The History of Our McMinnville Winery and Inn

Nicolette and Wayne took a great leap of faith in 2003 and moved to the Willamette Valley to make wine. Having found Youngberg Hill, they knew they had found their future, forging a dream come true.
They rolled up their sleeves and got to work, endlessly putting their heart and soul into making the best wines by focusing on creating the best vineyard. They were able to forge ahead with solid and stable winemaking practices through loving improvements to the vineyard and expansion to over 23 acres under vine.
Initially only offering Pinot Noir, Nicolette inspired Wayne to expand the vision, including Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Rosé, Grenache, Syrah, Port, and Sparkling Wine.
As they continued to work towards building their business, Wayne focused on farming practices and winemaking, while Nicolette concentrated on company direction, brand building, and product expansion.
With the continued development of new varietals, expansion, and improvement of the vineyard, it was the right time to create their new reserve brand, Bailey Family Wines, the crown jewel of the winery.
Nicolette is the force and inspiration that continues to expand ‘Wayne’s World’ (party on…).

About Us 1

Youngberg Hill Wine Philosophy

About Us 2

Founded in 1989, Youngberg Hill aspires to create the best wine from the grapes grown in each vintage. We focus on developing the highest quality of grapes possible and then managing the fruit through fermentation. By limiting yields and restraining barrel treatment, we can produce fine wines that give a pure expression of our beautiful vineyard and its terroir.
Wine is a beautiful gift from nature; its qualities vary according to the year and the different elements in a vine’s growing environment. The French term which describes this concept is terroir – meaning not just the soil but also the rainfall, drainage, exposure, and climate specific to a given site. The journey of a vine through its growth cycle within its particular terroir is a fantastic thing: the vine sends its roots deep into the living earth. It struggles in search of water and nutrients in communion with the unseen but vital world of soil microbes. Above the ground, the vineyard teems with life. A large community of grasses, herbs, and wildflowers supports a complex array of insect life, and the vine, with its verdant canopy, sends out its flowers and produces a crop of grapes. During the warm days of summer, the grapes soak up the sun and ripen. When the season changes and autumn arrives, it is time to begin the harvest, not too soon or too late.
The attentive grower watches over the vines as nature works its miracles, feeling the energy of life in the air and tending the vineyard sensitively and with a light hand. It is the winegrower’s job to bring out the grapes’ potential and let the story of this place- the terroir of the vineyard and the year of the vintage- be told with clarity in the wine. Here at Youngberg Hill, we aim to accomplish just that with every bottle of wine we make.

 

Wine Making

Wayne Bailey’s winemaking journey started 28 years ago when he worked as a consultant in the food and beverage industry with a focus on wine for over 15 years. He then received an opportunity to consult for wine brands in France, and he knew it was something he had to do. Wayne discovered that winemakers in Burgundy identified themselves as “farmers first,” which he related to immensely since he grew up on a farm in Iowa. His three-month journey turned into two years, creating meaningful relationships with winemakers, appreciating their organic farming methods as he worked side by side with those vignerons learning “hands-on” and finding his love of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Ever since, Wayne has taken the most holistic approach to the wines he crafts and aims to portray that in every Bailey Family wine.
Founded in 2019, Bailey Family Wines aspires to create the most elegant, biodynamically farmed wines from the Willamette Valley from the fruit grown in each vintage.
We focus on growing the highest quality grapes possible and parenting the fruit through the fermentation process. By limiting yields and restraining barrel treatment, we can produce fine wines that give a pure expression of our sustainable vineyards and their terroir.
Wine is a beautiful gift from nature (an agricultural product), and its qualities vary according to the year and the different elements in a vine’s growing environment. The French term that describes this concept is ‘terroir.’ Terroir is the combination of the soil, rainfall, drainage, exposure, and climate specific to a given site and the vigneron’s intervention.
It is Wayne’s job to draw out the grapes’ potential and let the story of this place–the terroir of the vineyard and the year of the vintage–be told with clarity in the wine.
As his experience has grown from making wines in the Willamette Valley, the wines have grown in stride. With everything from bright fruit characteristics, new clones, variations in fermentation, and various barrel cooper Wayne has more options to enhance the wines to new heights.
The result is a wine portfolio that reflects the “terroir” and characteristics that typify each varietal to their optimum expression. These wines show both outstanding fruit characteristics from the vineyard and significant expressions of the wine via selecting the best barrels from the top fermentation batches from the most pristine sections of the vineyards for each varietal.
These wines display the perfect balance of fruit and earth tones, acid, and tannins; front, mid, and finish palate, demonstrating an integrated wine from beginning to end, accessible at a young age and old world age-ability.

Our Vineyard

We practice holistic farming and natural winemaking to allow our wines to express where the fruit is grown on our hill, in different soils, and in the weather of that growing season. As you sip our wines, you will sense the farm we care for, our passion, and the memories we share with you.

Our goal is for life on the farm, including the soil, the vines, and all other plant and insect life, to be healthier 50 years from now than today.

The vineyards are 20 acres with three blocks of Pinot Noir and one block of Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. The Natasha block at 6.5 acres is the largest of the three Pinot Noir blocks and is located at an elevation of approximately 600 feet on marine sedimentary soil. The Jordan block of Pinot Noir is 5 acres in area and grows on a steep slope of volcanic rock at an altitude of approximately 750 to 800 feet. Both blocks are own-rooted, 60% Pommard and 40% Wadenswil clones, planted in 1989. The Bailey block, Dijon 777 on 10114 rootstocks, is our third block of Pinot Noir that we planted in 2008 and has an area of 3.5 acres between the Jordan and Natasha blocks. It grows primarily in volcanic rock with a broad band of shale running through the middle about 18 inches down. The Aspen block, planted in 2006, consists of 2.5 acres of Pinot Gris, 148 and 152 clones on 3309 rootstocks at approximately 525 to 600 feet; and 2.5 acres of Chardonnay, 75, 76, 95, and 548 clones on the same rootstock. These clones are more suited to ripen in our cooler climate.

