Playing it Forward and Giving Thanks
We decided last month, Neil, Sue and the group of South Benton volunteers that have worked with us the past few years, to postpone the 2020 “Play It Forward” charity event to 2021. A month or two into the quarantine, Covid-19 case numbers in Oregon were dropping, and it seemed that we would indeed ‘flatten the curve’, but then that early optimism seemed to evaporate when the numbers never went to a level where we felt comfortable bringing together a number of different foursomes to have the event. It is one thing to be in the relative safety of the great outdoors and be playing with family and/or pod members, but to know we would be bringing golfers from Corvallis and Eugene areas together, from Portland, and the coast, it just seemed right to hold off and wait a year. We had pretty good success building the event from 2017 to 2018 and 2019, and we were hoping that 2020 would be the biggest and best. In 2019, we raised around $6,000 to help fund some of our South Benton County causes, including the new Monroe relief nursery dedicated to helping toddlers and children from at-risk situations at home. The Old Mill Center in Corvallis was helping develop this site, and we could not be happier to be partnering with them, and the United Way, to help make the nursery a reality. We are making a 2020 donation to help support this further, and if there is anyone out there that would to join us, give us a call or send an email and we can let you know who to make your check out to, and where to send it to. You can also make a donation via credit card at the United Way of Benton and Lincoln County website.
In The Vineyard: The vineyard is looking great: we are done now with a second top hedging, and with leaf pulling on the east side of each row, to allow grape clusters to receive sunlight that will help them develop to their full maturity in August and September. As we put this information together, we think we are on track for a mid-September harvest. Traffic at our outdoor tasting room area has been understandably, a bit slow, but we have been trying to make up for that with delivery and curbside pickup sales, promotions, and wine shop and restaurant sales. We’re posting a list of our shop and restaurant partners at the end of this blog, but want to take this time to introduce you all to Mr. Eric Howett, owner of the new Cascade Barbecue in the northwest Corvallis Timberhill Shopping Center. Eric is featuring Bluebird Hill wines, among others, to go with his delicious selection of smoked meats, salmon, and other goodies. We ask you to please patronize this new endeavor if you are doing any takeout meals from Corvallis eateries. His food is REALLY GOOD!! Also, last week, Joel Rea from Corvallis Brewing Supply was out at the winery with his powder blue beer wagon, ‘Lickspigot’. Joel took away four different Bluebird Hill wines to offer to his customers, two summer whites (Pinot gris and Chardonnay), our Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, and also our newest gold medal winning wine, our 2019 Birdhouse dessert wine (Joel liked the fresh fruit flavors, the all around balance, and subtle sweetness of the wine). We discussed dessert pairings and our consensus choice was a serving of Key Lime pie to go with the Pinot gris/Rainier Cherry blend.
August Wine Specials
We’re pleased to be offering a few specially priced wine packages for the month of August:
We will continue to offer our “Stock up BIG” and Summer Sipper Case sales through August. Curbside pickup at the winery or free doorstep delivery locally. Shipping available to all other points around the USA. Ordering couldn’t be easier – for local orders, just send us an email or phone Sue at the winery with a list of what you’d like. You can also place an order online to be shipped.
"Stock up BIG" sale, enjoy these savings with your purchase:
Buy 6 bottles: get 10% off
Buy 12 bottles: get 15% off
Buy 24 bottles: get 20% off
Buy 36 bottles: get 25% off!
Summer Sipper Case: Our lightest wines, three Pinot gris, three Chardonnay, three Rosé, and three Birdhouse Dessert: Retail is $288, 20% off is $230; wine club members get 25% off ($216).
NEW-Rosé Flash Sale: Here at Bluebird Hill, we drink Rosé during the summer and on through Thanksgiving. Take advantage of our Flash sale to stock up now!
Buy 6 bottles: get 20% off
Buy 12 bottles: get 30% off
Buy 24 bottles: get 40% off
Buy 36 bottles: get 50% off!
