SoCal Restaurant Show Invites Bells Up Winemaker Dave Back for Follow-Up Interview

Two men smiling in a vineyard

During our virtual tasting with the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA), we reconnected with Andy Harris. Andy — pictured above with Winemaker Dave during Andy’s visit here in September 2019 — is co-host and executive producer of The SoCal Restaurant Show.

SoCal Restaurant Show LogoAs the ultimate locals’ guide to food, restaurants and beverages with a side of travel with food at its center, The SoCal Restaurant Show can be heard on AM 830 KLAA each Saturday morning from 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon. It’s hosted by seasoned food, libation, and travel journalist, Andy Harris, and Chef Andrew Gruel, the Executive Chef and Concept Creator of American Gravy Restaurant Concepts.  Recorded live, the fast-moving, 2-hour, interactive show shares the hosts’ vast global food knowledge and is presented with a light and humorous edge. Substantive interviews with top celebrity chefs and entertaining culinary personalities are part of the weekly content.

Andy Interviews Dave for a Follow-Up

Having already featured Dave in a two-part interview at the end of 2019, we were honored when Andy invited him back for a follow-up chat on the show this past June. Andy and Dave had a spirited conversation over two separate segments (Part 1 and Part 2) of the show’s June 10, 2023 broadcast.

Dave’s two segments were heard by 48,000 listeners in Southern California, from Santa Barbara on the North to the Mexican border on the South and Inland to Palm Springs and points further East. Hundreds more tuned-in via the Live Stream (in real time) on the website and on the AM 830 App.

First Segment Covers Our Backstory and Tasting Experience

In the first segment, Andy asks Dave about how he found his way from tax attorney to winemaker over a period of several years while we lived in Cincinnati. Andy’s comment pretty much sums it up:

“And Dave, we should point out to our audience if it hasn’t been obvious to them before now, you are very detail oriented and you don’t jump into anything without researching the nuances thoroughly. So it was not like this was a whim. You had a plan and you executed the plan, which is a good thing.”

To which Dave replied:

“One of the funny things I always say about the wine business, it’s one of the few industries that often is not run like a business. I mean, so often it is sort of let’s say a wealthy person’s ego project. But for us, this is our passion and this is how we wanted to be able to make a living. We wanted to be able to just play a small part in adding to the lives of others and making people smile. But at the same time, it’s a business and it has to pencil out. And so we really had to be very focused on what that line for us was going to look like. I think you sort of have to pick a lane if you’re going to be in the business. You either have to be really small or really big.”

Andy also noted the uniqueness of our approach to hosting private tastings, saying:

“In terms of what the tasting room experience is at Bells Up Winery. It’s hands on, it’s personal, it’s not rushed. What you and Sara do is very unusual.”

Dave explained:

“We knew we wanted to be really small. And so everything about our operation is laser focused on customer attention. For example, when people come in to our place, I only take one group at a time because I want to be able to give every small group individual attention, give them that opportunity to ask anything and really start to work on creating relationships so that people can get to know us… We can customize the discussion that we have to where they are. What we’re never going to do is talk over anybody’s head. We’re going to just take everybody where they are, and talk about intention — what we’re trying to do — in a way that folks can grasp no matter where they are on their wine journey. We want to make wine less intimidating for folks.”

Here’s the first segment:

Second Segment Explores the Bells Up Name, Property, and Varietals

In the second portion of the conversation, Andy asks Dave to explain the meaning behind the name “Bells Up” to his audience. He also asks about our micro vineyard and the types of grapes we’re growing. Andy specifically asked about the Helios Estate Seyval Blanc, noting “I think [Helios is] actually probably my favorite white wine that you do.” He also asked about the Joy Estate Seyval Blanc Brut, our first sparkling wine.

Dave explained that when both are in stock we often pour them side-by-side, saying:

“In the case of the [Helios] Seyval, what it gives you is it gives you the nose is really, really interesting, very unusual. It’s diesel-y nose and for those of your listeners that have had German Rieslings, they will recognize it instantly, but the palate is completely different. The palate is tropical fruit. None of that shows up on the aroma. It has a thicker viscosity to it if it would probably be most similar in thickness to a chardonnay, which makes it a wonderful, wonderful food wine, but also just a fun one to share with friends and to pair with seafood and just kind of lighter meats. It’s really versatile and folks really love it out here.”

“What’s really fun about [Joy Seyval Blanc Brut] is that it’s so refreshing, but it gives that wonderful fruit flavor. The fruit goes from tropical to apple and pear. When we pour it here in the tasting room, we usually pour it right alongside the Helios. So you have the same grape, finished two different ways, fermented the exact same way, and yet when people taste the two together, it tastes like two completely different wines. They can’t believe that it’s actually from the same grape.”

Here’s the second segment:

SoCal Restaurant Show’s Andy Harris Recommends a Tasting at Bells Up

Andy concludes the conversation by reminding the audience that Bells Up only does a “one-on-one tasting, one group only, and very special experience because when you’re with a group or visitors, it’s like you have no other focus but them, which is highly unusual… Definitely when you’re in the area worth your while.”

Want to experience a tasting hosted by Winemaker Dave exclusively for one group at a time — or add to your wine collection? We’re hosting tastings throughout the holidays and winter months. Contact us by phone at 503.537.1328 or email info@bellsupwinery.com to reserve your seat at the table.

Bells Up Winery | 27895 NE Bell Road | Newberg, Oregon 97132 | 503.537.1328 | info@bellsupwinery.com

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