Posts Tagged ‘Willamette Valley Wineries’

Bottling 2014 Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley

November 2nd, 2015 by Nicolette Bailey

IMG_1059When do we bottle Pinot Noir in Willamette Valley? It’s about this time of year when Oregon Wineries move the previous year’s harvest from barrels to bottles. This is a great time to revisit last year’s harvest, and explore this wine after it’s spent some time in the barrel. 2014 was a rare year for Oregon Pinot Noir. Across the board, Willamette Valley vineyards harvested not only a large quantity of fruit, but more importantly the harvested fruit was of a high quality. All too often one is sacrificed for the benefit of the other, but not in 2014. That year began with an early spring that continued into warmer than normal weather throughout the growing season. This combination brought in a harvest two to three weeks earlier than normal, a time of year that saw very little precipitation. Often times, late in the growing season, vineyards are at the mercy of the weather, hoping for enough dry days to pick ripe fruit. As a combined result, the 2014 wines in barrel are showing ripe, voluptuous body and weight.

Bottling Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley typically takes place right before harvest in late August and September. The machines used to bottle wine are large, and require specially trained operators. Because of this, a lot of smaller wineries hire a mobile botting unit. When it is time for bottling the mobile unit is pulled to the winery.DSCN1218

Once bottled, the wine is left to age in bottle for at least another 6 months before release. However, Youngberg Hill typically release our Pinot Noirs 2 years after the fruit was harvested, so don’t expect to see these wines before November of 2016. At Youngberg Hill, our Pinot Noirs are bigger and bolder than most of the other wines produced in the valley. Because of this, we give them more time in the barrel. We normally keep our Pinot Noir in barrel for at least 12 months or more. With the 2014 vintage being special, we will hold the wine in our French White Oak barrels for 14 months. This additional time in the barrel will impart more of the oak flavor, complementing the bigger fruit flavor of the 2014 harvest. We believe this will ultimately create a superb and well balanced Pinot Noir.


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The Basic Steps of Winemaking

July 15th, 2014 by Rachel

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The basic steps of winemaking are a mix of chemistry and alchemy.  The process turns grapes into something which has sparked the imagination of many for generations.


As poet Robert Louis Stevenson said “Wine is bottled poetry.”


While winemaking is both an art and a skill, there are specific steps one must take in order to make something they can call wine.  Here are the very basic steps of winemaking:

1. Harvest perfectly ripe grapes.  Remember, you need about 600-800 grapes to get one bottle of wine.

2.  The grapes, once picked, must be inspected for quality.  You don’t want any rotten grapes or raisins sneaking in to your wine.  Additionally, the grapes must be destemmed.

3.  The wine grapes are crushed and either fermented in their own skins (if it’s a red wine you’re going for) or the skins are removed (for white wine).

4. Fermentation requires that yeasts grow and begin to eat the sugar contained in the grapes and make alcohol.  Many wineries help this process along by adding yeast cultures.

5. Any sediment is removed and the wine matures in barrels of whichever type the winemaker chooses. Some wines have very little sediment removed while others are as filtered out as possible.

6. The wine is bottled, corked, and labeled for your purchase!

This is a very, very stripped down version of winemaking.  Some of the biggest factors in winemaking are time, tasting, and testing.  All of these help a winemaker decide when to bottle, how much to filter, and more.

Here’s to the magic of winemaking!


Wine Country Thanksgiving

November 14th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

Wine Country ThanksgivingMore than 300 wineries and tasting rooms call the big and beautiful Willamette Valley home.  Find yourself surrounded with beautiful vistas of the Cascade Mountains and the Willamette Valley as you wind through the scenic backcountry roads on a tour of Oregon’s expansive wine country.  Fall is quickly coming to an end, and the holidays are fast approaching.  In wine country, that means another year of harvesting is done, and it’s time to kick back and celebrate wine country style.  November begins a special season in Oregon’s wine country; it ushers in a season of magical, quiet beauty to the Willamette Valley.  For the Willamette Valley wineries, November is a time to gather with friends, family, and guests alike, when they open their door to celebrate  another wine country Thanksgiving.  This year, kick off the holiday season right, and join Youngberg Hill Vineyards and other Oregon wineries in celebrating the 31st annual Wine Country Thanksgiving with special tastings, food pairings, live music, and more.

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Relax in Historic Downtown McMinnville

September 30th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

McMinnville History

In a world full of fast-paced technological advances, sometimes enjoying the slower pace of life is the perfect way to relax and rejuvenate while on vacation.  Step back in time with us when you visit Historic downtown McMinnville, a town that began as a thriving agricultural center, and which is now located in the heart of Oregon’s beautiful wine country.  McMinnville, where the 1800’s meets the 21st century, is located in Yamhill County and has been called “Oregon’s Favorite Mainstreet”.  Our charming city was founded in 1843 by William Newby, and got its economic start from a Gristmill, which was located at the end of its 3rd Street historic district near the present-day city library.  Stroll down downtown McMinnville’s historic district on 3rd Street, and you’ll encounter a variety of modern businesses that include lodging, art galleries, restaurants and wineries.  The buildings that these businesses occupy were mostly built between the years of 1885-1912, and have recently been renovated and updated.  McMinnville is a city that cherishes good food, good wine, and the time spent enjoying both with friends and family.  If this is what you have in mind for your relaxing getaway, then book your stay now at the Youngberg Hill Vineyards and Inn, located just minutes away from beautiful, historic downtown McMinnville.