New in 2020: Bluebird Hill Farm Produce Fundraiser: Long story short, as the quarantine hit, Neil set up a very large vegetable garden on the northeast side of the property, just inside the deer fence along the driveway. Already, we’ve been harvesting cukes, summer squash, lettuce, peppers (10+ varieties), tomatoes (10+ varieties) are just starting to ripen up nice, and winter squash, watermelons and a bunch of other stuff will be ready soon too. We are offering to the good folks who read this blog the opportunity to ‘buy in’ to the harvest of these veggies! Shoot us an email or phone the winery number to give us an idea of what you might be looking for and how much you want. We will arrange for your bag(s) of produce to be ready on a given day and time. Pick up at the winery, pricing will be going market price, and 100% of the revenue we receive for the year is going to be donated to our local charitable causes. We think this is a win-win-win: do a good thing and support a charity; get a chance to take a drive out to our scenic spot (maybe enjoy a glass of wine while you are here??), and bring home some healthy food to eat.
Virtual Tastings: We are hearing from people that they want to have more options for virtual, at-home tastings with us, convened via Zoom conference, so we have put our heads together and have come up with a set of offerings for the remainder of 2020, read on! Note, where shipping is discussed, we often will be able to eliminate shipping charges by doing a custom, free delivery to the local area between Eugene and Salem.
CUSTOM VIRTUAL WINE TASTINGS: Give Sue a call at the winery, and we will work to arrange a great private event for you. You choose the wines, the participants, send us their email contact information, and set up the date and time you want the event to happen. We can bill the wines to the host, or bill the participants individually. Each attendee will have Bluebird Hill wines shipped to them in advance of the event, and we will have a group wine tasting together.
AUGUST: “SUMMER WINE” TASTINGS The dates are Wednesday August 12th, and August 26th at 6:00 pm PDT. Sign up with a phone call or email, and receive one bottle each of Pinot gris, Chardonnay, and Rosé for $76 plus shipping, or buy a case (four each) for 25% off retail plus shipping. Neil and Sue will talk about various aspects of these wines and their styles and food pairings.
SEPTEMBER: CHARDONNAY AND PINOT NOIR VERTICAL TASTINGS:
We’re going into the ‘wine library’ and pulling out some special bottles for tasting three wines, each with three different options for amount and cost, the prices for each option are shown with the wines:
(1) Receive the wines in sample bottles, 100 mL (3.4 ounces each)
(2) Receive one full bottle of each
(3) Stock up your cellar and receive a full case (12 bottles)
THURSDAYS, SEPTEMBER 3rd and 17th, 6:30 pm PDT.
Taste three chardonnays, the San Francisco Chronicle gold medal winners (2016 & 2017), along with the 91 point ‘Editor’s Choice’ from wine enthusiast (2018). We’ll be talking about Chardonnay styles and wine regions from around the world and share a few pics from our experiences in the ‘Maconnais’, the southern-most region of Burgundy, and home of some of the most delicious Chardonnays we’ve ever tasted!
Option 1 (wine in sample bottles): $49 plus shipping
Option 2 (one bottle each): $150 plus shipping
Option 3 (four bottles each): 10% off, $540 plus shipping.
PINOT NOIR VERTICAL:
THURSDAYS, SEPTEMBER 10th and 24th, 6:30 PDT
Taste three Pinots, Our very first, the 2014 PN (Oregon Wine Press ‘Cellar Select’), the 2015 Reserve Pinot noir (we have been offering pours of this recently at the winery, and it is lovely!), and the 2016 PN, which received several golds and a double platinum in the 2019 PNW awards contest. Share thoughts on the three wines, hear also about Pinot noir winemaking and see some pictures from our travels in Burgundy.
Option 1 (wine in sample bottles): $49 plus shipping
Option 2 (one bottle each): $150 plus shipping
Option 3 (four bottles each): 10% off, $540 plus shipping.
Taste ALL FOUR 2017 Bluebird Hill Pinot noirs
THURSDAYS, OCTOBER 8th and 22nd, 6:30 pm PDT.
