Archive for January, 2013

Meet Lon (aka Tin Man)

January 26th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

lonWe first meet Lon almost 8 years ago through his son Miles, who went to school with our daughter Natasha.  When Natasha and Miles became friends, we got to learn more about what kind of a person Lon is.  Our first thought of Lon was that he was incredibly kind.  Personally, I find that very admirable in anyone I meet, and he made an excellent impression on us right from the start.  Our second thought about Lon was that he was funny.  He isn’t one to crack jokes and be the life of the party, but he has the kind of humor that sneaks up on you when you least expect it.

Lon worked at Wells Fargo for years and when he decided to end his corporate accounting job and work with his parents at Found Objects in McMinnville, I knew he needed something more challenging.  We invited Lon to start bartending at our events this past summer.  There he shined; he kept event guests happy with his humor, worked hard, laughed a lot, and really showed us what a good person he is.  When an Innkeeping position became available, he was the perfect fit.

After a couple of weeks of cooking breakfasts at the Inn, Lon earned the nickname “Tin Man.”  He wrapped everything in aluminum foil – cookie sheets, ramekins, leftovers, you name it.  Whatever needed to be kept clean or preserved was covered in foil!  For Christmas our other Innkeeper, Becky, recycled all of the aluminum that she had used in the kitchen over a few months and crafted it into a huge ball for Lon.

Now Lon is part of the Youngberg family and we are thrilled to have him brighten up our days and those of our guests.  Becky raves about all the jokes he plays on her, and she loves getting him back.  We can’t wait for more laughter with Lon in the years to come!

~Nicolette

Pinot Noir=Oregon

January 20th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

oregon=pn2There continues to be a lot of discussion in the industry regarding the perception of Oregon wines, the relationship with Pinot Noir, and how to best market. I think the relationship is reciprocal. What do I mean by that?

Oregon (in particular the Willamette Valley) is a great place to grow Pinot Noir. We are producing Pinot Noir that rivals any produced anywhere in the world. We continue to gain accolades such as those published in the latest Wine Spectator. Therefore, Pinot Noir = Oregon.

Oregon is also growing other varietals and producing some very fine wines, however, Pinot Noir is what has put Oregon on the map as being a viable wine producing state and over 50% of Oregon wine production is Pinot Noir. Therefore, I say Oregon = Pinot Noir.

So from a marketing perspective, Oregon should put its best foot (product) forward by promoting Oregon Pinot Noir across the world, differentiating Oregon Pinot Noir from others produced around the world by our unique growing conditions, soils, quality, and sustainability. The more we do that, the more awareness there will be, the more wine sold, the more tourism, and the more non-Pinot Noir wines will be recognized. Let’s not be another California.

 

Aspen Birthday Joy

January 14th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

aspen 6th 2 x 2It’s hard to imagine how 6 years have gone by since Aspen arrived and blessed us.  I have described Aspen many times as “the one who saved my life.”  When moving to Oregon over 9 years ago and embarking on this amazing adventure at Youngberg Hill, I was Super Woman.  I tried to do it all; family, innkeeping, housekeeping, marketing, lawn maintenance, etc.  I remember becoming ill in year three.  God, in his ultimate wisdom, got me pregnant (no, I’m not talking the immaculate conception, but it wasn’t planned). I knew, without a doubt, I had to hang up my Super Woman cape and accept that while I could do it all I shouldn’t.  I hire help with all the things that I had been doing and allowed myself to trust in those decisions.

Since Aspen joined our family, everything in our  lives have changed for the best.  We carved out our own family space on the hill. We hired wonderful staff to be the Innkeepers, housekeepers, tasting room manager, and so on.  In the past 6 years I have been able to look over the weeds and see the direction the company needed to move into.  We are now right where I always wanted us to be.  We are a family having a farm, wine, vineyard, and hospitality experience that is exceptional in every way.  We are having fun and loving what we do.  Yes, Aspen saved my life and she also brings Joy into everyone’s life!

Come visit her soon!

~Nicolette

 

Wine Serving Temperatures

January 12th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

temperaturesSo at what temperature should you enjoy your favorite wine?  As depicted in the diagram, it depends on what type of wine it is.  But also heavily factored is how you prefer it.  Just as what kind of wine you like, and what food you pair it with, the temperature of the wine is a personal preference, but a little guidance may help.  Most wine is consumed either too cold which masks the taste (in the case of white wine) or too warm (in the case of red).  Why?  Because most of the time we pull a bottle of white out of the refrigerator or a bottle of red off the wine rack in the dining room.

Ideally, both are kept in a wine cellar or other temperature-controlled environment at a temperature of 55 degrees.  White wine could then be pulled from the cellar, opened, and drank immediately.  Red wine could also be pulled out of the cellar, opened to breathe, poured into a larger glass (warmed by the hands), and drank.

Another factor to consider is whether or not you are eating food with it, and if so, what is the temperature of that food?  If the wine is closer in temperature to the food temperature, there is better exchange of flavors. I don’t mean to suggest your wine should be as hot as your soup!  But a white wine could go a little cooler with a salad and a little warmer with a crab cake.

It also depends on the weather.  A refreshing cool wine (white or red) hits the spot on a sunny day, while a warmer wine by the fire on a winter night is just right!

 

 

Times They are A-Changing!

January 5th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

wine packagingI never thought I would see a French wine bottled with a screw cap. Well, it has happened, and more than once.  As we consider ALL aspects of storing, transporting, serving, and drinking wine, our priorities can change.

In regards to closures, it was once believed that cork was the only way to seal wine in a bottle. Now we know that other closures may be better for the wine, the consumer, and the environment. The “right” answer may vary from wine to wine, and even change over time as we get more information.

Wine used to be transported in barrels to its destination of consumption, similar to beer. That changed with the development of glass bottles, making wine purchasing more economical and convenient.  The 750ml bottle became the standard of the industry, and remained so for many years.  Today, barrels (or kegs) are again being used to transport wine to the point of consumption and purchase.  Furthermore wine is currently available in boxes, bags, plastic bottles, and can even be purchased by going to a retailer and “filling up” your container as if you were at a gas station.  To date, none of these alternatives have jeopardized the quality of the wine.  In fact, in many cases, the quality has been enhanced, just as we have seen with the screw cap.

In what alternative packaging have you obtained your favorite wines recently?