Happy spring 2021!
Howdy all from western Oregon – all things considered we are doing pretty good here, I hope the same for you. We have some new wines for you and a few updates as to our progress and projects around here. Spring is almost here and with that the promise of a new growing season, vaccines, and hopefully beginnings of a return to a new normal.
The most exciting news is that the vines we ordered last winter arrived mid February, and are being planted now! Last fall we surveyed and laid out the vine rows and spacing in preparation, and keeping our fingers crossed we will have almost 6 acres of Pinot noir, Chardonnay and a little Pinot gris in a few years! Phase II is also in progress, thanks to Luci and Tom at Sunnyside vineyard – who have saved some budwood for us that will be grafted onto rootstock and possibly planted as a soon as this fall! Things are moving right along!
on the farm - All the animals have happily been in the barn since last November. It has been a pretty rainy winter so they are warm and dry, out of the wet and get plenty of hay. The vet is scheduled next week to preg check the cows to make sure Red Fred did his job. They will all be put back out on pasture just as soon as it warms up, drys out and the grass starts to grow again. Sal the guard donkey is also in the barn but he will return to work again this spring when the goat kids show up. Clementine, Levi and Bob the cat have spent all winter next to the fire. We all have a pretty great life here at BTF. The voles this year have been voracious, especially in my garden. The ate much of the brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and kale, except for one variety which I guess they didn’t like – carrots, celeriac, parsley – you name it they ate it! I will busy this spring trying to control their numbers. Clare’s horses are good, still stinky and her bees seem to have survived the winter!
2020 vintage notes
We had another great crew for the 2020 vintage, but sadly it was maybe one of the most challenging of my career. We masked, hand washed, temperature checked, distanced and thankfully everyone stayed healthy. The biggest challenge were the fires and trying to understand and learn about the affects of smoke and wine, which we are still doing. We brought in all our fruit and have made all our growers whole. Fruit quality was high but there was less of it than the last couple years. We are doing our best and will let you know what we come up with soon…
the wines -
The 2019 vintage is what we have for you today – I think the wines are lovely, and interestingly, exceptionally sturdy. Summer was very nice, warm days gave us nice ripeness, but September quickly cooled and with a little rain allowed the fruit to finish ripening without accumulating more sugar. The resulting wines are bright, fresh with lots of fruit, and incredibly sturdy even by young wine standards. What I mean by this is the wines remain vibrant days after opening. For us this means we can open a white and a red and enjoy over 2,3 even 4 evenings. I know some of you will tell me I’m crazy - a bottle opened means a bottle emptied – but maybe give it a try. I think this also means the wines from 2019 will be enjoyable for a number of years to come – we’ll see!
2019 wild bee chardonnay
This is a blend of all 7 chardonnay sites we work with, our largest bottling, from south of Salem, van Duzer, Eola Amity, Dundee and Yamhill-Carlton. So a true Willamette Valley blend. Floral and stone fruit, mouth filling yet crisp – this wine is complex but also easy to love – with a delicious finish that lingers and persuades another sip or bite. The label is same as last year, by April Coppini. This design let’s us get you a delicious wine in a more cost effective package.
1155 cases produced, $30 a bottle. Buy 6 bottles or more and the shipping is included!
2019 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Like the Wild Bee this is our largest bottling of pinot noir and a true representation of the region and the 9 different sites each with their own strengths add up to make this a delicious wine year after year. I believe the 2019 version is true to this – warm spice, cherry and blackberry on the nose, and a pallet with persistent tannins and acidity that balance the fruit. All lots are treated with equal diligence, and barrel selections are made just prior to blending and bottling. All the winemaking, from picking decisions to final blending are done by taste – this is the most important thing to me – how does it taste? I want to make what I want to drink. Thankfully a few of you also enjoy the same qualities in wine that I do.
Chubs on the label, 2503 cases produced, $48 per bottle. And 6’s and full cases all ship compliments of BTF!
2019 Pelos Sandberg pinot noir
We have been working with the same rows and blocks at Pelos Sandberg vineyard for 10 years! 2010 was the first year Don sold us fruit, and I think every year it gets a little better, the fruit most likely, but maybe my understanding of the site too. Regardless, Don does an impeccable job farming and sells us the same high quality fruit that he puts into his own wine called Iota. Some years ago he had some fun marking BTF rows with silverware and kitchenware he got at the thrift store, including a ladle that the vineyard guys sometimes use on days they bring soup for lunch! The drawing for this year’s label is an end post with a knife and fork that show me where to go. Thank you Don and I hope the next 10 years are as good as the last!
243 cases produced, 64 dollars per bottle – Eola Amity at its best!
2018 Funk vineyard Syrah – this is our third vintage working with fruit from Rich Funk’s vineyard in the Rocks District of Milton Freewater and 2019 and 2020 are in barrel. We are so pleased to have a little bit of this special place in our cellar. Like PSV, Rich has his own winery called Saviah and he farms his vineyards with the highest quality in mind for his wines and for what he sells us. The 2018 version is opulent and delicious with gorgeous dark fruit, savory notes of green olive and of course black pepper that tells you it is indeed Syrah. We just make a little bit of this wine, so if you want some be quick!
133 cases produced, $48 per bottle and yes – shipping included on 6 or more!
Included in spring shipments is something new! Clare has been working on documenting the food and meals we eat here on a regular basis, creating the recipes and accompanying photos of some of our winter fare in a printed version. She in now working on the spring/summer version, fall to follow, with the eventual plan of putting them all together into a book version. We hope this provides a little inspiration for your own kitchen and meals. If you don't follow her on Instagram you might enjoy doing so @bigtablefarm
Thank you so much to all of you who enjoy and share our wine. We are so humbled knowing the work we do in our little corner of the world brings moments of joy to others. Please take care, be safe and we look forward to sending you wine and Clare’s zine!
Thanks again, and cheers! Brian and Clare
** a note on ordering wine - If you're super busy - please let us help you order wine in whatever way is EASIEST for YOU! We are happy to assist. Call, email - We are available to make sure you get the wines you love! If you want to reach out please just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-852-3097 or Text Clare Directly! 503-922-3540 and we'll follow up with YOU and get your order. You can also Click here to go right to the buy wine page.