In keeping with my New Year’s resolution, I’m writing a blog; fewer words probably than older posts, but more frequent publication, and hopefully giving some insight on our journey towards becoming full-time farmers/winemakers.
First, let me step back and offer a few words recapping an action-packed 2012. Our youngest blocks (planted in 2009) came on-line this year, essentially doubling our production. We had a warm summer and an easy harvest, and we sold grapes to several amazing winemakers, all of whom have become good friends (click here to see the list of winemakers who purchase our fruit). After that, we set to work planting the remainder of our vineyard, now totaling ~ 28 acres, mostly Pinot Noir of course, but also a couple acres of Gamay Noir, and 1.5 acres of whites, Chardonnay and Auxerrois. To celebrate our accomplishment, Mark and I took a trip to Burgundy in January – more on that later.
As gratifying as 2012 was, 2013 is shaping up to be an even bigger year for us. In September, we’ll bottle our first barrel selection made on-site – Homestead. By that time we should also have the shell built for our new commercial winery; which, if all goes to plan, will be fully operational by harvest 2014. We will have two kids in college next September, so time will tell.
We have a nice line-up of pouring events scheduled this year and we’d love to see you:
– March 8-10 SIP, Food and Wine Classic – Evergreen Museum, McMinnville
– March 23 Equinox in the Eola-Amity Hills, Zenith Vineyard, Salem
– May 25 – 27 Memorial Day Wine Tasting – Bjornson Vineyard, Salem
– July 13 – 14 Artist’s Village, Linfield College, McMinnville
– September Encompass the Eola-Amity Hills, Weekends – Bjornson Vineyard
– Nov 29-Dec 1 Thanksgiving Weekend Wine Tasting – Bjornson Vineyard, Salem
In parting, our trip to Burgundy was a reward for accomplishing a vineyard goal that we set many years ago while studying at the University of Minnesota. It was wonderful to relax and visit friends and vineyards in Burgundy, and we got a lot of ideas for our new winery. This trip made me realize how much we have learned and accomplished since moving to Oregon, and how much the Oregon Winemaking Community has embraced us and helped us along the way. As much as I love and honor all things French, only in America can two “Golden Gophers” from the Midwest decide that one day they will buy land and plant a vineyard and make wine for a living. Vive l’Amerique! Here’s to 2013 – and our new winery!