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Lillian Pitt at Helvetia Winery

Lillian Pitt and “She Who Watches”

Renowned Native American Artist at Helvetia Winery, Friday, November 24, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Lillian Pitt, Warm Springs artist, will be with us on “Black Friday” to present some of her recent works and visit with our patrons.

A Columbia River Artist

Lillian Pitt is a Pacific Northwest Native American artist whose ancestors lived in and near the Columbia River Gorge for over 10,000 years.Called simply the Big River or the Nch’i-Wana by her ancestors, the Columbia River was the backbone of one of the largest trade networks in all of Native America.

The Focus of Her Art

Lillian’s focus is on creating contemporary works of fine art that delight today’s art lovers, and at the same time, honor the history and legends of her people. Primarily a sculptor and mixed media artist, Lillian’s lifetime of works include artistic expressions in clay, bronze, wearable art, prints, and most recently, glass. Her works have been exhibited and reviewed throughout the Pacific Northwest, nationally and internationally, and she is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions.






Holiday Dinner 2017

A Festive Holiday Dinner at the Jakob Yungen House at Helvetia Winery

First Course – Smoked Salmon Chowder 

Second Course – Roasted Winter Vegetable Salad w/Holiday Dressing

Entrée Course – Smokehouse Roasted Beef Tenderloin Stuff w/Goat Cheese & Spinach

Dessert – Raspberry Cream Pie w/White Chocolate

Each course will be complemented by a fine vintage Helvetia wine.  A library wine will also be paired with the Entré


Join us for this Holiday Winemaker Dinner on December 9th.


Hillsboro’s Best Winery!

Thanks to all of our wonderful customers for voting us Hillsboro’s Best Winery and Hillsboro’s Best Place to Taste Wine in Hillsboro Tribune’s “Hillsboro’s Best 2017”.
To view all of Hillsboro’s Winners Click Here 

Best Place to Taste Wine

Gold: Helvetia Vineyards & Winery

Silver: Primrose & Tumbleweeds

Bronze: Abbey Creek Winery

Best Place to Taste Wine

Gold: Helvetia Vineyards & Winery

Silver: Oak Knoll Winery

Bronze: Blizzard Wines

Best Place to Buy Wine

Gold: Primrose & Tumbleweeds

Silver: Helvetia Vineyards & Winery

Bronze: Renaissance Premium Wines & Cigars

Waiting and Watching: Helvetia Vineyards Report 9/27/17


The propane cannon is working just often enough to scare a robin out of the vineyard while not so often that the neighbors are at the door with pitchforks and torches.  The deer and elk are at bay though the elk are mighty anxious to take out the woven wire gate that separates them from the pinot noir which are now no longer green but have taken on the dark colors of harvest.

While the merlot we purchased from Richland, WA afew weeks ago is about to be pressed to produce a full-bodied red and its lighter fractions are fermenting as rose’, our own pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot gris are still low in sugars and high in acids.

Our Weather Wizard, Kyle Dittmer, and the National Weather Service agree that showery, cool weather starts Friday and continues through next week.  Fortunately, we made it through the last rainy period without any damage and the same is likely for the next episode.  But watch for the third big rain of the fall season.  That’s the one that will bring in the birds and finish the 2017 harvest so stay tuned.

Harvest Dinner 2017

On Saturday, November 4th at 6:00 pm in the Jakob Yungen House, Chef Dave Clark is back with a four course feast to celebrate the completion of harvest. Some of the courses included in the meal are crab cakes, stuffed duck, and a chocolate flourless tort. The full menu is available here.

Wine pairings are included with each course. Seating is limited, so reserve your seats now! To buy tickets, go to our eventbrite page.



Welcome Kelly!

Hi! I’m Kelly, a new server here at Helvetia Winery. It was at my grandmother’s kitchen counter that I fell in love with wine. The smell of her minestrone soup cooking on the stovetop, one hand stirring and the other holding a beautiful glass of merlot, all the while smiling and sharing stories. Wine and food became the background for memories made and history shared.

It wasn’t until I moved to the Helvetia area and began to fill my families two acres with veggies, vines, bees and chickens that I better understood the craft and care required to give life to a beautiful harvest.  Today, I find my greatest joy comes from the pairing of good conversation and a delicious meal served to those I hold most dear. Just like my grandma taught me decades ago, food and wine brings color to our connections in life.

Helvetia Vineyards Report 9/20/17



This summer’s growing season ranked among the warmest during the last decade, exceeded only by 2015’s bounty of fruit-forward wines.  This week’s rains, though predicted to be around 3 inches, were less than expected, diminishing the chances for botrytis bunch rot.


