The Bells Up Story: “If you’re this successful in a career that makes you sick, stressed and miserable, how much more successful would you be doing something you love?”
That’s the question Dave Specter’s wife Sara asked him eight years ago, in January 2009. This, while watching Sara’s professional mentor battle pancreatic cancer at age 40, and after Dave’s mental and physical breakdown from more than a decade as a successful corporate tax attorney.
The answer, for us, was that life is too short to spend unhappy. So we turned the basement hobby that brought Dave joy—winemaking—into Bells Up Winery.
Dave left the legal field, dedicating himself full-time to learning the business of making wine as a professional from Joe Henke, of Henke Winery, while we lived in Cincinnati, Ohio.
After Dave won two different amateur national winemaking competitions in two months with two different wines, we relocated to Newberg, Oregon, where we vacationed four years earlier. In 2013 we established Bells Up Winery and our winemaking and winegrowing dreams took root.
Today—micro-boutique, un-domaine and always open by appointment—Bells Up composes handcrafted, classically-styled Oregon Pinot Noir with grapes sourced primarily from micro-growers located on the northern side of the Willamette Valley.
As one of Newberg’s newest labels, we make approximately 400 cases annually and offer a small selection of other Oregon-grown and produced varietals. All Bells Up wines are sold directly from our tasting room and are not available in retail stores.
The name “Bells Up” refers to a dramatic moment in classical music where the composer instructs French horn players to lift the bells of their instruments up and project sound with maximum intensity. Dave, a French horn player who performed throughout high school and college, says the winery is his “Bells Up” moment.
We welcome you to experience your own #BellsUpMoment
Bells Up Winery’s tasting room is always open by appointment (and hosts public open houses during three events each year: Memorial Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving).
The tasting fee is $15 per person, deducted from a minimum $75 purchase.
We also invite you to join Bells Up’s Fanfare Club for exclusive, club-only wine releases, special discounts, and complimentary tastings.