Vino-Sphere publisher and wine reviewer (and former Ohioan!) Dave Nershi paid us a visit among many other stops on his tour of the Willamette Valley. He just published an article about how the Valley offers more than just Pinot Noir (gasp!).
In “Oregon’s Willamette Valley Encompasses Diverse Beverage Scene,” Nershi writes, “We understand if you think Willamette Valley is Pinot Noir only. Don’t look now, but the region boasts a burgeoning craft beer scene, new distilleries and the emergence of new grape varieties.”
Particularly taken with Helios, our estate Seyval Blanc—the first planting and bottling of the varietal in the Willamette Valley—he featured it in the article, saying:
Seyval Blanc In The Valley
The spirit of innovation and creativity extends to the valley’s wine producers. While proud of its international reputation for premium Pinot Noir, other grape varieties are making a splash.
Oregon has long been known for its Pinot Gris, made into a luscious fruit forward, medium-bodied wine with bright acidity. Increasingly, wines using untypical Willamette Valley grapes can be found.
Bells Up Winery is a micro-boutique operation owned by Dave and Sara Specter who planted the first ever acreage of Seyval Blanc in the Willamette Valley. The French hybrid white grape was used to produce a very limited production bottling of their 2018 Helios Estate Seyval Blanc. Only 15 cases were made, and the initial reviews have been outstanding.
Dave, who is the Bells Up winemaker, and Sara have a very personal connection to the variety. As an amateur winemaker in Ohio, Dave worked extensively with Seyval Blanc. Not only did they enjoy the resulting wine, but he won an amateur national winemaking competition in 2011 with a 2010 Seyval Blanc made in his basement.
“We felt it was the affirmation we needed to finally put the Cincinnati house on the market and move to the Willamette Valley to establish Bells Up,” said Specter. “We suspected the vines would do well here, and felt that it would be a unique wine offering among the more commonly found white wines in the region—although we were surprised to discover that we have the first planting in the Willamette and only the second in Oregon.”
Want to add 2018 Helios or 2016 Candide to your collection? Both are available exclusively to members of Fanfare Club—which only requires a minimum 6-bottle purchase once a calendar year. Contact us by phone (503-537-1328) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to purchase your bottles today.