Botrytis is encouraged by berries bursting their skins when too much water soaks the soil after a long drought which, in the most recent period, was about ninety days.  Though the variable weather of an Oregon fall may change our plans, we are expecting harvest during the second week in October.  


For wine club members, we are planning a crush party tentatively tied to the time when we press the fermented pinot noir grapes and fill the barrels.  This year, we will be seeking your perceptions of a number of new and current wines as to the descriptors that we publish about each of the wines we serve on our tasting menu. Click here for more information on Helvetia Wine Club.

2017 Harvest/Crush Update

It’s hard to imagine any vineyard or winery manager in Oregon coming up with a song like that unless they had an excellent memory of their childhood or just weren’t in the business very long. September is a kind of hurry-up-and-wait month. Hurry up to prepare and then just wait. Prepare for the onslaught of hungry birds by netting the grapes or setting up propane cannons. Prepare for fall rains following the summer drought to foster botrytis, the stuff that makes a grape cluster look like a snowball. Prepare for harvest and crush by checking the equipment so that when the forklift or the steam pressure washer breaks down, it will be the bracket or seal you didn’t check that provides the surprise.

Then wait . . . wait for the sugars to rise and the acids to decline . . . wait for the flavors to develop . . . and wait for the weather to reveal itself.

September is the month of the year that can best make or break a vintage. In 2013, after finally escaping the cloudy cool weather of La Niña’s visit in 2010 and 2011, the first weekend of that month brought three and one-half inches of rain that split the thirsty berries and opened them to disease. We lost 70% of our pinot noir that year.

Now we get to wait and see what this year’s fall weather has in store for our estate grapes, those we manage adjacent to the winery. Our Weather Wizard, Kyle Dittmer, is predicting a half-inch of rain each day on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of next week. That will be enough to saturate the dry ground and be sucked up by the vines. While we would hope for a more mellow transition to fall weather, the weather doesn’t care about our wishes. We’ll just have to wait and see.

As of September 12, we have just about finished the “hurry up” work and the waiting has just begun. Color change is just about complete. Today, we finished removing the clusters outside of the vines’ fruiting zone that won’t ripen. Instead they would have sapped the clusters of the nutrients they need to complete their growth cycle before winding up in a barrel. We’ve also crushed a ton of merlot from Tri-Cities that will be split between rose’ and a full-bodied merlot. Not much of a backup; at least we know that the crusher and press are working. In any event we’ll still keep our hopes alive and make an attempt at being mellow.

An Evening in España

Helvetia Winery and Jimmy Carrasquer join to create a winemaker dinner unlike any Helvetia has seen before . . . An Evening in España. 

Paella, the signature dish of Spain, has been a tradition in Jimmy’s family for generations. Family gatherings have long centered around making and eating of paella. Jimmy first made paella nearly twenty years ago. He learned the receipe from his Tia and Tío at their humble cottage in the Valencian countryside. He started preparing paella at home for a few guests and was soon catering friend’s parties just for fun. Before long he put his high-tech career on hold to make paella full-time. And thus, pdx Paella was born!

On Saturday June 24th at 6pm we invite you to join us for a special paella winemaker dinner. Dinner includes Paella, side salad and bread. Seating will be under the beautiful summer sky and wine will be available for purchase.


Humpday Bouteille “Kickoff to Summer”

For the lat two years, we’ve celebrated summer evenings with music and fine tapas-style cuisine lovingly prepared by Chef Dave Clark. On Wednesday May 31st from 5pm-8:30pm,  Galynne Davis opens our summer season with her vibrant voice and guitar.  Come fill your bouteille.  It’s not a growler!

Rose en Bouteille

May is Oregon Wine Month. More to the point, May is Oregon Rose’ month and this year Helvetia Winery has a special Rose to fill your boutielle (it’s not a growler). Releasing this weekend May 5th-7th 12pm-5pm. Come fill your bouteille and enjoy this special treat as we welcome the much needed spring weather! 1 liter fills are $18!

Sixth Annual Memorial Day Salmon Bake


Join us on Sunday, May 28th for music with Lynn conover and friends.

Join us Monday, May 30th as we welcome back Lynn Conover and friends to accompany the Wilbur Slockish family as they prepare a traditional salmon bake.

The Wilbur Slockish family, tribal fishers from the Yakama Nation and the Warm Springs tribes, will prepare a no-host dinner that will include fresh Columbia River spring salmon broiled on an alder fire along with fry bread and other accompaniments.

Proceeds from the dinner will support participation of Wilbur’s grandson in the Washington State Track & Field Championships at Cheney