are always available to host you and your friends, relatives, and coworkers in our tasting room by appointment. Just give us a call at (541) 424-2478, email or book online to set things up!

Thanks to all of you for being part of our Bluebird Hill family and we look forward to seeing you all in the coming months!!


Neil & Sue Shay

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