Posts Tagged ‘Willamette Valley’

Take a Hike! Hiking Oregon

August 26th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

orThe state of Oregon has a vast array of nature recreation opportunities, and each region of the state has its own special, natural qualities.  If you are visiting Oregon from another country or another US State and are interested in taking a hike on your trip, or if you are an Oregon local who is looking for suggestions for getting out into nature this summer, now is the time to start planning, and this page can be a good starting point for you! Hiking Oregon offers so many choices for all kinds of ability levels.  This blog will be focused on the Willamette Valley Wine Country, Portland and Salem areas.

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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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Wine Country Lodging Getaway – Jura Suite

August 12th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

JuraRm-01The Jura Suite was originally two, small, separate guest rooms in the Inn that were combined in 1994 to make a larger suite.  Although it was always a beautiful room, we knew that we could improve it, and in late December of 2012 we took on the challenge of welcoming in the coming year by giving the Jura a complete makeover!

There were four main focus areas for design; the view, the headboard, the larger bathroom with glass wine sinks, and the fireplace.  Everything else fit around these elements.   The beautiful original panoramic windows always filled the room with light and gave guests a full view of the valley, so we decided to keep them.  It felt great to kick off the Jura remodel by making an energy efficient update that corresponded with our convictions to uphold good environmental practices here at Youngberg Hill .  Although we loved the original trim, the chance to change the trim color throughout the entire room in order to give the room some special flare that set it aside from all the rest was simply too fun to pass up.  We now enjoy a dark chocolate trim that picks up the tones of the other new additions in the room – the headboard and the wood grains in the exposed beams above.

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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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Oregon Winery Live Music

July 27th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

music blog2As a small, local vineyard, we love to stay connected with and give back to our community.  One of the most fun ways to bring people together is through music, and we are excited to be hosting a number of benefit concerts on the Hill this summer, along with free, live music up on the Hill every Thursday night through mid-September!

We are featuring both local McMinnville and Portland-based musicians, who have been making waves state and nationwide, at our events. Some of these artists include The Djangophiles, who are among the world’s masters of Parisian Swing and Gypsy Jazz, singer/songwriter Sara Jackson-Holman, whose powerful compositions have been featured on a number of television shows including “The Ringer,” “90210,” “Castle,” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” and pianist Mike Strickland, whose music has appeared on CBS Sports PGA Golf for multiple seasons, along with NBC, FOX, ABC, and in the major motion pictures “This Christmas” (2007) and “Obsessed” (2009).

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Trip Advisor Award of Excellence 2013

June 14th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

TA award 2013Thank you to everyone for sharing your time and thoughts with us on TripAdvisor.

The Wonder of Weddings!

June 8th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

02 powers grapesWe prepare for wedding season all year long at Youngberg Hill.  The site preparation, the upgrades, the vegetation – the small things that make the Hill such a special place to get married.  From the first time a future bride and groom see the vineyard and the view, there is an energy and enthusiasm that carries through the entire planning of their big day.  Some couples we meet with want everything simple and elegant, while others are working off a list that they have been compiling for years.  They are both equally charming and delightful.  After choosing a venue the next step is choosing the vendors that make the day so complete – caterers, photographers, cake artists, florists – we enjoy helping clients choose from the vast array of talent available in the Northwest.

The first vendor that is typically selected after the venue is the caterer.  Youngberg Hill has a preferred caterer and offers options for any caterer you choose.  Capturing the wedding day through poignant photography is easy to do with an experienced photographer (and a great setting!), and many offer a variety of packages and options.  The spectacular setting of the Hill seems to capture each wedding as serene and blissful, and every sunset backdrop sets a tone of tranquility and ever-afters.

Then there are music choices to make, florists to hire, cakes to taste.  (To all the grooms, go to the cake tasting!)  Take good notes,  keep a sense of humor, and embrace the random craziness.  And if all else fails, hire a wedding coordinator!

 

 

Wine Travel

May 11th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

wine travel1smNot all wine enthusiasts have the opportunity to travel to Oregon’s wine country to explore the wonderful valley where grapes are grown and wine is made.  Therefore, it’s important for us as winemakers to travel to markets across the country to share our life’s work with others.  We have had the opportunity over the last couple of weeks to do just that.  You might ask: “why travel to the midwest this time of year?”  The answer is simple – right now is the slow period in the vineyard.  In April the vines will begin the new growing season and there will be work to do.  Most of us are farmers first, and without close attention to the vineyard, we are not able to produce the quality of Pinot Noir that is expected from the Willamette Valley.

So we found ourselves in Minnesota, Iowa, and Chicago during one of those late winter snow storms that reminds us that spring is still a ways off.  But fortunately the storm passed quickly and travel carried on.  We are very excited about the increased awareness of Oregon Pinot Noir in Minneapolis.  It seems to align with Minneapolis’ recognition as the “foodiest city” in the country and its new-found love of holistic culinary eateries.

Chicago continues to be one of the best restaurant cities in the country, and where there is good food, there is good wine.  Chicagoans are beginning to discover the great versatility of Pinot Noir with food pairing and that Oregon’s more elegant and higher acidic pinots are a perfect match for the foods they love.

 

We had great success in both markets, with new retail placements and glass pours at many of the top restaurants.  We look forward to returning next year, to rekindle friendships and cultivate new ones, over a glass of Oregon Pinot Noir.

Budbreak 2013

May 4th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

budbreak blogWe started seeing budbreak on April 15th this year.  We haven’t had budbreak this early since 2005!  Why are we excited about this?  Budbreak is the “official” beginning of the seasonal growth cycle of the vines.  Although weather and temperatures may have a slight impact on the speed at which the vines grow through the season, everything hinges on and calculates back to the number of days since budbreak; whether it be the timing of bloom, fruit set, veraison, or harvest.

Why is this so important for us here in the Willamette Valley?  We are in a cooler climate than most grape growing regions and therefore do not get as many degree hours of heat per day.  So it is important for us to get as many days above 60 degrees as possible.  An earlier spring and later fall both help in providing those additional days.  Regardless of the weather, it still takes the vines about 180 days from budbreak to harvest (full ripening of the fruit).  It is approximately 110 days from bloom to harvest.

We consistently are pushing against the envelope in October to get fruit ripe before the rains start in earnest. So the more dry time we get, the better.  And an earlier budbreak helps to give us that time.  We hope we are blessed with equal good fortune throughout the summer months!

Winemaking is a Celebration

April 27th, 2013 by Nicolette Bailey

060Wine drinkers often drink wine as a celebration.  I like to think of it as a holistic celebration of life.  First comes the growing of the grapes.  This process requires us to work in concert with nature (and we choose to do this organically and holistically) for approximately nine months, to produce the best possible fruit.  During that process, there are dozens of workers using their eyes, hands, minds, and feet to work the vines and nurture the soil.  We must dance with the weather and sing to the sun.  And thus we celebrate the harvest of the fruit we have toiled to grow all summer long.

In the winery, it is a concert of activity mostly performed by the fruit itself; fermenting, fermenting again, and then growing and aging in barrel.  And there are many of us performing different activities to ensure a safe environment for the grapes to do what they do best.  So it is a cadence and movement that are performed in the winery to evolve the wine into something new.  At the time of bottling, we again celebrate the completion of another stage in the evolution of the wine.

With the wine in bottle, there is a dance and song that many individuals perform as the wine is marketed, transported, and sold throughout the world to the end consumer.  Everything that goes into grape growing and winemaking and wine selling, I do not view as many individual businesses just doing their jobs.  We are all working in concert, in the celebration of life, as family.