We were incredibly touched to read the feature story by Viki Eierdam about our winery and vineyard in the Fall 2018 issue of Wine Press Northwest.
In “Willamette Valley winemakers pay tribute to their inspiration: Loss of mentor launches Bells Up Winery,” she focused on our 14 tribute rows that honor the memory of loved ones who have passed away while we’ve been on this journey, highlighting particularly Row 1, Block 1—planted in memory of Sara’s mentor, Kelly Palmer, who died of pancreatic cancer almost a decade ago at age 40. (Viki took the fantastic picture of us, above, for this article specifically.)
Here are some of her lines that we found especially moving:
“David and Sara Specter are the owners of Bells Up Winery, a true boutique winery with an estimated 2017 vintage production of 400 cases. What they lack in numbers, they make up for in heart…
Each time they tell the story of their tribute vines is an opportunity for those cherished friends to touch another person and keep their memories alive. James Elliott Muse, for example, was stillborn to dear friends of the Specters, who were deeply touched by the dedication of a row to their son.
“To have another physical place in the world, to have that plaque there, is a way for him (James) to live on, even though he never even took a breath. In general, it’s an amazing tribute, what they do there to dedicate a row. That certainly means a lot to my wife and me,” Jordan Muse said.
Eminently transparent, the Specters further recognized that if they applied Kelly’s advice in a moment of emotion but found themselves caught up in the challenges of life a second time around, they really would have learned nothing. Sharing their story during intimate tastings reminds them of why they traveled 2,500 miles to start anew.”
While we are truly humbled to be recognized for something that just feels like the right thing to do, we were even more so when we learned from Viki that this article was one of her last stories as a full-time wine writer. She’s moving on to a new adventure, but sent me a note saying, “So honored to have the opportunity to to share Bells Up. It’s stories like yours and Dave’s that always fueled my heart!”
Thank you Viki and Wine Press Northwest for a beautiful article.