Archive for the ‘Youngberg Hill Pinot Noir’ Category

Grape Veraison in Oregon Pinot Noir

September 9th, 2011 by Nicolette Bailey

Veraison is the ripening process as wine grapes change color from green to a deep blue purple. This color change typically takes place in late August/early September, but with this year’s late spring, we have not yet seen much change. There are many other changes taking place in the grapes as they are ripening and all are important to the development of the fruit and the resultant wine.

As the color is changing, we are able to identify fruit that is most likely not going to ripen or will not ripen when a majority of the fruit will and best to cut off so it is not picked at harvest time. During this time the sugar content (brix)of the grapes is increasing, ph (acidity) is decreasing, and tartaric acid is going down. These three quantifiable measures help gauge the ripening of the grapes. We are also looking at more subjective measures such as the seeds to see how they are turning from green to brown, the consistency of the pulp to see that it is losing its firmness and adherence to the seed, and, of course, the flavors. Every vintage is different. Some years, the flavors tend to set in earlier during the ripening of the grapes and then there are years when the flavors do not begin to show up until the very end. Even if all other elements are where you want them, if the flavors are not there, they will not be in the wine.

So as the grapes are starting to ripen, everything is dependent on Mother Nature, specifically the weather. It is very important to have dry sunny days that are not too hot. October makes or breaks a vintage in the Willamette Valley, especially for Pinot Noir. We need that time on the vines to ripen the fruit to its full potential. At the same time, the weather is changing.  Rain showers start to come in from the ocean. They may be just a short drizzle or a day long pouring. If it only lasts a day or so, it will be fine as long as we have some sunny dry weather following. We are constantly watching the weather patterns out in the Pacific to determine what to anticipate for weather and whether to hold tight and hope that the weather passes, or decide to harvest fruit while it is dry.

It is an anxious time, waiting. When the decision is made to harvest and the day arrives, it is very exciting to bring the fruit in from the vineyard into the winery. To see and feel the the fruit of your labor since January come safely into the winery, is both a relief and pride. When driving back to the vineyard at the end of the day, however, while it has been filled with anticipation and excitement, there is a little let down when I see the vines naked of fruit that I have nurtured all summer long.

Pinot Noir Pears and Smoothies

August 9th, 2011 by Nicolette Bailey

If your looking for options for getting your daily intake of Youngberg Hill Pinot Noir we have two great solutions for you.  Make Pinot Noir Pears and smoothies!  Take a bottle of Pinot Noir, whole peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, and sugar and simmer for 30 min.  Peel and core fresh pears and set them aside. Next, strain the Pinot sauce and place the pears in the Pinot sauce and cook for 30 min. Let them cool and refrigerate over night. In the morning either serve the Pinot Pears for breakfast or freeze it for smoothies. For Pinot smoothies take them out of the freezer and let it start thawing, pour a bottle of Pinot Gris in with it and blend.  And there you have my famous Pinot Noir Smoothies!! We can serve them for breakfast and during events at Youngberg Hill.  They are SO good that I have decided I am going to patent them!!


Oregon Pinot Noir and Resveratrol

August 8th, 2011 by Nicolette Bailey

Pinot Noir grapes are grown around the world and remain a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine. The grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France and in more recent years, The Willamette Valley of Oregon. Willamette Valley is at the same latitude as Burgundy, and has a similar cool, damp climate in which the finicky Pinot Noir grapes thrive. Both regions are widely considered to produce some of the finest wines in the world.

Oregon Pinot Noirs are the ultimate food wine – complex, sleek, smooth and elegant with moderate degrees of tannin (the substance derived from the skins and seeds of fermenting grapes). It is an all around easy drinking wine that goes just as well with vegetables, pasta, cheese, and fruit as it does with chicken, pork, fin- and shellfish. If you’re wondering where all this wine talk is coming from, it’s because I’ve just returned from an indulgent wine-tasting trip to the abovementioned Willamette Valley. But don’t worry, there is a method to my madness…and it’s not just to soothe my gluttonous conscience.

Thanks to the French Paradox study of the early 90′s, we all know that red wine is the “healthy” alcoholic drink of choice, but did you know that only one varietal of red wine has been shown to possess often exponentially higher health properties than other kinds of wine? Yep, that’s right, the Pinot Noir grape has been said to produce the highest amounts of the antioxidant resveratrol than other red wines, which (like most other red wines besides Pinot Noir) already contain about 10 times the amount of resveratrol as white wines.

As noted by Cornell researcher Leroy Creasy, Pinot Noir’s high resveratrol content is due largely to the fact that this temperamental, thin-skinned grape (which remember, thrives in cool, moist climates) is often stressed by a combination of pathogenic organisms, temperature and fungi that typically attack in cool damp climates, resulting in the Pinot Noir grape producing resveratrol to defend itself against such attacks. The same chemical defense that extends the life of these grapes also appears to have similar benefits for us. Just as a refresher, here are a few of the claimed benefits:

  • Regular red wine consumption has been said to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems due to a class of compounds known as catechins (flavanoids). Like resveratrol, which aids grapes in fighting fungal infections, they act as anti-oxidants and anti-coagulants.
  • Lowers risk of Alzheimer’s: several studies show that resveratrol lowers the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, by reducing the levels of amyloid-beta peptides, which are responsible for the disease.
  • Regulates Cholesterol: Studies of wine and health suggest that red wine can raise HDL cholesterol (the ‘good’ kind) and discourage LDL (the ‘bad’ kind) from forming.
  • Anti-carcinogenic/anti-cancer properties: inhibits cellular events associated with the initiation, promotion, and progression of tumors
  • Contains powerful antioxidant polyphenols, which contribute to anti-cancer, anti-aging benefits including helping to fight heart disease, vision disorders, allergies, viral infections, and more.

