The Price is Right!
Happy New Year All! We wish you all the very best, here’s to reestablishing ‘normal’ protocols out and about, and around the tasting room and in the winery.
FIRST UP, we need to share some great news! Our friend and wine and vineyard colleague Josh Price has joined the team at Bluebird Hill! Josh will manage all things related to the vineyard, work with Neil and Sue with the winemaking, and help with some of the tasting room work, marketing, and even a bit of our routine paperwork.
Josh is a highly experienced and knowledgeable professional in the field of viticulture and enology. As the assistant vineyard manager at Oregon State University's Woodhall Vineyard, he worked closely with professors and students to conduct research and demonstrate hands-on techniques for viticultural practices. In addition to his role at the vineyard, Josh also has a background in wine buying and has traveled extensively around the world, to learn about regional vineyard practices and wine characteristics. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in viticulture and enology from Oregon State University in 2015, and has been managing Woodhall Vineyard since 2013, starting as a student intern. With his passion for grapes and wine, Josh is dedicated to sharing his knowledge and expertise with others. Josh lives locally with his wife Jennifer and two adorable daughters.
Although he will be around mostly on weekdays, you should expect to meet up with Josh occasionally in the tasting room during our regular hours. We would like to invite all of you to come on out and get introduced to Josh, we think you will agree with us that he is going to be an enthusiastic, friendly and knowledgeable addition to Bluebird Hill Cellars.
Initially, we have set up two Open House Saturdays, for you to meet Josh! These will be Saturday January 28 and February 4, between noon and 5:00 pm in our tasting room. Wine club members and harvest volunteers will get a free pour and/or a flight from our new ‘Platinum Trio’ and Oregon Wine Press ‘Cellar Select’ (see this exciting news, below!). Come out, sip on some wine, and chat with Josh, Neil, and Sue!
OTHER BIG NEWS:
Platinum Awards: Sometimes this wine competition is described as the ‘Super Bowl’ of PNW wine competitions, as the only entries allowed are wines that have been awarded a gold medal in one or more competitions over the past 12 months. The competition, organized by Great Northwest Wine, awards platinum medals to those deemed worthy after tasting, judging, and voting by three panels of wine experts. In the 2023 competition, three Bluebird Hill wines hit for platinum: Our three current reserve Pinot Noirs, the 2019 Mom’s; South Block; and Zenith Vineyard. The Mom’s and South Block are 100% estate wine, and the Zenith is made at our winery, from fruit we purchase from Zenith, a very highly regarded vineyard in the Amity-Eola Hills AVA. See the reviews right here:
Oregon Wine Press: Those of you that visit our tasting room and/or others in the state know that the flagship magazine for Oregon Wine is Oregon Wine Press. We have discussed their monthly feature before in our blog, “Cellar Selects”, as the name suggests, they offer to you wines that you SHOULD have at home in your wine cellar or wine fridge. The February 2023 issue will feature bigger red wines, such as Syrah, and we are so excited and pleased to let you know that our 2019 Reserve Syrah from the Columbia Valley was selected as a February Cellar Select. Also note, this wine, we just found out, was a gold medal selection at the 2023 McMinnville Wine Classic, this festival is just down the road, March 10-12 at the air museum in ‘Mac’. We only bottled 70 cases of this yummy stuff, so make sure to stock up, many people are already saying to us that this is one of the nicest Syrahs ever tasted: Dark fruit aromas of Bing cherry, blueberry, and elderberry are joined by toast and vanilla. Nicely managed tannins carry along more blue tones of pomegranate and blueberry followed by cassis, pepper, and truffles for the finish. (15.2% ABV, pH 3.70, 70 cases bottled, $54)
WINERY AND VINEYARD NEWS:
Finally, into mid-January, it’s official, all the 2022 Chardonnay has finished malolactic fermentation. This means that, as well, we don’t need to keep any wine in tank or barrel at the warmer temperatures (~ 65-75 F) that those malolactic bugs like to do their thing at. Everything is ready to cool down now, and we are looking to bottle 2021 Flagship Chardonnay, and 2022 Rosé, Pinot Gris, and Duology before we get it up into high gear around
April or May. In the vineyard, we started the pruning of the vines about a week ago – this important job really signals the start of the 2023 season!
January 25 4 to 8 pm Veneta, OR
February 18 &19 Florence, OR
February 18 3 to 7 pm Stayton, OR
February 23 - 26 Newport, OR
March 3 & 4 Portland, OR
March 10- 12 McMinnville, OR
March 11 & 12 Central Point, OR
April 8 3 - 7 pm Corvallis, OR
April 28 - 30 Astoria, OR
May 13 - 14 12 to 5 pm Bluebird Hill Cellars
May 26 - 29 12 to 5 pm Bluebird Hill Cellars
Additionally, although the dates are not set yet, we have several events planned but do not have a final place, date and time to share for you:
Bluebird Hill Vertical Wine Tastings from the Wine Library
Chili Cookoff (Yayyyy! “Fire on the Hill” is BACK!)
Watch this space!
Also note, our friend Nick Cheatham is just about to open his new wine bar in Corvallis, “Corazon”, with rotating glass pours, Lounge and Bar Seating, Guest Winemakers, Select Local and Import Wines, In-house charcuterie boards or order in Pizza from American Dream. So make it a point to put a visit to his place on your calendar. It might very well be that we partner with Nick to hold one or more Bluebird Hill events at his place!
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. Stay safe and healthy, and we hope to see you on the Hill in the near future!
Best always, Neil and Sue