It’s May in Oregon—which means it’s Oregon Wine Month! We were delighted to welcome Lake Oswego Review writer and local author Barb Randall back to the winery late last month to tour the new production building and sample the latest wine releases (and to take the photo of Dave, above). We were also surprised to be the only winery she featured in her kickoff coverage of Oregon’s May activities!
Here’s some of what she wrote in her column, “Bunch of Wine Events for the Picking in May,” published on Thursday, May 2:
It’s May — Oregon Wine Month!
That means it’s time to participate in the hundreds of events the Oregon Wine Board has planned to celebrate bud break, which officially kicks off the winegrowing season. It is the perfect time to visit tasting rooms, restaurants and retailers across the state to enjoy Oregon wines.
I couldn’t help myself — I jumped the gun by visiting Bells Up Winery the last part of April. It is always a treat to spend time with owners and winemaker Sara and Dave Specter. They are building a winery on premises, and they are looking forward to inaugurating it at harvest this fall.
And there is more happening at Bells Up to get excited about: namely the wines.
We can all look forward to drinking Helios Estate Vineyard Chehalem Mountains AVA Seyval Blanc in 2019, but this year it is a Fanfare Club exclusive.
Dave and Sara added a half-acre of Seyval Blanc to their vineyard in 2015 — the first and only planting of the varietal in the Willamette Valley. Seyval Blanc is a hybrid with characteristics similar to Sauvignon Blanc. In fact when Dave and Sara first introduced the wine to me I thought it was Sauvignon Blanc.
Seyval blanc is a varietal that is near and dear to the Specters’ hearts. As an amateur winemaker in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dave worked extensively with Seyval Blanc sourced from the Lake Erie AVA and Ohio River Valley AVA. In 2011, prior to relocating to Newberg to start Bells Up, he won an amateur national winemaking competition with Seyval Blanc.
The couple said the 2018 harvest yielded 700 pounds of fruit which produced 15 cases, which explains this year’s limited availability.
“The 15 cases is a big leap from our original harvest in 2017, when we only picked 100 pounds and made an experimental batch that yielded 23 bottles,” Dave said.
“We are looking forward to producing and releasing more Helios as the vines continue to mature in the coming years,” Sara said. “Ultimately we plan to produce enough Seyval Blanc to make it available to all guests.”
We may have to wait for Seyval Blanc but they have ample quantities of fantastic pinot blanc, rose of pinot noir and pinot noir….
Sara and Dave invite all to Taste the Estate from noon to 4 p.m. May 18, 19, 25, 26 and 27 at the winery and tasting room located at 27895 NE Bell Road in Newberg. The tasting room is also always open by appointment.
Love bacon? Plan on attending their Bacon Winemaker Dinner featuring Subterra on Saturday, June 1. Every dish — from appetizers to salads, sides, entree and dessert — features bacon paired of course with Bells Up wines. Reserve a seat by calling 503-537-1328…
According to OWB Oregon has 769 wineries, 1,144 vineyards and grows 82 different grape varieties across the state so we have a lot of exploring to do. Start by visiting Bells Up. Tastings are by appointment only, so email or call Dave and Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-537-1328. Visit bellsupwinery.com to learn more.
To read the full article, click here.