Well, what week it has been. Out of power for 5 days, three feet of snow, and Christmas at friends all made for an interesting week. Although it feels like a missed Christmas because of all the extra work, we experienced the true meaning of Christmas by the help and hospitality of our friends last week. We could not have had a Christmas without them.
Archive for December, 2008
December 29th, 2008 by Nicolette Bailey
December 20th, 2008 by Nicolette Bailey
December 17th, 2008 by Nicolette Bailey
OK, so I’m not dreaming. We’re only a week away and we may in fact have snow on Christmas. It sure is compromising shopping though. And guests travel. We are having some fantastic sledding on the hill, but it gets tricky going into the vineyard. Whoops!
December 15th, 2008 by Nicolette Bailey
Where did it go. We are having record low temperatures and snow, relatively unheard of here. Someone told me they were getting snow in Las Vegas today as well. What’s going on here? “Tis the season, but this is going a little too far. I’d rather just get a dusting on Christmas Day. And to think we were worried about the vines starting to bud early. Think again.
December 14th, 2008 by Nicolette Bailey
We are excited about the upcoming Winemaker’s Dinner at Caprial’s in Portland on January 27th.
More details to come.
December 13th, 2008 by Nicolette Bailey
We have an inch of snow on the ground which is just enough to go sledding down our vineyard hill.
December 12th, 2008 by Nicolette Bailey
Just as we are starting to think about pruning the vines our first winter storm begins to arrive. Early pruning is always a conundrum. Have you ever thought about pruning vine and getting to know the grapes that make your wine more intimately? Come join in the fun.
December 9th, 2008 by Nicolette Bailey
We just barrel tasted through our 2007 still in barrel and the 2008s just in barrel. Very different vintages and both very succulent, rich, balanced and with a lot of lingering fruit flavors.
December 6th, 2008 by Nicolette Bailey
There is a lot of talk these days about living your life with passion. What does that mean? For us, it means creating an environment for our guests where they feel comfortable, at home, among friends, welcome, relaxed, and far away from the maddening crowd. We have wonderful guests stay with us and we love to learn about their lives and for them to get to know us. It is our intent to help our guests forget about everything else except themselves even if just for an evening or a day. We love to share our hill and create that environment for our guests.
We also have a passion for farming and growing grapes. Grapevines are extrodanary plants very similar to roses. So we farm the vineyard very similar to how your would farm 30,000 champion rose bushes, caring for each individually. And what a thrill it is every fall to reap the rewards of all that hard work that started back in January.
And then there is the wine, the benefit of farming such a succulent fruit. What a reward it is to open a bottle of wine, pour a taste to one of our guests, explain to them what it took to grow that fruit and make that particular wine, and for their eyes to light up with delight and approvals as if to say “Job well done”.
That is our passion at Youngberg Hill Vineyards & Inn.
December 4th, 2008 by Nicolette Bailey
As an organic vineyard we have always placed great importance in the health of our land. While we have always been active in recycling of the standard items such as newspapers, glass, aluminum, & plastic we took a look at our fundamental practices of the footprint we are leaving and thought we could do better. First, we calculated that we distributed over 5,000 water bottles to our guest every year. While we hoped most were recycled we also knew many were not. In an effort to reduce this environmental waste we stopped offering individual plastic water bottles and now offer a main water station for our guests. This has been very well received and appreciated by many who knew that our habits show who we are and our actions show who we want to be.
The next environmental concern we addressed was the water and electricity consumption of washing Inn guest towels. To reduce unnecessary waste we now offer guests who stay multiple days the option to refresh the linens daily or when they are soiled. We are happy to report that almost every guest chooses to save our resources.
Next, I looked at the empty glass wine bottles that we were transporting to the recycling center weekly. I thought of how we could use this amazing glass products at Youngberg Hill. After much trial and error I now make our own wine plates that are used at breakfast from our own recycled glass wine bottles. I have also created one of a kind wine glass sinks that have just been made available. We are currently recycling every wine bottle at Youngberg Hill with expansion of products in the future. Both the wine plates and sinks are available for purchase at Youngberg Hill.
In the next year we are investigating other ways to reduce environmental waste. One area that will be changing are the individual shampoo, conditioners, & soaps in all our bathrooms. These small plastic bottles are not recyclable and are the biggest form of plastic waste at any hotel or Inn. We will be installing dispensers in each bathroom with high quality environmentally friendly products. I look forward to hearing from our guests about this change and listening for other areas and ideas that they may have as well.
Our future plans are mission sensitive to the environment. From solar options, gray water recycling, and using recycled products in all areas we are committed to this cause. While we know we are not perfect we strive to achieve practices that not only educate our guests but build a better environment for all of us.