Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
In the tasting room at Bluebird Hill Cellars, after the close of business on Sunday, November 26, we sat down and enjoyed a glass of wine and the barbecue we had been serving to our friends and guests during the day. It was a great feeling to look back at the two Thanksgiving weekends, pre- and post-, and reflect on the guests we hosted during what most Oregon wineries consider their busiest two weekends of the year in their tasting rooms. We poured a lot of wine, received a good number of compliments, and as the whole 2017 season has gone, we sold perhaps two to three times as much wine as we did compared to the same weekends of 2016. It was humbling to get so much positive feedback on the wine, and hear comments from our visitors suggesting they consider us passionate about our winemaking and our wine. We may not always get it right, but if not, it’s not for a lack of thought and effort. Sincere thanks to all of our friends, for making Bluebird Hill a part of their Willamette Valley winery visits, and for bringing Bluebird Hill Cellars wine home with them. We thank you all so very much!
We have much news to share: We have added recent OSU grad Nick Cheatham to our team. Nick received a BS degree in June with a major in Food Science and his area of focus was in the fermentation program. Nick has already interned at two major Willamette Valley wineries and also has great experience in the vineyard. He will help on both fronts. He is now our Assistant Winemaker and Vineyard Manager. Nick started with us this month, will take a 3-month break in the Spring to work one harvest in New Zealand and then return to Bluebird Hill at the beginning of summer, 2018. Welcome to the Bluebird Hill team, Nick!
December winery hours: We have decided to keep the tasting room open on Saturdays and Sundays during the month of December. Hours are noon to five. We expect things to be relatively quiet and we will provide guests a relaxed, unhurried wine tasting experience. Need a gift idea for the Holidays? We are offering made to order gift baskets with your favorite Bluebird Hill wines and/or gift cards available in any amount and rechargable, they can be purchased at the winery or ordered by phone at (541) 424-2478. After December, as always, we are open by appointment and will be able to host your group, from two to eighteen people, with a bit of advance notice. By Christmas, we expect to sell out of several of our current wines, including 2016 Trilogy and Rosé, and the 2015 Reserve and the Barrel Select Pinots. Please contact us if you want to purchase any of the remaining bottles of these wines. We also want to mention that we are offering a Holiday special on futures of our 2016 Willamette Valley Pinot noir, we are selling cases of this wine at 20% off the price of the 2015 Pinot Noir. Bottling of the 2016 WVPN will be in February, and bottle pickup will be in April or May of 2018. Consensus in the tasting room is this wine is going to be one of our most special ever!
Winemaking Updates: The last grapes received this season, the 2017 Viognier, just finished fermentation a few days ago. The 2017 Pinots are resting comfortably in barrel, and most of these barrels have finished the secondary malolactic fermentation. We are again putting some of the Chardonnay through malolactic fermentation, while the rest will not. The goal of this two-part strategy is to produce a wine with both great fruit flavor and aroma, yet with a more complex mouth feel. To ensure a crisp, fruity character, Pinot gris and rosé will not undergo malolactic; they have been resting in barrel and tank, respectively, for more than a month already. We are also pleased to report that we will have new additions to our wine list in 2018, we will be releasing two new red wines, a 2016 Syrah, and a 2016 Red Blend, which is 2/3rd Syrah, and 1/3rd Pinot. Our guests have enjoyed their barrel room tastings of this blend, and we look forward to having you taste this new wine over the winter or next spring!
We have a set of Bluebird Hill winter events that we hope you might attend at least one. Sue will be pouring our wines at Bo's Wine Depot in Eugene from 5 to 7 pm on December 16. Dates and venues for the following events are still being finalized; but hope to have all the details set in the next week or two.
We will also be pouring at the Newport Seafood & Wine Festival Feb 22-25, Savor Cannon Beach Mar 9-11 and Rhapsody in the Vineyard in Corvallis on Mar 10.
Again, we hope to see all of you at least one more time before Christmas and thank you for your support and friendship!
Neil & Sue Shay