We believe our four 2017 Pinots to be outstanding, rivaling the great reviews and judgings the 2016 ‘Flagship’ and Reserve Pinots received. All these wines were aged 22-24 months in French oak barrels, and the three reserve wines are all unfiltered and unfined. All four have received gold medals in various shows and judgings, and our 2017 Willamette Valley Reserve Pinot Noir may turn out to our highest-rated wine ever! These 2017 wines are: the ‘Flagship’ (120 cases, Oregon Wine Press ‘Cellar Select’), the Estate Reserve (Gold @ SIP McMinnville), the Willamette Valley Reserve (Gold @ Portland Seafood Festival), and the Barrel Select (Gold @ Savor NW Cannon Beach). Taste and discuss the different wines, talk winemaking styles, and see pictures from the 2020 harvest and crush at Bluebird Hill.
Option 1 (wine in sample bottles): $59 plus shipping
Option 2 (one bottle each, four bottles): $179 plus shipping
Option 3 (four bottles each): 10% off, $644 plus shipping.
Check out Portugal and Go Big Reds!
THURSDAYS, OCTOBER 15th and 29th, 6:30 PDT
We are going to show some pictures from our tour of Portugal during the summer of 2019. Check out the cork harvest, the cork-making process, and the port wine capital of the world, Porto, Portugal. Our bigger reds are the Red Wine Blend (60% Syrah and 40% Pinot noir), and our Syrah (100% Horse Heaven Hills). These are the wines we recommend for heartier meals – barbecue, roasts, and steaks.
Option 1 (wine in sample bottles): $29 plus shipping
Option 2 (one bottle each, two bottles): $60 plus shipping
Option 3 (six bottles each): 10% off, $324 plus shipping.
NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER:
Stay tuned for more to come in November and December. We’ll be scheduling some set virtual events, but also want to put the thought in your mind, perhaps Thanksgiving wine weekends in the Willamette Valley are going to be different than before because of quarantine and distancing restrictions. So we invite you to call us or email, to discuss options for scheduling your own private tasting at Bluebird Hill, so you can be assured of privacy and safety, or consider designing with us a very special virtual event, connect with friends and family around the country, we can put together a package that not only includes some special wines to taste, but also some specialty gourmet items to go with the wines. Tastings can be set up at all levels and price ranges, from a small set of tasters, to multi-bottle packages, you decide!
Save the dates, the pre-Thanksgiving weekend is Nov 20-22, and the post weekend is Nov. 27-29. We will be scheduling custom dates for virtual family and friend tastings for the entire months of November and December. Reserve a date and time now, and work with us to create a special event in these curious times.
Fall Outlook: We’re thinking ahead to fall and the activities that need to happen around the vineyard and winery: harvest, of course, fermentations, barreling of the new reds, taking care of the new white wines and rosé, and of course, later in the fall, Thanksgiving wine tastings, which are a big deal in the Willamette Valley and all around Oregon. And then we starting thinking, sometimes the weather in that latter part of November can get a little rough, and our little tasting room that is so cozy, that if we think about social distancing, we maybe would only have one or two tables in all of the tasting room!
With this thought in mind, we’re planning here at Bluebird Hill, to celebrate Thanksgiving in August! For two special weekends, August 14-16, and 21-23, we’re going to be hosting guests by reservation, with special hours and special events: Fridays and Saturdays will be noon to 7 pm, and Sundays will be 11 to 5. For those who would like to book outside our normal business hours (Fri 3-7, Sat & Sun 12-5) please call our winery to book your reservation otherwise you can book here. So, talk to your family members or your pod, make your plans, and book a reservation for our outdoor tasting venue – enjoy the fresh breeze off the coastal range and our expansive view of the valley! For those of you who have already made it out here this summer, you know we have set up tables for tasting with very generous spacing – some of the tables on our front lawn are 30 feet or more away from any others. Here is what you could expect for our ‘Thanksgiving’ weekends:
- Half price on all wine tastings
- Samples of our Pre-release 2018 Flagship Pinot Noir and Reserve Pinot Noirs (Mom’s Block, South Block, and Zenith) with special pre-release pricing.
- Re-Release of the 2017 Barrel Select Pinot Noir – bigger and oakier than your average Pinot!
- Sample the Pre-release 2018 Reserve Chardonnay and 2019 Chardonnay with special pre-release pricing. (Remember how good that 2016 Reserve Chard was??)