If you’re a Pinot Noir fan, you probably already appreciate the qualities of a great complex Pinot. And although the resveratrol content can vary widely from winery to winery, year to year, crop to crop, different fermentation processes, and other factors, it’s a generally safe bet to say that choosing a glass of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is likely to contain a far higher resveratrol content than your typical glass of red wine. And that’s just one more reason to adore an Oregon Pinot.  Youngberg Hill’s organic farming is a perfect match to the health benefits for you to enjoy.  As a daily consumer of Youngberg Hill’s Pinot Noir I can honestly say that I have all the benefits and am loving life.

Article posted at Wellness Made Natural

IPNC Winemaker Dinner

July 24th, 2011 by Nicolette Bailey

IPNC Winemaker Dinner at Youngberg Hill is a dinner you will not want to miss.  We are celebrating 25 years of the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) in McMinnville. This year we are celebrating both 25 years of IPNC by having Andina, one of Portland’s top restaurants, as our guest chefs.   We are also honored to have Alexandrine Roy of Domaine Marc Roy as our Burgundian guest and featured winery to host this dinner with us.

It will be a spectacular evening under the stars with great food and wine in a once-in-a-life-time combination to celebrate 25 years of IPNC.  We still have rooms available at The Inn so you can enjoy the evening and not drive home.  Advanced Reservations Required @ 503-472-2727 or
Date:  July 28, 2011 at 6:30PM /Price-$150 per person
We still have a few seats left so don’t miss this great night.


North West Wine Summit

June 16th, 2011 by Nicolette Bailey

North West Wine Summit is the largest competition of wines from the Pacific Northwest, with well over 1,300 wines entered from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, British Columbia and Alberta.  We are happy that the Youngberg Hill 2007 Jordan Block Pinot Noir received a Silver medal.  While we like to always receive Gold medals for our wines we feel that given the high level of completion and entries this was a solid showing.  Come and taste the Jordan 2007 for yourself and you be the judge.

Chuck Hill’s Wine Review

June 14th, 2011 by Nicolette Bailey

Chuck Hill’s Wine Review this week showcased Youngberg Hill.

Youngberg Hill Vineyards, 2008 Pinot Noir, Natasha Block
Youngberg Hill Vineyards began as a hobby of the original owners of the Youngberg Hill Bed and Breakfast, an elegant property southwest of McMinnville, Oregon. Later owners have taken the vineyard and winery more seriously and indeed, the grapes produced here frequently produce award-winning wines like this gold-medal winner. Look for ripe aromas of earthy cherry, spicy vanilla and notes of apple and caramel. The berry/cherry palate is firm with toasty oak and medium tannins, pairing very well with smoky salmon from the grill.

Youngberg Hill Vineyards, 2008 Pinot Noir, Jordan Block
This intense wine needs a few hours breathing to open up and show its stuff. Cherry cola, anise, earthy herbs and toast dominate the aroma, though more characters appear as the wine breathes. The palate offers flavors of black fruits, citrus zest, fennel and vanilla toast.

Growing Vineyards in Oregon’s Wine Country

June 14th, 2011 by Nicolette Bailey

Growing Vineyards in Oregon’s Wine Country is exciting.  Summer is finally beginning to show as the grape vines have budded and are growing shoots, sometimes as much as an inch a day. It is always exciting to see the new shoots reaching for the sky, knowing that in a few weeks they will be 7 feet tall. The cool weather this spring has currently put us about 4 weeks behind in the typical growing cycle of the vines, but it is a long summer and there will be plenty of opportunities for the vines to catch up a little with spurts of hot weather.  And then there is October, the month that makes or breaks the vintage.


June 7th, 2011 by Nicolette Bailey

Voodoo Vintners Book Signing at the Joel Palmer House in Dayton OR on Sunday June 12th from 3-6pm.  Author Katherine Cole will be on hand to sign and talk about Oregon’s astonishing Bio-dynamic Winegrowers.  If your interested in wine, farming, and our environment this is a fun event.  Youngberg Hill has been farming organically since 2003 and proudly supports this book.  Reservations requested at 503.864.2995.  Visit

Memorial Weekend Wine Tasting Open House

May 27th, 2011 by Nicolette Bailey

Memorial weekend wine tasting open house in Oregon’s Wine Country is so much fun.  Youngberg Hill will be open from 11:00 to 5:00 on Saturday, Sunday, & Monday. We will be highlighting our 2010 Aspen Pinot Gris as well as our newly released 2010 Pinot Blanc. Cheeses, breads, and treats will be available, plus the greatest view.  If you cant get to McMinnville this weekend we are also pouring our wines at the Carlton Cellars Winery in Carlton.  Tasting fee of $10/person, complimentary tastings for our Wine Club members.



Horseback Riding in Wine Country

May 26th, 2011 by Nicolette Bailey

Horseback Riding in Wine Country is beautiful when done at Equestrian Wine Tours with Jake Price.  For years his horse, Chewy, took many Youngberg Hill guests on rides through vineyards in Dayton and Dundee.  Now Chewy is summering at Youngberg Hill along with a few friends.  Come say ‘Hi’ to him and enjoy a glass of wine.