We’ve kept this quiet for MONTHS now, but in April this year we were contacted by Holly Brinkman, Head of Corporate Communications for the Mahindra Group, which includes the Mahindra Ag North America — and manufacturer of our trusty tractor. She’d seen our Instagram posts and invited us to be included in a series of customer profiles she’s been working on throughout 2021. OF COURSE we said YES!
While we do use the tractor throughout the spring and summer, we felt that Holly and her videographer Mike would be happiest with footage recorded in the fall, around harvest. Of course, we had no idea that this year would be one of our most challenging harvests ever, logistically speaking. But in spite of being mental puddles and physically exhausted from several grueling weeks, we soldiered on during the filming on an incredibly humid and windy afternoon in early October (note: that’s why Sara’s hair is looking especially awesome in the videos).
In addition to posting a lovely profile on the Mahindra USA blog, “Starting a New Life with Bells Up Winery,” they also edited hours of footage into three separate videos (below). Holly writes:
Dave and Sara Specter’s life changed for the better when they decided to buy 10 acres of land in Newberg, Oregon in 2014. They had been living in Cincinnati, Ohio and working very traditional corporate jobs, when a mentor of Sara’s passed away quickly of pancreatic cancer. Realizing they weren’t living their lives to the fullest, they decided they were going to finally go after their dreams and start a small vineyard out west.
Dave started working at a local urban winery in Ohio to learn the ropes, and when he felt confident in his abilities, they packed up their lives, and moved to Oregon. Since they couldn’t afford a lot of properties on the market, they moved to the town they were interested in first and connected with the community to find something that would work for them.
The piece of land they found was what they now lovingly refer to as the former eyesore of the neighborhood. It was completely covered in dead Christmas trees and blackberries. They moved in, cleared it out, and then started planting their vision.
They now have a range of grapes on the property and work round the clock to make their passion a successful business.
To help them with their daily tasks, Dave and Sara have a 1538 Mahindra Tractor and a Mahindra UTV. Sara uses the UTV to get around the property and move things up and down the hills. And Dave uses the tractor for just about everything else. It is particularly helpful during harvest season, hauling the large vats of grapes up to the processing area, and the processed grapes into the compost pile.
When asked for tractor tips, they have the usual “go as big as you can” advice, but also emphasized the importance of moving slowly and keeping a low center of gravity. “We were actually drawn to the Mahindra because of its low center of gravity and turning capabilities.”
Another tip they offered was to make friends with your neighbors and see if they’re open to sharing common chores and tasks. They had the good fortune to befriend a neighbor who also has a tractor, and the 2 decided to purchase complimentary implements so they could accomplish more with less. “It’s a great way to connect in with your community, and save some time and money along the way.”
They sell wine strictly through their winery, and ship all over the country. They also offer intimate tours if you’re ever in the Willamette Valley and want to hear more about their process. After having a sampling of their different varietals, we can confirm it’s worth the trip.
It was a lot of fun, and while we never imagined we’d be featured in tractor marketing, it IS 2021. So why not? Thanks Holly, Mike, and Mahindra USA for showcasing our little operation.