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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


The Dirt on Dirt – Willamette Valley Terroir

Wednesday, April 12th starting at 7:00, Dr. Scott Burns will join us at the Jakob Yungen House to discuss the earth forces that filled the Tualatin Valley with soil that is among the richest on earth. Honored as the Outstanding Oregon Scientist for 2014 by the Oregon Academy of Science, Scott Burns’ career-long body of work was cited by the Academy because of its relation to the day-to-day lives of Oregonians. His work has ranged from the mapping of areas of dangerous radon, pocket gopher behavior and landslide hazard mapping to research on the Missoula Floods including the co-authorship of a definitive work entitled Cataclysms on the Columbia: The Great Missoula Floods. His work is of special interest to friends of Helvetia Vineyards because he first investigated vineyard soils here in 2006 as a teaching project. For the last decade, Scott continued his research on vineyard soils and has expanded his inquiries to include vineyard soils throughout Oregon. We will be sending ticket information soon and will post on the Helvetia Winery website. Please save the date, April 12, for a talk that promises to be earth-shaking.

9th Annual North Willamette Vintners Wine Trail

The 9th annual North Willamette Vintners Wine Trail offers you a host of rich and diverse winery experiences accompanied by food and wine pairings. You can choose to watch noir while sipping Pinot Noir, stitch together cuttings to graft a vine, toast an oak stave and smell the complex aromas released, and blend wines from single barrels to create your own unique cuvée. . . all in your first day of this spectacular two-day wine trail.

Your Wine Trail Kit includes a custom wine glass to commemorate the event, as well as a lanyard, both of which serve as your entry ticket. Upon completion of each experience, you will receive a unique button associated with that winery’s activity.

Designated drivers, thank you for ensuring safe and sober passage. Your ticket enables you to participate in all events, nosh on appetizers, and receive four universal complimentary wine tastings for future use at participating North Willamette Valley wineries.

Participating wineries include:

A Blooming Hill Vinyards
Apolloni Vinyards
Ardiri Winery and Vineyard
Blizzard Wines
David Hill Vineyards and Winery
DIon Vineyard
Elk Cove Vineyards
Fullerton Wines
Gresser Vineyard at Elk Cove Vineyards
Helvetia Vineyards and Winery
Kramer Vineyards
Montinore Estate
Oak Knoll Winery
Plum Hill Vineyards
Provincial Vineyard at One Horse Tavern
Risdall Ranch Vineyards
Ruby Vineyards
Sake One
Tualatin Estate Vineyards

Weekend activities offered:

A Blooming Hill Vineyard
Activity: Port Manteau pairing activity
Wines: Riesling, Pinot Noir, Port
Pairings: Sweets

Apolloni Vineyards
Activity: Get your sparkle on—sparkling wine education and sparkling wine cocktail demos
Wines: Sparkling Rosé, Sparkling Blanc de Noir, Moscato Frizzante
Pairings: Shrimp cocktail

Ardiri Winery and Vineyard
Activity: Taste and learn how to pair chocolates with your favorite wine
Wines: Pinot Noir, Rosé, Pinot Gris
Pairings: Handcrafted chocolates by Smitten Truffles

Blizzard Wines
Activity: Over the top—learn about closures, and participate in corking and waxing bottles
Wines: Riesling, Syrah, Wedding Blend
Pairings: Wood fire pizza (for purchase)

David Hill Vineyard & Winery
Activity: To filter or not to filter—taste three wines using different filtration methods
Wines: Pinot Noir
Pairings: Spring fare

Dion Vineyard
Activity: Decisions, decisions—Assess the effect of pick dates on two Pinot Gris wines
Wines: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris
Pairings: Cheese

Elk Cove Vineyards and Gresser Vineyards Pouring at Elk Cove Vineyards
Activity: Explore the difference between the winemaker’s influence and the vintage’s impact
Elk Cove Wines: Rosé
Gresser Wines: Pinot Noir, Syrah, Rosé
Pairings: Cheese and hors d’oevres

