Harvest 2013 Recap

Well, it took 5 years and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get here but our first harvest season is now in full swing!

From a weather perspective, September was an extremely challenging month for Oregon wineries. We saw significant rain several times during the month which was a highly unusual occurrence for this area. This put pressure on our growers to keep disease and mold away from the grapes, and pressure on us to find just the right time to get them off the vines and into the fermenter.

Dave visited our source vineyards several times in the rain [uphill, both ways, with 30 pounds of lead weight in each booth (Marketing Director’s Note)] to keep a close eye on those precious clusters.

Pre-harvest vineyard inspection.

Pre-harvest vineyard inspection.

Dave bought a long raincoat just for this purpose.

Dave bought a long raincoat just for this purpose.

Checking out the clusters up close.

Checking out the clusters up close.

Finally, the rain gave us some reprieve during the first few days of October, and after giving the grapes some time to dry out, we decided to pick both of our source vineyards on Friday, October 4. The picking crews were very impressed by the quality of the grapes, especially given the amount of rain in September. Frankly, not every vineyard in the area fared as well as ours.  Full credit for that goes to our growers Fred Robinson of Robinson Family Vineyard and Mike Slater of Tonnelier Vineyards. Thanks to their vigilance with both spray programs and vine maintenance, our first vintage should be truly special.

It's picking time!

It’s picking time!

The picking crew hard at work at Robinson Family Vineyard.

The picking crew hard at work at Robinson Family Vineyard.

Pick... pick... pick...

Pick… pick… pick…

Fred Robinson said the crew was in his vineyard right at the crack of dawn. It was chilly.

Fred Robinson said the crew was in his vineyard right at the crack of dawn. It was chilly.

Harvest 6

Francisco, the picking crew foreman, said the grapes they picked at Robinson Family Vineyard were the nicest, best quality they’d seen all season.

Additional thanks must be paid to our harvest crews. At Robinson Family Vineyards, for example, these amazingly fast professionals picked 2,500 pounds of grapes in about 2 hours, and did a great job of keeping the fruit clean and intact. The picking crews are the unsung heroes of the wine industry, and we are deeply grateful for their efforts on our behalf.

Bucket 'o Pommard clone Pinot Noir, freshly-picked.

Bucket ‘o Pommard clone Pinot Noir, freshly-picked.

Harvest 7

One of three full picking bins at Robinson Family Vineyard.

Harvest 8

Fred Robinson, grower at Robinson Family Vineyard, inspects a freshly-picked cluster.

Harvest 9

Millie Robinson, Fred’s boss (aka lovely wife), does the final inspection.

Harvest 10

Fred transports one of the filled picking bins for its ride, Bluebell’s truck bed.

Harvest 11

As we still haven’t acquired a trailer, Dave drove each of the three filled picking bins from Robinson Family Vineyard over to the winery for processing.

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

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