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  • Writer's pictureNeil & Sue Shay

Thanksgiving Greetings

In this edition of the blog:

- Vineyard and Winery Updates

- New Release Wines

- Thanksgiving and Other Upcoming Fall Wine Tastings

- Black Friday Specials


We’re very grateful, indeed, to have the always exciting, and sometimes frantic harvest and crush season behind us. We’re now looking forward to getting back to the more routine tasks that we take care of during the late fall and winter seasons: nursing the new wines through malolactic fermentation, the bottling of new release wines, and sending off sample bottles to various wine competitions and judgings. The vineyard looks great, we still have nice golden leaves on the vines, as we still have not yet had any serious frost on the property that would have finished off the leaves for the season. The first of the week, Josh and Tommy were out on a pleasant afternoon doing some mowing, mainly to mulch up the leaves that have dropped from the vines, along with the fallen leaves from our fruit trees around the yard.

We’re looking forward to seeing you at some point during the pre- or post-thanksgiving weekends. We’re going to be serving up some special food treats to go with your wine tastings; Sue is again putting together her award-winning ‘Charcuterie in a Cup’, giving you an amazing array of foods to pair with all things, white, red, and rosé. We will be open noon to 5 Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 18th & 19th, then Friday through Sunday, November 24th-26th from 11 to 5 pm.


Our new releases for you to try during these upcoming weekends include the following: the long-awaited 2021 Reserve Chardonnay; our newest Pinots, the 2021 Zenith Vineyard Reserve, the 2021 Barrel Select Reserve Pinot Noir; the 2021 Red Wine Blend; and our 2023 Bing Cherry/Pinot Noir Port-Style dessert wine.

The 2021 Reserve Chardonnay follows our successful program of Chardonnay production: this wine was aged for the first year in two separate batches, one in steel tank and the second in French oak barrels. After a year, during the summer of 2022, we blended these two batches to make one wine, and then re-barreled the mixture into neutral oak barrels, which then continued aging in the barrel room from the summer of 2022 to this fall, about 16 more months. This new Reserve Chardonnay is the sister to our 2021 Flagship Chardonnay, which you may know scored 92 points and was an Editors’ Choice in the November issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. The reserve has a dash of creaminess with a wonderful mouthfeel, yet the fruit flavors are abundant, with appropriate acidity and a dash of white wine tannins. Our initial tastings after bottling this wine have been SO wonderful, we are loving it, our guests are loving it, this may indeed be one of our best Chardonnays and is taking us back to one of our best, the 2016 Reserve Chardonnay, which won best of show at the Portland Seafood and wine festival in 2019.

The 2021 Zenith Vineyard and Barrel Select Reserve Pinot Noirs are now out! These two wines have been aging in the barrel room for 24 full months, this process of ‘élevage’, the taking of good wine to an even higher level through the aging process, allowing the barrel to gently expose the wine to oxygen, molecule by molecule, over time, and imparting some of the toasted oak flavors from toasted French barrels. The Zenith is 50/50 blend of Pommard and 777 clones, with great oak notes. Some of you may remember we have had a Barrel Select Reserve Pinot for a few years, but not in the past three or four – well, it is BACK, and EVERYONE who has tasted this beautiful wine is smitten.

The Barrel Select is exactly that, we have chosen and combined six of some of our very best barrels from 2021, four are estate wine, two from Eola Hills, and five different Pinot Noir clones are included in this wine. This Pinot has great Pinot Noir varietal expression, lovely fruit and oak, and great mouth feel and finish. Of all of our 90+ point Pinots we’ve bottled over the past 4-5 years, we think this new wine will meet or exceed the best of these prior wines! We love this wine, and think you will, too!

Our Red Wine Blend has been one of our most popular wines over the past five or six years; a bigger wine than a Pinot, but a bit softer than a good Syrah or Cabernet. We describe our Red Wine Blend as a red wine you can drink all year round: not only great during the winter, but great will all your barbecue grilling during the summer. The 2021 ‘RWB’ is a blend of our own estate 2021 Pinot Noir with a lovely Syrah from Columbia Valley, Washington state. This wine sits in the intersection of good fruit, tannin, acidity, and mouthfeel. For the upcoming winter, think about all those roasts, grilled dinners, Italian and Spanish dishes you might be cooking up – Yum!

Finally, in this list of new releases is our Bing Cherry/Pinot Noir Port-Style Dessert wine. We’ve blended this to resemble the great Port wines of Portugal – it sits at 19% alcohol by volume, just under 10% residual sugar, and a blend of nicely oaked Pinot Noir and a rich cherry wine we fermented this year from Poole Family Farm’s cherry orchard in the Hood River Valley. Our thinking right now is a short pour of this wine with a chocolaty dessert (or cheesecake?) would be perfect! We offered this wine at wine club pickup weekends, the last two weeks, and already sold eight cases of this wine! During the Thanksgiving weekends, we are going to be offering this wine at a pre-release sale price, check out the details when you stop by!


The biggest other event in our mind right now is the Vertical Library Tasting to be held inside the Shay residence on Saturday, December 16. This event will feature a large array of our Pinots and Chardonnays dating all the way back to our first commercial Pinot Noir, vintage 2014! We are scheduling tastings on this day, starting at 11:00 am, all the way through the day, up to 5:00. Sue has planned a special set of food pairings to go with these wines, and we are going to be offering special one-day discounts on our library wines you will taste, ranging from 2014 up through 2021. This tasting is only available with an advance RSVP booking, spots are extremely limited, we are only going to be seating ten seats at one time throughout the day. Don’t miss out, we have not been able to offer an event like this since before Covid!!!

November 17, 2023 4 to 6 pm

November 17, 2023 4 to 7 pm

November 18 & 19, 2023 12 to 5 pm

November 24-26, 2023

December 16, 2023 11 to 6 pm

December 22, 2023 4 to 6 pm

Winter Wine Festivals: Would you like to travel with us? Here’s our winter wine festival schedule:

February 22-25, 2024

March 1-3, 2024

March 8-10, 2024

April 26-28, 2024


We are going to offer Black Friday Specials and are making them available the weekend before, and weekend after Thanksgiving. These specials will include the following:

2022 Columbia Valley Chardonnay: 25% off/50% off for a case

2019 Reserve Chardonnay: 25% off/50% off for a case

2019 Zenith Reserve Pinot Noir: 25% off/50% off for a case

Also, each day during the pre- and post- Thanksgiving weekends, we are going to offering other unannounced specials, only available to in-person visits to the winery! So don’t miss out… Schedule your Thanksgiving tastings now!

We know that we have a lot to be thankful for. It's all of you that make it possible for us to live our dreams every day. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and healthy Thanksgiving. We hope to see you on the Hill or at one of our upcoming events in the near future!

Best always, Neil and Sue

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