Pét Nat Futures?!? Reserve your favorite sparkling wine today!

The last keg of our 2015 Pétillant Naturel (Pét Nat) is now tapped. If you haven’t heard, our Pét Nat has become a huge hit and has left you all begging for another vintage. We hate to disappoint so we have decided to make it again, but here’s the catch, we are only making what you ask for. It’s Futures Time! 0729161058Place your order by August 8th for the 2016 Pétillant Naturel.

If you haven’t tasted it yet or want to make sure to get one more growler fill, join us this weekend August 4th – 8th from 11am – 5pm to taste our current vintage. After which you can place your order for the 2016 Pét Nat which will be released in the Spring of 2017.

Not sure what Pét Nat is? A Pétillant Naturel is a naturally sparkling wine. Made in the ancient method, this wine is bottled towards the end of primary fermentation. It is then left in bottle, resulting in a sparkling wine that is unfiltered and extremely unique to each place it is made. Our Pét Nat is made from our Rosé resulting in the perfect balance of brightness and weight on the palate.

Please email justina@pattonvalley.com or call 503-985-3445 to place your orders.

Retail: $29 per bottle
Wine Club: $23 per bottle

Orders must be placed in increments of 6 bottles. Interested in our wine club? Click here for more details.

Much to BEE Happy About

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Long before we got here, bees have been a part of the landscape at Patton Valley. The moderate weather patterns and plant diversity of the Willamette Valley favored many varieties of bee habitats for thousands of years. Before falling fallow, our estate had been planted to plums and cherries, both relying on bee pollination for fruit set. Many of these trees remain. With the addition of blackberry, dandelion, and clover producing an abundance of both nectar and pollen, Patton Valley is a prime bee habitat.

Over the last three years, we have made a more concerted effort to integrate bees into our farm. We think it’s the right thing to do, plus it’s just plain fun! Conventional agricultural practices and many other environmental factors have had a devastating effect on bee populations within the last few decades; we want to do our part to rehabilitate this important piece of our local ecosystem.

Keeping bees is a labor of love, and every beekeeper has tales of successes and failures. Our spring hive inspection this year revealed one of our two hives to be empty. This was very disheartening. How did this happen? How can we prevent it from happening again? Not having the answers to these vital questions forced us to search for someone who did. Enter Tom Bandy…

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I met Tom Bandy (TB) a few years ago; he is the type of person you just don’t forget.  TB is an eccentric, sweet, loveable, bearded, bee-loving wild man that you instantly fall in love with. He keeps around 10 hives in a wide range of locations in the valley, and pulls knowledge from many successes and failures throughout his beekeeping days. He has agreed to mentor us on the particulars of apiary management (apiary is the correct term for a place where bees are kept) and is a proponent of keeping bees in a more natural way without the use of pest treatments or other interventions that can harm the bees. Honey productivity is not as important to him as having a healthy and happy hive, and we feel that way too.

This past Thursday, TB paid us a visit.  Lee and I were both excited to have him here, anxiously anticipating the professional assistance as we checked on the hives.  The first hive was buzzing–an efficient machine. With this warm0601161352a 2 spring weather, the bees had quickly filled one of the boxes with honey.  They were looking to add another room to their crowded house, so we added another empty box (Honey Super).  We searched for any signs that the hive would be looking to swarm, but they looked to be sticking around for a while. Sweet! (Pun intended).

Now with a high five and sweat already flowing under my heavy cotton suit (TB wears nothing in terms of protective gear but a fishing hat and some peppermint oil), we walked down to the deserted hive, hoping to solve the puzzle of why they left.  The upper cover to our hive had been left askew, and the resulting crack was abuzz with bee activity. A wild colony of bees had taken up residence in our deserted two story bee mansion! This is called a swarm–a natural form of reproduction and a bee colony survival instinct. A colony will make a new queen and split, resulting in potentially thousands of bees on the move, searching for a new residence. We assessed the health of the new colony:  the numbers weren’t as high as the other hive, but they had everything they needed to have a good season in their new home.

