Archive for June, 2012

IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration)

June 30th, 2012 by Nicolette Bailey

The IPNC, located in McMinnville Oregon, is now in its 26th year as one of the world’s premier events focused solely on Pinot Noirs.  It is a rare opportunity to taste some of the best Pinot Noirs from around the world, side by side, paired with specifically chosen food, and centered around educational sessions to learn more about what makes Pinot Noir special.

While the focus of the event was originally Oregon Pinot Noir (as is Oregon Pinot Camp today, or OPC, held in mid-June each year), it quickly expanded to include Pinot Noir from Burgundy, Australia, New Zealand, California, Germany, Austria, and Canada. To have the opportunity to taste Pinot Noir from these very different regions of the world and compare them to each other is a rare experience.

Rarer still is the gathering of winemakers from these regions, as they discuss the challenges in their particular growing area and what makes their terroir distinctive.

IPNC always runs the last weekend in July and promises to be even more highly attended than in the past.

We are looking forward to running into old friends who share our passion for the grape, and welcoming new vintners into the fold.  The guest speakers are well chosen and the group will benefit from their expertise.  But mostly the IPNC is about celebration – a celebration of Pinot Noir and the beauty of the wines produced from this special grape.

Enjoy Your Stay

June 23rd, 2012 by Nicolette Bailey

With the vineyard, tasting room, weddings, and the rest of the buzz going on at Youngberg Hill, it’s nice to slow down as the evening arrives, and get to know the guests that are staying with us at the Inn.  They hail from all over the world, and have found us through our website, their friends or other avenue, and have decided to make Youngberg Hill their place to retreat and recharge throughout their vacation stay.  Many return each year, and we like to consider them our friends.  When they come down for breakfast in their bathrobe, we know they feel the same.  Our guests are those travelers that are looking for a relaxing, out-of-the-way experience where it is peaceful, laid back and unassuming.

We have an instant connection with our guests through our shared love of wine.  Over 90% of our guests are in the valley to taste Oregon Pinot Noir, and they relish the idea of staying on a vineyard, seeing where the fruit comes from that is going into the wine they are enjoying.  Sharing our wine and our story with the guests that join us every afternoon at our wine tasting reception gives both them and us an opportunity to really get to know each other, our families, our wines, and the valley.  And we get to hear of their other adventures – driving to the coast for the day, hiking at Silver Falls, visiting the Gorge or Mount Hood, or hot air ballooning.

When their vacation comes to a close, and they go home to New York, Atlanta, Germany, Australia, Seattle, Dallas or China, they will sometimes check in with their friends on the Hill, to let us know they’ve opened our wine, they are missing Oregon, or that they are passing this way again.   And we love to hear from them, and look forward to sharing another glass of wine.

School’s Out For the Summer!

June 16th, 2012 by Nicolette Bailey

To be truthful, the girls are not excited about staying home and working all day, but it’s going to be a busy summer for them. Natasha is going to be working at all the on-site events, setting up and breaking down, and taking on a new expanded role.  By spending more time working in the vineyard, she will better understand the different phases the vines go through.  She also will be working in our garden to help harvest the organic vegetables.  As for fun, if you know Natasha you know she is passionate about books. She has a stack of them ready for her to escape into.

As for Jordan, she has a summer of song,  including a music camp with Aaron Meyer in Portland. She will be performing at the Artful Giving Blanket Concert in July in Troutdale and the Linfield Orchestra Benefit at Youngberg Hill.  She will not be involved in the events at the vineyard as much as her sister and will be working alongside her in the garden.  She is learning some aspects of the vineyard, but gets more engaged at harvest time.

For Aspen, it will be a summer of play. Not that the other two won’t get their play time in, but other than going along with her sisters and learning to swim without her floaty, she has no planned activities.  We do have some family time speckled throughout the summer.

There will be plenty of time for the girls to play, explore, and learn all summer. Our goal as parents is to ensure that by August the girls are dying to go back to school simply to avoid manual labor. While they may not appreciate it now, their summer chores will give them a keen sense of responsibility and work ethic, and at least an appreciation for the deliberate process of growing quality grapes.



Play with your Food and your Wine

June 9th, 2012 by Nicolette Bailey

When selecting a wine for dinner, many of us typically play it safe.  We tend to choose a wine we know and like.  It’s like driving the same route home every day without even thinking of it because we do it so often.  We recently had a wonderful experience playing with our food at the Wine Country Cooking Studio in Dundee with Chef Wendy Bennett.  It was an experience that was interactive, educational, creative, and hands on.  Something as simple as making a salad with ingredients you hadn’t thought of before but were right in front of you.   We played with the food and gained an appreciation we didn’t have before.  It got me thinking, why not play with wine the same way?  We love when we are able to share with guests how the grapes are grown and the wine is made; you can see them light up with discovery.    Everything comes together with an understanding of what you’re enjoying and why.  Yes, wine can be fun if you play with it.  We see it daily in our tasting room when a guest might taste our Pinot Blanc, or something else they haven’t tried before.  Or when someone visits us from another state, and experiences Oregon Pinot Noir for the first time.

 When was the last time you played with your wine?

A Wine Club with Lagniappe

June 2nd, 2012 by Nicolette Bailey

What was the funny word again, lagniappe (lan-yap)? It is a tradition in Spanish business trade for the seller to offer something beyond what is being purchased as a gesture of appreciation toward their customer.  We at Youngberg Hill have also adopted this tradition, to ensure that our wine club members receive a little something more than our wonderful wines with their membership.

It starts with no sign-up fees.  Ours is a pay-as-you-go membership and the shipments are fully customizable.  Care to pick up your shipments at the tasting room?  We throw two pick-up parties a year so you can save some cost on shipping and sample your latest acquisitions.

Additionally, the discount assigned to your wine club membership level is good for all Youngberg Hill purchases, including stays at the Inn.  Tasting fees are waived for you and your friends.  You can restock your cellar any time, again using your discount, and for those special occasions you might be able to talk us out of something from our wine library.

And for those in the Pinot Club, they also receive passes to two winemaker’s dinner served at Youngberg Hill.

As an added token, if you as a wine club member bring an empty 375ml bottle with you on your next visit to Youngberg Hill, it will not leave empty.

It is time for you to join us!   Click on this link and you will soon be sipping some of the best wines in the Valley, and enjoying the royal treatment atop the Hill.