Youngberg Hill has earned third-party sustainable certifications for LIVE (liveinc.org) and Salmon Safe (salmonsafe.org), and in 2010 we were certified “Sustainable” by the Oregon Wine Board. We started farming organically in 2003 and have been practicing biodynamic farming since 2011 and dry farming, meaning no irrigation. We are totally in balance and sync with nature.

The soils are complemented by distinct weather here in the coastal foothills. We receive slightly less precipitation and more sunny days. Since Youngberg is located only 25 miles from the ocean, the coast range provides a shadow for the weather coming from the coast. We enjoy long days in the summer, cool day temperatures of 83 degrees, coastal breezes every afternoon, and cooler night temperatures of 55. All these elements are excellent for growing Pinot Noir and enable us to produce high-quality fruit with rich, intense black fruit flavors.

vineyard
About Us 3

Bailey Family Wines

About Us 4

The Reserve Brand

Nicolette and Wayne took a great leap of faith in 2003 and moved to the Willamette Valley to grow grapes and make wine. Having found Youngberg Hill, they knew they had found their future, forging a dream come true. As they continued to work towards building their business, Wayne focused on farming practices and winemaking, while Nicolette concentrated on brand building and product expansion. With the continued development of new varietals, growth, and improvement of the vineyard, it was the right time to create their new reserve brand, Bailey Family Wines, the crown jewel of the winery.
With the continued development of new varietals, expansion, and improvement of the vineyard, it was the right time to create their new reserve brand, Bailey Family Wines, the crown jewel of the winery.

Bailey Family Wine Offerings

When deciding on which varietals to incorporate into the Bailey portfolio, we knew we wanted to create a sparkling wine that could be enjoyed on any occasion. The 2016 Bailey Sparkling Wine is crafted in the traditional Champagne method. Made of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the grapes are fermented separately and blended to meet Nicolette’s ideal characteristics bottled with secondary yeast to ferment in the bottle for up to 3years, disgorged, dosaged, corked, and labeled.

Once this vital process takes place, the wine gives off aromas of cherry and pear framed with vanilla spice and shortbread. The first sip is crisp and cool as ripe raspberries, apple blossom, and peach fill the palate. Although it contains high acidity, the mid-palate enlivens your taste buds with lovely hints of strawberries and ripe apricot.

The Bailey Chardonnay is a representation of the finest chardonnay grapes grown on the Youngberg Hill Estate. Once fermented and aged, the barrels are tasted for quality and only the finest of the barrels are selected for the Bailey Family Wine label.

This chardonnay first reveals a rich golden hue, promising to light up your glass with color and your senses with flavor. Before the first sip envelops the mouth, the nose tantalizes with gentle touches of wet stone, citrus, and vanilla. Pear, meyer lemon, peach, and tangerine lead to flinty tones of wet stone which slide over the palette. The lingering finish balances creaminess with crispness, freshness with fullness, and length with layers.

The Bailey Family Wine Grenache is sourced from Swallow Hill which sits in the Rogue Valley just outside Ashland consisting of 4 acres of vines.

When first sipping the Bailey Grenache, this ruby-red beauty throws out aromas of strawberry and currant with black pepper and sage. Congruent with the nose, the flavors embrace raspberry and orange zest around dried herbs, butter crust, and caramel. The velvety mouthfeel with light tannins contributes to the symmetry of the overall pallet and a strong finish.

Bailey Pinot Noir is a representation of the best grapes grown at the Youngberg Hill Estate.

This hand selected wine is a deep garnet red and has a nose as alluring as it tastes with a blend of mushroom, dried leaves, and campfire ash. With notes of dark candied cherry, red plum, and blueberry complemented by supple tobacco and chalky tones all topped off with cocoa dust. These characteristics create a juicy yet elegant mouthfeel paired with refined, bright tannins, allowing the finish to unravel one layer at a time.

Membership includes:

  • Bailey Family label, Youngberg Hill label, Merchandise and Inn Stays
  • Complimentary Bailey Family and Youngberg wine flights for you and 7 others per visit
  • Complimentary shipping on case purchases/Flat rate on all other orders
    $15/ WA, OR, CA
    $25/ all other contiguous states
  • Loyalty Point Program (for every dollar spent, earn points to use on future purchases)
  • Access to older wines and limited production
  • Access to exclusive club offerings
  • Complimentary vineyard tour and private tasting with the Winegrower, Wayne Bailey, for up to 4 guests twice annually (over $1,200 value)
  • Invited to all Youngberg Hill and Bailey Family Wine events

Learn about our Bailey Family Wine Society and sign up for this exclusive membership today. 

Bottle of 2017 Bailey Family Grenache Willamette Valley and bottle of 2017 Bailey Family Pinot noir Willamette Valley

Wine Tastings Daily 10 am to 4 pm

Our tasting room is just 10 minutes from downtown McMinnville.  Come on up to Youngberg Hill for our amazing views of the Willamette Valley and for a tasting of our award-winning wines.

Do you want a more exclusive experience?  Book a tasting with our experts for a very unique experience.

Give The Gift of Youngberg Hill This Christmas

Give your loved one a very special gift of a stay at Youngberg Hill.  We offer gift certificates in many amounts.