We had a blast hanging out with the Newberg Graphic guys last week! This was the resulting article. We really appreciate the coverage pre-Memorial Day. Thanks Colin and Gary!
In 2008, Dave and Sara Specter visited Oregon wine country as tourists. They stayed at Chehalem Ridge Bed & Breakfast, which overlooks Newberg and the northern Willamette Valley. Little did they know, it also overlooks a parcel of land that would seven years later become their winery and vineyard grounds.
“Who knew?” Dave Specter said.
The following year he made a career change — away from his track toward the top of the ladder as a corporate attorney and toward his future as a winemaker.
Newberg had made an impression on the couple and in the summer of 2012 the Specters moved across the country from Ohio. Six months later they moved into the house adjacent to the old pole barn that houses the new winery.
“We were planning on doing this the whole time; it was a question of finding the right spot,” Specter said. “I don’t think we could have picked a spot with a better view and the land and soil is perfect.”
The parcel of land near Bell Road and Zimri Drive contains 8.5 acres suitable for planting, most of which will be planted as pinot noir. But it’s not quite that simple.
“We’re going to end up planting seven different clones on this property,” Specter said. A clone is basically a subset of the grape, every clone sharing some base qualities but each with a unique twist. “They have their own flavor profile, own color and spice, they just add different character to the wine.”
The various qualities highlighted in each clone allow for the complexity of the grape to emerge, which is easier to do with the subtleness of pinot than with some of the bigger reds that are packed with flavor, Specter said.
Bells Up is also growing seyval blanc, a hybrid grape that has its heritage in sauvignon blanc and produces a versatile white wine.
As the winery starts out it will be producing about 400 cases a year and, while there is room for some growth, the plan is not to get into the high-volume production business.
“Our goal is to stay small, we want this to stay manageable for two people basically,” Specter said. “We want to be the kind of place that really knows who our customers are.”
The tasting room at Bells Up is generally open by appointment only, but from noon to 4 p.m. May 23 through May 25 the winery will be open to the public for its grand opening.
For more information visit http://bellsupwinery.com.