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Sip Northwest Magazine has 4 questions for Wayne Bailey

Mark Stock (Sip Northwest Magazine) 2/26 Mark visits and stays on The Hill and discusses growing Chardonnay in Willamette Valley with Wayne: https://t.co/OHG5PgaAIe

Can wine be better than the grapes?

There are two concepts that we try to impress on guests tasting our wines; that wine is an agricultural product and that you cannot make a higher quality wine than the quality of the fruit harvested.

In an interview with Betty and Tony Notto from Weekly Wine Show on Wednesday, December 20th, we discussed those two ideas in more depth. Click HERE to learn more about us and these concepts.   The full show can be heard at the bottom of the linked page.

 

 

 

Taste McMinnville Month

February is Taste McMinnville Month and a great time to break up the winter dulldrums wherever you might live. Why not make it a new and unique experience in the Willamette Valley and more specifically, McMinnville. Why in February? It is Valentine’s Day celebrations all month. There are wine and chocolate pairing s across the valley all month. The landscape in the valley is lush and green. There is less tourism traffic to get around in. There are great opportunities to save money on travel and lodging that time of year. And February, like every month, is a great time to be enjoying Pinot Noir in the valley.

This year is even a bigger opportunity to do so in McMinnville. This February McMinnville will be celebrating Taste McMinnville Month featuring craft beverage producers of wine, beer, and spirits; along with all the fabulous restaurants that reside in the city. It will be a great time to experience all that McMinnville and the surrounding community have to offer in culinary bounty. McMinnville is the heart of the valley, has a great, thriving downtown shopping scene, and plenty of art and cultural activities to enjoy including music events at many venues and the Gallery Theater.

McMinnville reminds me of Calistoga thirty years ago. Back then, it was an outpost for most of the Napa wine tourism because it was so far away from San Fransisco. Today it is the epicenter of the valley. While McMinnville is farther southwest of Portland (35 miles), it is far from the maddening crowd, in the heart of the Willamette Valley, and half way between Portland and the coast.

McMinnville also reminds me of Beaune in Burgundy, France. As in Beaune, McMinnville lives and breaths the wine country, and the vineyards and wineries surrounding it. It has embraced the industry as part of it’s culture and reflects that in the multitude of dining experiences.

Come check it out this February!  Click here for more details.

Weekly Wine Show Podcast with Wayne Bailey

Tony & Betty Noto (Weekly Wine Show) 1/10/18 Wayne shares his history and wine views for over an hour on this weekly streaming podcast. Sit tight and pour yourself a glass: http://ow.ly/bo6z30i0zlg

Jade Helm interviews Wayne for WIN Top Accolade

Jade Helm (Wine Industry Network) 1/8/18 Wayne is selected as one of “Wine’s Most Inspiring People 2018”. Jade Helm provides the editorial coverage and editorial for the primary article https://t.co/ODqrGvWwA6 and a follow-up piece on sustainability & legacy titled “Sustainability: It’s Just the Right Thing to Do”: http://ow.ly/iaqb30i07De

Sommspirations discovers Youngberg Hill Vineyards & Inn

Brianne Cohen (Sommspirations) 1/2/18 Brianne includes YH in her review of Willamette Valley http://www.sommspirations.com/2018/01/vintastic-voyage-willamette-valley.html

The Vineyard Trail talks BioD farming with Wayne Bailey

Miki & Elizabeth (The Vineyard Trail) 12/14 The winers talk biodynamic farming in Willamette Valley http://ow.ly/gchY30hgg4d in their blog and newsletter communication

Chardonnay in the Willamette Valley

Have you had Willamette Valley Chardonnay?  Yes, everyone knows Pinot Noir is No. 1 in the Willamette Valley, and it should be. Many might suggest it is Pinot Gris because it is the second largest varietal planted in the Willamette Valley and exceeded the acreage of Chardonnay a few years ago.

But let’s take a look at history. In the late 1800s and up until prohibition, Chardonnay was king of the hill. There was a thriving wine industry back then dominated by Chardonnay. After prohibition and the destruction of the wine industry, these vineyards stayed abandoned until the 1950s. While some vines remained, most were ripped out and/or replaced with Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc.

Then came 1965 when a couple of pioneers planted Pinot Noir in the valley and the rest is history, at least from a red grape viewpoint. On the white grape side, these pioneers resurrected some Chardonnay vines, but most were replanted to Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, or Pinot Blanc; with a few areas planted to Chardonnay vines brought up from California. As time passed, more acres continued to be planted to Pinot Gris until the total acreage surpassed Chardonnay (as there was not much expansion of Chardonnay planting).

Why? Most of the early plantings of Chardonnay were done with what were considered to be “warm weather clones” from California. This mattered because the cool weather in the Willamette Valley did not afford the heat needed to fully ripen these Chardonnay grapes. As a result, the Chardonnay wines produced in the Willamette Valley were not up to the quality that the growers wanted nor appealed to the market. So, growers continued to focus on growing more Pinot Noir.

What did not make sense to many of us was that Pinot Noir and Chardonnay go together like peanut butter and jelly. Just as Pinot Noir is king in Burgundy, Chardonnay is queen. Why not in the Willamette Valley? With better farming practices, warmer weather in recent years, and a shift to cooler weather clones; the valley has experienced a resurgence of Chardonnay. It has also helped that some California winemakers with great Chardonnay experience have come to the valley. As a result, wine growers in the Willamette Valley are producing some fabulous Chardonnays. That is reflected in the wines that are featured at the Oregon Chardonnay Celebration on February 24, 2018. We are so happy to be selected as a featured winery at this wonderful event.

I predict that 10-20 years from now, the wine world will acknowledge Willamette Valley Chardonnay as it does Pinot Noir today.  Come taste our wonderful Chardonnay soon!

Getaways for Grownups reviews 2017 Holiday Wines

Hope S. Philbrick (Getaways for Grownups) 11/20/17  Hope reviews  the 2015 Chardonnay and 2014 Jordan and Natasha Pinot Noirs in her Willamette Valley wines mixed case feature “13 Tasty Sips” http://ow.ly/kQzC30gQujd

The Daily Meal weighs in in time for Thanksgiving 2017

Michelle Williams (The Daily Meal, national and Rockin Red Blog, Dallas) 11/20/2017

Michelle includes the Willamette Valley region and the 2014 Jordan Pinot Noir in her annual Thanksgiving Wines Report: http://ow.ly/kPpj30gHMQP

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