Fullerton Wines
Activity: Oak and Fire—barrel education and stave toasting activity
Wines: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Pairings: Toasted almonds, breads

Helvetia Vineyards
Wines: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris
Activity: More than just the makings of a delightful meal, Columbia River salmon and Willamette Valley pinot noir are hallmarks of our region, signifying the abundance and richness that our waters and soils engender. Chef Dave Clark joins us to help explore the many forms in which these natural gifts are prepared and combined to provide nourishment and enhance community that is uniquely Pacific Northwest.
Activity: Bounty of our lands and waters

Kramer Vineyards
Activity: Game of clones
Wines: Pinot Noir

Montinore Estate
Activity: Sensory evaluation—test yourself
Wines: Rosé, Borealis, Pinot Noir
Pairings: Local charcuterie and cheese

Oak Knoll Winery
Activity: New Heights—what is a vertical? Taste and see
Wines: Pinot Noir
Pairings: Meats, cheeses, and chocolate

Plum Hill Vineyards
Activity: Ready, set, grow—graft your own grape vine to take home
Wines: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris
Pairings: Meat, cheese, chocolate

Provincial Vineyards @ One Horse Tavern
Activity: Small-crop vs Large-crop—the impact on Pinot Noir
Wines: Pinot Noir, Rosé, Pinot Gris
Pairings: Laughing Cow burger bites (for purchase)

Risdall Ranch
Activity: Mix it up—Pinot Noir blending trials
Wines: Pinot Noir
Pairings: Cheese pairings

Ruby Vineyard
Activity: Pigs and Pinot pairing activity
Wines: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris
Pairings: Olympia Provisions ham and salami

Activity: Sneak peak—Tour Oregon’s only saké brewery: 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm daily
Sake: Ginjo, Nigori, Junmai
Pairings: Avocado crème spinach dip

Tualatin Estate Vineyards
Activity: Noir Weekend—watch noir, drink noir
Wines: Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir
Pairings: Popcorn pairings

Community Farming Revolution

Because of the Missoula Floods, occurring between 13 and 15 thousand years ago, our Tualatin Valley has some of the best farmland in the world In addition to growing record yields of grains and nursery plants in the valley, not to mention fine winegrapes on the foothills of the Tualatin and Chehalem mountains, we are fortunate to have a number of farms practicing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA’s) where Valley residents can obtain fresh local vegetables and meats from farmers that are proud to show how their crops and animals are grown in a manner that is safe and healthy for people and for the many other creatures that inhabit our beautiful countryside.

Helvetia Vineyards & Winery would like you to know more about the wonderful foods and the experience that our local farmers offer.  This year we are again hosting local CSA’s along with the Tualatin Soil & Conservation District to acquaint our customers and neighbors with the bounty offered here.  On Saturday, March 25, the farmer-owners of Stoneboat Farm, Finquita del Buho, Wingham Farm and others will be at the Jakob Yungen House all afternoon to talk with you about their offerings.  We hope to see you then.


Early Earth Day Winemaker Dinner by Chef Aaron Nichols of Stoneboat Farm

It’s never too early to celebrate Earth Day but it’s easy to be too late. We are offering a farm-to-plate dinner created by (Chef) Aaron Nichols, a partner in Stoneboat Farm who left the commercial restaurant kitchen a few years ago to explore the true foundation of fine dining: the production of healthy, nutritious and flavorful farm-fresh foods

Tickets to the farm-to-plate dinner are $60 a person including wine pairings and a library wine.


St. Patricks Feast at Helvetia Winery

Begin the week of St. Patrick with a sing-along and a feast of Irish culture and cuisine on Sunday, March 12th.  Our favorite penny-whistler, Peter Lepanto, leads the sons and daughters of Eire in songs made famous by the Clancy Brothers and the Dubliers.  Bring your voices and we’ll supply the words. Chef Dave has assembled his traditional Irish buffet to pair with our selection of fine wines. Just bring your voice, and a day of general blarney will ensue. Guinness available for those who won’t consider any other beverage on St. Pat’s Day. $20 per person, wine is not included.

