Drink In Life Reviews Bells Up Tasting Experience, Wines

It was a delight to host Elaine Luxton, photographer and wine writer to our tasting room at the end of April. Luxton, who blogs under Drink In Life and publishes her photography under her Instagram account, Drink In Nature Photography, took a short trip to visit the Willamette Valley and we were thrilled to be included.

As she was tasting a lot of Pinot Noir during her visit to multiple wineries, she chose to focus on our other varietals in her published review of her tasting experience and her impressions of the wines, “The Bells Are in the Air at Bells Up Winery.”

Tasting the fantastic array of wines at Bells Up would not have been the wonderful experience that it was without having the opportunity to sit down and talk with Dave and Sara. Their story, from conception of the winery to where they are today, is a true example of taking the chance to follow your dreams. Dave’s passion as a winemaker is complimented by his true belief in building lasting personal relationships with each and every person who comes through the tasting room door. Sara’s enthusiasm is contagious, and her welcoming personality instantly gives a homey feel to their winery. I would encourage anyone making a trip to Newberg and the Oregon Wine Country to make an appointment to visit Bells Up Winery. 

Elaine Luxton, Drink In Life

Here’s a few excerpts of Luxton’s wine reviews:


Photo courtesy of Elaine Luxton, Drink in Life.

“Rhapsody” is the opening score of the Bells Up wines:  This isn’t your typical white wine, this Pinot Blanc is a fuller bodied wine that has a crisp acidity, but some spicy attributes spring forward that resemble a red wine. On the nose you find yourself walking through a warm summer garden nestled among ripening citrus trees with aromas of mineral rich freshly turned soil. The long finish on this Pinot Blanc is both surprising and delightful and you want to savor each layer of the pineapple upside down cake flavor. Each sip introduces a new note that also brings back elements of the aroma. This is a lovely sipping wine but would also pair well with a Summer Snap Pea salad and Fish tacos with fresh made guacamole.


“Prelude” is the introduction to the Bells Up’s Unique Wines: The 2018 Bells Up Prelude is like a sunny summer day picnic in a bottle. All of the flavors of a picnic in each sip, like a blanket layed out with strawberries, watermelon and pink lemonade. A well balanced Rosé with citrus undertones and a dry finish. This musical Rosé was named for Franz Liszt’s “Symphonic Poem No. 3: Les Preludes” and will be a Romantic Era addition to any summer picnic. I’m going to pretend that this is the end of an Opera Aria (and not a Symphony score) and give a loud hearty “BRAVO” to this Prelude.


Photo courtesy of Elaine Luxton, Drink in Life.

Bells Up “Firebird” is named for Igor Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite”: This 2017 Firebird Syrah from Bells Up delivers amazing aromas of fresh blueberries and blackberries and a spicy dark chocolate bar enjoyed during a walk among the cedar trees. A powerful punch of black cherry cola on the tongue with a long extraordinary finish of mocha and wild mint flavors. To be honest, this is a bottle that I purchased to bring home because I couldn’t get enough of the flavors in this Syrah. 


Photo courtesy of Elaine Luxton, Drink in Life.

2018 Helios: Do you know that feeling of sitting in a meadow on the first sunny day of spring with the smell of wild flowers and green grass surrounding you? Now imagine that aroma with the addition of a tropical citrus bowl of fruit. My first thought was a glass of sunshine and aroma of spring. Bright, clean and a cascading flood of fruit flavors greet you on the first sip. Flavors of pear, lemon and soft stone fruits all try to push each other aside to be the prominent flavor. I most appreciated the long finish, and welcoming a new flavor taking over each sip. Special.


She also took this amazing picture of us and then clearly doctored it extensively in photoshop because we NEVER look this good in real life. 🙂

Photo of Dave and Sara Specter, courtesy of Elaine Luxton, Drink in Life.

To schedule an appointment or reserve bottles, call us at 503-537-1328 or email info@bellsupwinery.com.

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Bells Up Winery | 27895 NE Bell Road | Newberg, Oregon 97132 | 503.537.1328 | info@bellsupwinery.com

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