- Try select barrel samples of 2019 Pinot Noirs.
- Special Stock-Up Holiday Pricing
- Two different weekend-long trivia contests with door prizes each week.
- Half price on all Bluebird Hill logo apparel.
- And other special events and activities, a different one each weekend.
Our reservation system allows for staggered arrival times, so you can be pretty sure you will not be arriving at the same time as another party. Sue and Neil will greet you from a safe distance and direct you to your table, where you can enjoy a few relaxed hours out on our patio. Note also, for seniors and others especially concerned about keeping appropriate distance, we have the opportunity to find an appropriate, mutually agreeable day and time, on a day we are not typically open, to arrange for a totally private tasting experience. Call us to discuss and arrange!
One last thing we are excited to tell you about, Bluebird Hill has become a Harvest Host. Harvest Hosts is a network of wineries, breweries, distilleries, farms, and attractions that invite RVers to stay in 1170+ stunning camping sites. The $79 yearly membership gives members unlimited access to stay overnight at any one of their Host‘s locations. They kindly ask their members to support their Hosts by purchasing one of their local products with each stay!
Requirements for joining the program:
You must have a self-contained RV with a toilet, water tank and inside cooking facilities
No tents of any kind are allowed
Interested in becoming a member? You can join here.
Despite the craziness of the world right now, we know that we have a lot to be thankful for. Stay safe and healthy, and we hope to see you at the winery!
Neil and Sue
Pastel by our dear friend Margaret Enders
Where to find our wines:
Cork & Bottle Shoppe 1236 Pacific Blvd SE, Albany, OR 97322
Alpine Tavern 25200 Alpine Rd, Monroe, OR 97456
Harper's Wine House N Main St, Brownsville, OR 97327
Blue Valley Bistro 91088 N Willamette St, Coburg, OR 97408
Cascade BBQ 2575 NW Kings Blvd, Corvallis, OR 97330
Cork & Bottle Shoppe 1875 NW 9th St, Corvallis, OR 97330
Corvallis Brewing Supply 119 SW 4th St, Corvallis, OR 97333
del Alma Restaurant 136 SW Washington Ave, Corvallis, OR 97333
Market of Choice Circle 9 Shopping Center, 922 NW Circle Blvd #110, Corvallis, OR 97330
Taco Vino 151 NW Monroe Ave, Corvallis, OR 97330
Wineopolis 716 NW 14th Street Corvallis, OR 97330
Creswell Bakery 182 S 2nd St, Creswell, OR 97426
BarTini Bistro 1203 Willamette St, Eugene, OR 97401
Bo's Wine Depot 364 E 40th Ave, Eugene, OR 97405
Broadway Wine Merchants 17 Oakway Center, Eugene, OR 97401
Eugene Country Club 255 Country Club Rd, Eugene, OR 97401
North Fork Public House 2805 Shadow View Drive, Eugene, OR 97408
Sundance Wine Cellars 2441 Hilyard St, Eugene, OR 97405
Junction City Beer Station 495 Holly St, Junction City, OR 97448
Keizer Keizer Liquor Store 5021 River Rd N, Keizer, OR 97303
Benny's Pizza 225 N 5th St, Monroe, OR 97456
Second & Vine 288 SW 2nd Ave Ontario, OR 97914
Yakuza Lounge 5411 NE 30th Ave, Portland, OR 97211
Umpqua Wine Cellar 1370 NW Garden Valley Blvd. Roseburg, OR 97471
Salem Liquor Outlet 5107 Commercial St SE, Salem, OR 97306
Sandy Liquor Store 38755 Pioneer Blvd, Sandy, OR 97055
Bo's Wine Depot 1879 Pioneer Pkwy E, Springfield, OR 97477
Cork and Bottle Shoppe 812 Beltline Rd, Springfield, OR 97477
Five O Three 21900 Willamette Dr #201, West Linn, OR 97068
West Linn Liquor Store 19335 Willamette Dr, West Linn, OR 97068
Woodburn Liquor Store 1515 N Pacific Hwy, Woodburn, OR 97071