Our blog includes updates from the vineyard and winery, wine features, specials, products and much more. Elkton, Oregon is a special place and we like to brag about it from time to time. 

Coming this May!

Unlike a traditional white wine that is pressed so the juice has no contact with the skins, this Gewürztraminer is crushed and fermented on its skins. The skins carry enough pigment to darken the wine. Not only am I pleased with its color and potential bottle presentation, I am really excited about...

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A Fresh Look

Let me start by saying, I love our wine label. I remember when I first saw it I was really delighted by its look. For 13 years it has been a very dependable, attractive and well-received label.

Now let me explain how the last couple years have been leading to this transition. 

I came on the scene officially for Bradley Vineyards in spring 2014. The first wine I got to work with was the 2013 vintage my father John had started. Considering he got the wine through primary and started into secondary fermentation, he gets all the credit for the 2013 wines. 

2014 was our first season without Dad. Though, perhaps as you recall, 2014 was a really tremendous harvest. The weather was ideal and the vines were super-charged, producing tremendous yields and really high quality fruit.

Needless to say, that year I was very green in my vineyard management experience, so I felt like Dad must have helped out getting me started that year. The 2014's I tributed to Dad because of how unique the year was. I even made for the first time a 'Legacy Reserve' to mark the year as one for John. I'll only make a Legacy Reserve in years like 2014.

Now let's talk about 2015. It was another tremendous year- albeit quite hot, especially in July. Our yields were similar to that of 2014, but due to some sunburn loss in the Baco, we came in just under our total tonnage. The conditions just weren't quite perfect enough to merit another Legacy Reserve, but as the vintage took form, I found myself taking a lot more ownership over the winemaking. 

Okay quick aside - something I love about wine is that each vintage is essentially a time capsule. Because we let the year speak for itself and don't manipulate the wines to be consistent from vintage-to-vintage, it's easy to tell them all apart. I do find it more difficult to recall the older vintages' weather because A) I was a youth who wasn't drinking wine or paying attention to stuff like that and B) I didn't directly experience those vintages from bud break to bottle like I have the 2014s and 2015s.

So where am I going with all this? Considering the story of our brand, that every vintage is its own unique stamp on time, and that I have taken a lot of ownership of the 2015 wines, I thought it was a very appropriate time to update/freshen-up our label. Now when you buy a wine prior to 2015 and a bottle of 2015, you'll clearly see the transitional point in our brand's history.

Okay that's enough of the blahdy-blah. Wanna see the label? Okay here is a copy of the 2015 Dry Riesling - a wine we haven't had since 2011, I might add. Click image to view larger version.

As you can see I kept the logo largely the same. Though I always thought it could and should take up more real estate. I also always loved the layout and abstract water reflection image at the bottom, but thought it could be more purposeful. We believe good wine comes from good fruit so having the vines on the label was important to me. The view is from our Tasting Room deck, so I thought it was doubly-beneficial to have a recognizable view. Plus, that lone oak on the horizon is one of my favorite trees in Elkton.

The other two priorities for me were to establish that our wines are all Estate grown and emphasize the Elkton Oregon AVA. Re: Estate grown - not all wineries do 100% estate fruit like we do and since our fruit is always of such high quality, I thought we were missing an opportunity if we didn't mark it as such. As for the Elkton Oregon AVA, the designer mocked-up this really cool Oregon map with a cluster of grapes marking Elkton. While it is hard to tell on the bottle-itself, I really love the little icon.

It took many rounds between me and my former-co-worker/friend, Seth Hilson (visit his WEBSITE), to get the label where we wanted it, but I think we got there. 

In summary, I'm going to continue to make wine like Dad did. Now, looking back it will be easy to distinguish this time of transition in our company's (hopefully) long story to come.

Keepin' it fresh,


I Walk the Vine

Every year we try to have some live music at the vineyard, and this year I'm getting things rolling a little early. Why? Because the band we're bringing in is so great and so fun, you are going to want ample time to plan. Without further ado, I am pleased to announce our 'big' summer show:

From their website:

James Garner’s Tribute to Johnny Cash celebrates the life and music of the Man in Black with strong conviction and stunning accuracy. Garner and his band faithfully recreate Cash’s biggest hits, such as Folsom Prison Blues, I Walk the Line and Ring of Fire, and incorporate historical accounts and personal anecdotes about America’s most beloved singing storyteller in this not-to-be-missed musical event. The show is a fun, classy and toe-tapping trip down memory lane honoring Johnny Cash’s life and music, and the boom-chicka-boom sound of his signature backing band, the Tennessee Three.

I have the pleasure of knowing James, as we worked together at my first job out of college. If another person exists who knows more about and is a bigger fan of Johnny Cash than James, then I'd sure like to witness the two of them compare notes. Since his childhood, James has studied the life and music of Johnny Cash. That's why he calls this a tribute show. James doesn't just cover songs; he weaves in stories from Johnny's life; he provides rich background to the songs he performs; he even personifies Johnny both with deep vocals and the classic "boom chicka boom" sound, as well as in his dress and manner. I'm telling you, this is a performance you want to attend.

So here is the plan: I'm going to put tickets on sale for $20 a piece. I recognize that this is a higher ticket price than our typical vineyard show, but this is a bit more than our regular gig. I'll offer Early-bird pricing at $15 for a couple weeks after putting the tickets on sale. I'll also offer you, my devoted reader, a $5 discount code to use at checkout. That code is: bradleyblog. (Wine club members, use your club password from the members' only page to receive $10 off.)

Gates will 'open' for the show at 7pm on Saturday, August 13 and I'll introduce the band at 7:30. I'm offering a first come, first served free camping package, as long as you contact me ahead of time to reserve the space. Tents are easy and can really go anywhere on the property. RV and camper space is limited, as is power hook-up (and there is no dump site on the property). 

Tomaselli's will have their mobile wood-fired pizza oven on site, so we all would prefer that you don't bring outside food/drink. But if you bring a picnic, I guess that's okay too :). You will want a blanket or camping chairs as this will be a concert on the lawn. We'll also be selling Bradley Vineyards wines, select beers - I'm thinking about getting a keg or two depending on attendance- bottled water and soft drinks.

Okay now with all this said, I'm going to ask a favor of you. James's band is doing very well, is booked constantly, and is traveling a long way to come play in Elkton. I'm hoping that by launching this event early, together you and I can help bring lots of people out for this special show (and frankly I want to surprise him with a big, enthusiastic crowd).

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to:

  1. Buy a ticket or several for you and your friends!
  2. Tell your friends and family about the show and encourage them to get tickets!

Any Facebook shares, Tweets, Retweets, Instagram posts, Snapchats, etc. we can get, we'll take! With your help, this could truly be one of the most fun events of the summer!

For tickets click HERE

With that, I'll leave you with a playlist starting with James introducing and playing one of my favorite Cash tunes, Hey Porter.