Posts Tagged ‘bethel heights’

We are pleased to introduce the newest addition to the Bethel Heights family, Dana B. Frank.  Dana has been hired as our Direct Consumer Sales Manager, a position we have created for the purpose of focusing more time on our tasting room, on-line, and Cellar Club customers.

Dana comes to us with a wide array of wine experience in Portland.  She received the Certified Sommelier award from the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2005, and has spent the past 5 years working as a buyer and sommelier for both retailers and restaurants in Portland such as New Seasons, 23Hoyt, clarklewis, and Grüner where she was also the general manager.  Additionally, Dana worked for Triage Wines, selling an eclectic portfolio of small-production, naturally-farmed wines from around the world.

She has participated on tasting panels, taught wine classes for the local chapter of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, and is involved with Oregon’s International Pinot Noir Celebration.

We consider ourselves very lucky to have found her!


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“Bethel Heights’ most recent collection is uniformly outstanding.” Thus spake Dr. Jay Miller in the October issue of The Wine Advocate.

Eight 2008 Pinots rated 90 or above. Four current release whites “represent excellent to outstanding value.” We could have said it ourselves, but it’s so much nicer when someone else says it for us. Check out the reviews!

The entire 12-bottle Uniformly Outstanding Collection is ready to ship as a holiday package with $10 flat rate shipping through December 1.  A wine for every celebration of the season, so no one has to be “that guy” who comes to dinner without the Bethel Heights.    Quick, before the curtain falls on our shipping window!


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Terry was recognized as Legacy Winemaker of the year at the ¡Salud! Pinot Noir Auction on Saturday, for his many contributions to the work of ¡Salud! and to Oregon wine over the years. He received a standing ovation for the thoughts he shared when he stood up to acknowledge the honor.

“As Oregon Pinot noir has grown in stature and reputation, it has been built by growers and winemakers who trust this place to be the right place; who have learned from the land how it needs to be farmed; and from the grape how it needs to be treated and respected in the winery so when it finally goes to bottle, it is an honest reflection of vintage and place.  Pinot noir is a creature of place.  It teaches us lessons, lessons about respecting differences, about putting differences at the very center of our values, of not giving in to the late night temptation to bury our mistakes in the big tank around the corner, and standing strong against the temptation to lose the unique and special offering of the land in “essence of oak” or over-extraction. The winemakers who follow that broader path are not trusting the wine to tell its own story.  It is a uniquely Oregon story, rooted here, not transferable to any other place.

“My hope for my sons’ generation is that they will continue to celebrate the differences, take heart in each other’s triumphs and support each other when they inevitably fall short of the mark; that they will continue to relish a healthy competition that forces us all to get better, but never forget that it was the spirit of cooperation and shared vision and purpose that won us a place at the world’s wine table.”


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Seeking more sustainable packaging, Mimi came up with kegs!  3 Doors Down in Portland, a pioneer of kegged wine-by-the-glass, is now pouring Bethel Heights 2009 Estate Grown Pinot Noir (our Black Label Pinot) from a 5-gallon keg instead of from bottles, saving everyone a whole lot of money and a whole lot of carbon footprint.

But, how do you “bottle” wine in a keg?  Not something we’ve done before at Bethel Heights.  Fortunately, Mimi’s husband, Ciderman Nick Gunn, has plenty of kegging experience, with his Anthem Cider on tap in pubs around the country these days.  No problem!

When you’re in Portland, drop into 3 Doors Down and check it out – a preview of our beautiful and bountiful 2009 vintage, and a preview of the wine packaging of the future, perhaps.

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Finally got them to  stand still long enough to be introduced!  Top to bottom, wearing their new Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine t-shirts:

Kate Ayres, Mimi Casteel, Jaime Guzman, Alex Bogetti, Pat Dudley, Don Kowitz, Jose Luis Martinez, Ben Casteel, Ted Casteel…   and Marilyn

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It was a long day yesterday!  28 tons of Pinot noir picked by early afternoon; sorting and destemming went on until long after sunset.  Back at it at daybreak today.  Ted wants to get all the Pinot picked this week, with rain on the horizon for Friday.  The fruit looks lovely and tastes great, with brix coming in around 22 average on all the lots picked yesterday.

Marilyn’s traditional first lunch of the crush:  Mulligatawny Soup!

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Triple Ten Sunday brought the sun back after our first rain event in October.  Forecasts look promising going forward.  While sugars are lagging a bit (20-21 Brix), the pHs are moving into the target range and flavors are developing nicely.  We may start picking at the end of this week, unless the weather gods favor us with a long stretch of dry weather.  Our philosophy here is to wait as long as we can to bring in the vintage.

The guns of October are now echoing around the neighborhood as the birds have arrived in earnest in the Willamette Valley.   Our air cannons never used to bother Jack, but now that he is almost completely deaf they drive him to distraction.  He must feel the vibrations. We finally took him to his favorite kennel, where he has friends who love him almost as much as we do.

While we are waiting we have been sowing cover crop at our Ingram site, spraying some of Mimi’s compost tea and getting the tractors reconfigured for their harvest tasks.   The winery is in full scrub-down mode.  It won’t be long now.



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