Seattle Refined, a digital, social, and broadcast media publisher, is dedicated to sharing memorable stories from the Pacific Northwest. Content focuses on the interesting people, cool places and fun things to eat, drink, wear, create, try, and visit while living in or exploring the area.
To that end, travel writer MaryRose Denton filed a story entitled “Puget Sound to Pinot: Perfect Wine Weekend in the Willamette Valley” for the publication’s website. We were delighted to be included in her coverage!
About the region, she writes:
Whatcha doing in four hours? If you hopped in the car now and head south, you could be winding your way through the rolling, green hills of Oregon’s wine country. The perfect wine-tasting weekend awaits you in the Willamette Valley.
Affectionately known as “Oregon’s answer to Napa Valley,” this bucolic scenery spans 150 miles from Portland to Eugene. Snaking through the valley, the Willamette River nourishes these fertile lands while mountain ranges protect the valley from extreme weather, creating a more temperate climate all year long. Essentially, these conditions make growing cool-climate grapes such as Pinot Noir, Oregon’s premier grape, so perfect. It is easy to see why over 700 wineries call this valley home.
In the article, Denton details her stay in McMinnville, as well as her experiences wine tasting at some of the smaller producers in the region. Here’s what she said about us…
A French horn decorated the sign of Bells Up Winery, signaling we reached our destination. Dave and Sara Specter, owners and winemakers, greeted us and led us inside their cozy tasting room.
The Specters purchased their property in 2012 and subsequently planted seven acres of vines. Dave, a French horn player, borrowed from the musical term “Bells Up” to christen his winery. The term is used in a classical music score, instructing French horn players to raise their instrument’s bell and project music with maximum intensity. It is a dramatic moment in any musical piece and for Dave, the winery felt like his “Bells Up” moment.
Much like putting many notes together to create a symphony, the Specters took an old tree farm and transformed it into a working vineyard and winery, with all its moving parts.
Hosting up to six guests for a tasting allows for a very approachable winemaker experience. Dave’s easy conversation, along with the friendly atmosphere, made it easy for novice wine drinkers and aficionados to enjoy. What better way to idle away an afternoon than by marrying wine and music at this Chehalem Mountains AVA.