Archive for November, 2012

Wine Tour Oregon

November 24th, 2012 by Nicolette Bailey

Wine touring in the Willamette Valley can sometimes be a bit daunting. There are over 250 wineries in the valley, and each winery may produce six or seven different varietals. Because of the fluctuations in weather, soil types, altitudes, and overall location (terroir), the Willamette Valley is divided into six distinct sub-AVAs, reaching from Portland to Eugene.

Wine lovers travel to our beloved wine country from all over the world, and we try to assist them in getting a broad perspective of the various sub-AVAs, and also sampling their favorite style of Pinot Noirs. Depending on whether guests are with us for one day or five, we will guide them in a way to minimize their travel on any particular day by concentrating on one or two sub-AVAs; or give them a whirlwind tour across all six sub-AVAs so they have a chance to experience the broad variation in wines produced throughout the Willamette Valley.

We recommend only four or five wine tastings/wineries per day as more than that will tend to leave your taste buds dulled and not give you enough time to experience each winery to its fullest. Most guests drive themselves, in which case a map outlining the various AVAs and our recommendations within each may prove helpful: http://youngberghill.com/our-area/wine-driving-tour/ .  Others guests prefer to be driven by a tour company, and we are happy to recommend a tour that will fit your interests. There are customized tours on our website that we invite you to peruse: http://youngberghill.com/specials-packages/ .  What’s most important is that our guests leave feeling that they’ve had a true Oregon wine country experience! 

 

 

How Do You Know What You Like?

November 21st, 2012 by Nicolette Bailey

Many guests to our tasting room plead ignorance regarding their ability to describe what they are tasting and what they like in a wine. They are somewhat shy about expressing their opinion because they are afraid of saying the wrong thing.

I like to suggest to guests that they start out with the simple “yum” or “yuk” approach. The first and most important thing is whether you like it or not. If not, then your evaluation can simply stop there. If your initial reaction is “yum”, then you may also stop there.  And if you do want to describe what you believe it tastes like or why you like it, it is best to use your own words and descriptions. It is not necessary to use pontifications such as those used by wine critics.

Describing it in your own terms will help you better remember the wine and understand why you like one wine and not another.

Having said that, there is one good reason to have a better understanding of what characteristics you like in a wine and be able to express them. When in a restaurant or a wine retailer, you may be shopping for a wine or ordering from a list of wines you are unfamiliar with. In those situations, there will likely be someone to help you make a selection. But how can he help if he does not know what you like in a wine? That is where it is beneficial to be able to explain the characteristics you like, in your own words.  It will be easier for you to explain and easier to be understood.  And if you’re in a restaurant and are not sure what you like, be adventurous!

 

 

A Thankful Winemaker

November 3rd, 2012 by Nicolette Bailey

This time of year on Youngberg Hill is always one of reflection and gratitude.  This past growing season was truly a blessing – an early spring, warm temperatures, no mildew pressure, good September and October days of sunshine and cooler breezes.  We now have the grapes in the winery safe and sound. The fruit came in clean, healthy, and without much sorting necessary. As the wine begins to develop in the fermentation tank, the aromas stir the mind and recall the balmy afternoons and cool nights in August and September. The bright fruit characteristics remind me of the early spring sunshine and sporadic light showers intermixed with rainbows.

In the tasting room, we are presently putting final touches on tasting notes for the release of the 2009 Jordan Pinot Noir and reflect back on the 2009 season. It was a warmer spring and summer, but cooled off in September and October. The grapes ripened easily and in their own time, and weather cooperated. In the winery, the fruit went through fermentation with amazing vitality. Coming out of the tank and into the barrel, we were amazed at how appealing and approachable the wine was at that early stage. And now tasting three years later, it brings back those memories as if it were yesterday.

We are also thankful of course to all of our friends and neighbors who helped us bring in the fruit this year.  Everyone worked so tirelessly and carefully – it touched our hearts, and we look forward to seeing you all again.  But we insist that next time you come to Youngberg Hill, you relax and sip some vino!