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Celebrate Fall in Oregon Wine Country

September 9th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

Oregon Wine country fallIf you’re interested in sampling some of the country’s finest Pinor Noir wines, then fall is a wonderful time to plan a trip to Oregon Wine Country. Throughout the fall months, the hillsides across the Willamette Valley are radiant with the colors of fall.  Deep purple grapes are set against a backdrop of the brilliant oranges, bright yellows, and deep reds associated with the harvest season.  Driving through the valley is stunning, only made better when you stop in our amazing tasting room to sample the wines produced here.

As we head into the fall months, Willamette Valley Wineries are busy getting ready for the harvest season.  If you’re looking for some harvest-related fun, then head to the 23rd annual Grape Stomp and Harvest Celebration at Willamette Valley Vineyards on September 21st and 22nd.  Visitors from all over the country compete in teams for the title, as well as to earn a trip to Santa Rosa, California for the World Grape Stomp Championships.  Come dressed in costumes, enjoy the live music, and get ready for some great family fun in Oregon Wine Country.  On Saturday, October 5th, spend the day with the North Willamette Vintners as they prepare for the 2013 Oregon wine harvest during the North Willamette Harvest Trail and Grand Tasting.  Here, you’ll learn all about the wine harvest, and enjoy a guided bus tour to three different Willamette Valley wineries for tastings and other harvest-related activities.  At Youngberg Hill Vineyards, we’re always looking for volunteers to help us with sorting during the fall harvest.  If you’re interested, please email us for more information.

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Oregon biking Through Wine Country

August 20th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

Oregon bikingOregon is a cyclers paradise, with no shortage of biking destinations to choose from.  Oregon biking offers everything, from easy rides at sea level to exhausting assaults on 10,000-foot peaks.  Whether you ride a mountain bike, a road bike, or are looking for a cycling event, Oregon has something to offer you.  Explore one of Oregon’s Scenic Bikeways, a unique program to the state that showcases the very best of Oregon, all from the seat of a bike.  Travel down one of our nine bikeways for a scenic, historic, and cultural experience unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.  These routes have been reviewed, ridden and adopted by locals, in the hopes of helping you plan you’re own two-wheeled Oregon biking adventure.  With a diverse array of trails, Oregon’s Scenic Bikeways can accommodate any rider, from beginning to advanced, for day trips or extended, multi-day adventures.  Let Youngberg Hill be your base from which you explore the hundreds of miles of roads and trails in Oregon’s beautiful wine country, or simply stop in to Youngberg Hill during your Oregon biking adventure to experience the quiet beauty of the Willamette Valley.

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Veraison! Oregon’s Wine Country Changing Colors

August 6th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

Veraison blog

No, it’s not fall yet in Oregon Wine Country, but we are starting to see the first glimpse of Veraison in the Willamette Valley! Veraison is the ripening process as wine grapes change color from green to a deep blue purple for red wine grapes, autumn colors for grey grapes (or gris), and frosty light green for white grapes. This color change typically takes place in late August/early September. Bergström just facebooked that they are seeing the first signs of Veraison.  This is a month earlier than normal. California typically is going through Veraison at this time, and afterward Oregon follows suit, but every year brings something different! Specific to the Willamette Valley, the north end of the valley typically starts Veraison earlier. Since Youngberg Hill is located at a higher altitude, we are usually a couple of weeks behind the majority of vineyards.

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27th Annual International Pinot Noir Celebration

July 20th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

International Pinot Noir Celebration

With the end of July just around the corner, it’s time for Pinot Noir lovers to rejoice!  The 27th annual International Pinot Noir Celebration is upon us, from July 26th-28th at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon.  The three day event that makes up the International Pinot Noir Celebration, or IPNC for short, is a must-do event for new Pinot Noir lovers or master winemakers alike.  Join a variety of people from across the globe, including winemakers, northwest chefs, media, and other wine lovers as you explore the intricacies of Pinot Noir wines, savor unforgettable meals, and learn and celebrate with the biggest stars of the wine world.  Throughout your time at the International Pinot Noir Celebration, you’ll have a chance to taste Pinot Noir from Grand Cru Burgundy, Oregon, New Zealand, Australia, California, and other areas around the globe.  But this event is about more than just tasting great wines.  Here, you’ll have the chance to walk through Oregon vineyards with the grower who planted them, and unwind in the picturesque wine country of Willamette Valley, Oregon.  This surely is one of the most enjoyable weekends for wine lovers from all walks of life. Youngberg Hill Vineyards is located just 15 short minutes away from Linfield College and the IPNC venue, making this your perfect opportunity to stop in and tour one of Oregon’s premier wine country estates.

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