2017 St. Valentines Dinner.

Love is in the air at Helvetia Winery meaning it’s almost time for our annual St. Valentines Dinner! Seating is limited and, having had sold out in previous years, we decided to offer two separate dates with two separate menu’s. These romantic five-course dinners, lovingly prepared by Chef Dave Clark, will be paired with Helvetia Vineyards Estate Wines including pinot from the Helvetia Winery library. Seats are $60 per person and wine is included.

Grape Harvest

 Follow Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay as they journey from vine to wine (in a few weeks’ time). Helvetia Winery 2016 Grape Harvest.

Why the Bouteille?


At about the same time the Oregon Legislature was considering a bill to permit wineries to fill customers’ containers with their favorite wine, I had occasion to bring a pickup load of used bottles to Far West, our local recycling depot.  As I considered the $6 I had paid for each carton when new and watched the massive diesel-fueled excavators break the glass bottles into bits, I thought about the waste of money and energy our well-intentioned effort initiated. Once the so-called “wine growler” bill was unanimously adopted into law, Helvetia was among the first Oregon wineries to dispense wine into reusable bottles.  When a long-time customer complained that the word “growler” was not appropriate for fine wine because of its other “locker room” definitions, we searched for a new term and adopted the French word for bottle, la bouteille, since it had a more appealing sound and a clear definition .  .  . if pronounced correctly.  We were buoyed by the fact that Oregon’s DEQ announced late in 2013 that at least half of the bottles collected for recycling were actually deposited in landfills anyway because of price considerations and the need to facilitate waste liquid flow.

Our bouteilles are actually liter bottles rather than the traditional 750 ml wine bottle and, because you buy and refill the bottle, we are not burdened with the cost of the bottle, cork, label, and closure seal, our customers get the benefit of an additional one-third of a bottle that is fresher than traditionally-bottled wine because of the effects of the traditional bottling process.  Plus, customers have the comfort of knowing that their wine pleasures are not diminished by the empty bottle becoming just one more addition to a stinking landfill.  So next time you come by the Jakob Yungen House, buy by the bouteille and say bye-bye to the bottle.*

*Since pinot noir develops flavors as a result of micro-oxygenation originating from cork closures, we have not yet sold pinot en bouteille. However, we hope to allocate a portion of our pinot next year to be dispensed into customers’ containers.

Most of the Pinot Noir Has Been Picked & Destemmed!

The picking of the pinot noir started bright and early at 7am this morning! So far the workers have harvested more than 10,000 pounds of grapes!

Look at the beautiful pinot noir.



Charlie and Claudia destemming pinot noir.

We’ve been working hard to get the grapes crushed, destemmed and ready for fermenting. A crusher destemmer (or as John likes to say the “Lucy/Ethel machine” is used before fermenting starts to separate the wine grapes from their stems.


The wine grapes are put into the top of the machine.



And come out looking like this! These grapes are ready for S02, fermenting and the upcoming punchdowns!


John is the expert forklift driver.

John is the expert forklift driver.

No winery would be complete without a trusty forklift and forklift driver. Clearly after 20 years of harvesting grapes John is the absolute best person for the job!


Muchas gracias Cindy!

And of course after a hard earned 4 hours of non-stop picking of grapes the workers sat down to enjoy a nice lunch prepared by the one and only Cindy Materi!

Next mission…..The pinot gris!

The Very First Step of Harvest


Claudia and Charlie preparing the destemmer and the fermenters.


Jeff spending time fixing the good ole ATV.

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the work done at the winery during harvest of course, is picking grapes. What most people do not know is that harvest actually begins the day before the grapes are picked. This entire day is spent cleaning and sanitizing every nook and cranny of not only the winery and the space around the winery but every tool, bucket, press, hose, and pump you could imagine.