All in all a great afternoon! We were excited to have two healthy hives, and learned a few things to look for in keeping them that way. While eating one of Lee’s famous sandwiches, we made a list of next steps and started a bee journal to record and keep track of what we did. TB was just getting ready to leave when Chuy came running up to tell us that while moving catch-wires in the vineyard the crew had just stumbled upon a wild swarm of honeybees. What a stroke of luck!!! And most amazingly, TB was here and knew just what to do!

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The next half hour was a blur of excitement as we threw together a new hive with some pieces we had and some TB keeps in his truck just for that occasion. Following TB’s leadership and infectious excitement, we gently swept (using a feather!) the thousands of bees from the swarm into their new hive. They quickly started housekeeping activities, sending pheromones to the rest of the colony that their search for a new residence was over. The new hive sat next to

the swarm site in the 10 acre block overnight, and Lee came early the next morning to move it when they were all inside. Next time you come up the hill, take a look up at the center gully at the bottom of our newer planting and you will see the latest exciting addition to our apiary!

So why does any of this matter?  Grape vines are self-pollinated by the wind and don’t need the bees to produce fruit.  Our interest in bees is more about helping to propagate a struggling species, and to pollinate our many flowering cover crops, along with the other plant diversity, in and around our vineyard. We hope in the next few growing seasons to increase our plant diversity, focusing on native species that would support beneficial insects (Including, obviously, bees). Our primary focus as stewards of our property is to build and maintain a thriving healthy farm ecosystem, where plants and bugs live happily. Fricking cool, right?

We don’t expect all of our efforts to be as exciting as the bee events this past week, but we look forward to keeping you all informed on what we are up to.

 

That’s if folks, we are officially tapped!

Keezer

As the Patton Valley growlers have begun to appear in the tasting room, the gossip has spread that we are up to something big and crazy. Derek and Lee have spent the last few months hand-crafting our newest addition to the tasting room. . . the Patton Valley Kegzilla (a kegerator built out of a chest freezer)! In addition to our standard tasting, we will be pouring a rotating selection of three Patton Valley wines with growler fills available.

keezer 2Derek’s hope is that that these kegged wines will offer a fishbowl look at what is going on in the winery.  Often we will showcase wines that are only available by keg, or something that just struck our fancy that day and we felt like offering it up.

 

Stay tuned for our rotating flights of Patton Valley wines. P.S. we may even have a beer or two from time to time!

Back by popular demand, the Tasting Room is now OPEN 5 DAYS A WEEK!

You asked for it, you get it (don’t let it go to your heads). As of now the tasting room is open Thursday through Monday. That’s right, folks! Frankly, we missed seeing you, and we know you’ve missed the flexibility. So, come see us 5 days a week from 11:00-5:00pm.

Derek’s Desk

March 3, 2016

From the Laboratory:

1012659_10151277907697168_760655387_nHere in the cellar the wines are bubbling away as they get through Malolactic fermentation, or MLF.  “What”, you might say? “I thought harvest and the days of fermenting were long gone.”

Well, this time of year, once the primary (alcoholic) fermentation is done, the wines go through MLF, a process by which the naturally occurring Malic acid is converted into the less twangy and more reliable Lactic acid.  Once the wines go through this process they become much more stable.  Stable is good, it means they are that much closer to being ready to drink. A thing, I believe we can all agree on, that is very good.

The Vineyard – What’s happening now?

The most interesting thing to report here is that Jesus “Chuy” Mora is nearly finished pruning our entire vineyard by himself.

Let us paint a clearer picture:  Chuy’s shears have touched over 43,000 PVV Edits-6vines. Yes, you should bring a cold compress to the Spring pickup party for him just to show him you care. We appreciate the hard work and dedication as pruning may be the single most important aspect to vineyard management. These careful cuts set us up for success for the rest of the season. Looks like 2016 is going to be great.