For the first time this Thanksgiving, Three Feathers Estate will be participating in the biggest wine tasting event of the season, the Wine Country Thanksgiving Wine Tour. This tour features many vineyards, like ourselves, who are not generally open to the public and gives those who appreciate the unusual a taste of our limited production. We will be sharing this event with our wine making partner, Lady Hill Winery in St. Paul. They have a gorgeous facility where we make our wines and their tasting room, across from the historic Champoeg State Park, is very special.
We will be serving all of our wines, including our 2018 Cuvée Virginia which will be making it’s debut, at this Open House event in the Columban Hall Tasting Room. Come and enjoy an afternoon of fine wines and music in this historic Oregon setting and sample our special Smoked Turkey sandwiches with cranberry cream cheese spread.
Stay tuned for information on Special Holiday Offers at this event!
Lady Hill Winery 8400 Champoeg Rd NE St. Paul, OR 97137
September is an anxious time for Vineyard owners. We all are hoping for optimum harvest
conditions; perfectly ripened fruit, warm dry autumn days and a crew that is ready
to pick when we are – an ideal harvest scenario.
This year Three Feathers Vineyard looked pretty good; disease-free,
unlike other vineyards in the valley with mold issues, with fruit that was
progressing according to schedule and warm dry weather.
Then on the 8th of September, we got some
rain. That’s nice. The rain washed off the dust and the plants
got watered – not a problem, right? But
ever since that day, we experienced cooler temperatures and intermittent rain,
even a few downpours.
Rain at harvest season creates problems with ripening sugars in the grapes. Every time it rains, the sugars are diluted and intense flavors reduced. It takes several succeeding days of dry weather to get the sugars back where they were before. The possibility of rot or damaged fruit increases. As the fruit hangs on the vines the birds become an issue. Cooler temperatures can put the plants into dormancy and they never get to the point that we hope for.
We didn’t expect to pick until the end of September or early
October so we will waited, watched, tasted and tested.
October 2, 2019 | Snatching Victory from the Jaws of Defeat
The harvest season
in Oregon has been a challenging one with cold temperatures, occasional pouring
rain and flocks of hungry birds. We have all been doing a balancing act between
getting our fruit to ripen as in previous, warmer years, and keeping the fruit
from spoiling or getting eaten.
There are few
options for preventing the bird predation- netting is costly and time consuming,
bird cannons annoy the neighbors as well as us, and decoys don’t fool any of
them for long. There is the option of hiring a falconer (bring back jousting as
well!). Basically you just have to hope you get the grapes picked before the
birds get them all.
Today we succeeded
in avoiding the rain, rot, birds and freezing temps and have completed the
harvest in Three Feathers. Pickers arrived at dawn and swarmed the vineyard
with their buckets – plucking Victory from the Jaws of Defeat. It took no time
at all to fill the bins with our succulent Pinot Noir. Christine picked a small
crop of Pinot Gris and kept an eye on the progress. David, Scott and Victor
moved bins with our big New Holland tractor.
We are satisfied,
having avoided mildew that plagued other vineyards and brought our grapes in
despite all the issues. The 2019 Vineyard season is over and it was not “for
This fabulously subtle and unique Carrot Cake, Parma-style recipe by Giadi De Laurentiis, makes repeat performances in our family ever since we discovered it on the Food Network.
Lightly sweet, not too spicy, well-balanced and zingy with a touch of fennel and lemon zest, this carrot cake can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or at tea time and makes a perfect finish to an evening meal.
While we are watching, waiting and measuring our Pinot Noir grapes with bated breath for the right Brix level to harvest, we whipped up a Parma-style Carrot Cake to share with you, complete with helpful step-by-step illustrations.
Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup pine nuts (about 6 ounces) 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 1 lemon, zested and juiced 2 cups peeled and chopped carrots (about 6 carrots) 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened 5 eggs Powdered sugar to garnish
MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE
We substitute Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix for the flour in even quantities and omit the baking powder since this gluten-free mix contains baking powder in it already. This particular mix is made with almond flour and makes a moister cake than the regular flour version.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
Place the pine nuts, 1/2 cup sugar, and fennel seeds in a food processor and pulse to mince the nuts. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and the carrots. Pulse to mince the carrots. Add the mascarpone cheese and pulse until the cheese is incorporated.
In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, until well blended.
Add the carrot mixture to the butter mixture and stir until combined. Add in the reserved dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated.
Place the mixture in a lightly greased and floured 8 by 10 by-2-inch baking dish. We use silicone without greasing.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes at 375 degrees F.
Serve with a glass of our 2018 Three Feathers Blanc de Noirs (white Pinot Noir), whose tasting notes of melon, citrus and green apple pair beautifully with this delicate Parma-style Carrot Cake.
Three Feathers Blanc de Noirs served at Decarli restaurant in Beaverton, OR
Beginning Friday, July 19th, our Blanc de Noirs will be available by the glass at Decarli Restaurant in downtown Beaverton, 4545 SW Watson Avenue, Beaverton, OR 97005. For reservations, call 503-641-3223.
Additionally, the Blanc de Noirs and the 2017 Cuvée will be available to purchase by the bottle.
This is a lovely family recipe that you can easily make on-the-go, or create from leftovers (such as barbecued sausage links) for a new nourishing meal.
Our lighter, low-carb version uses cauliflower instead of potatoes : cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable and marries well in flavor texture with smoky sausage and smooth hard-boiled eggs.
VERSION # 1
Ingredients: 1/2 lb of Hungarian Sausage (we use Beef Polksa Kielbasa), sliced 1/2 lb potatoes 4 hard boiled eggs, sliced Salt and pepper to taste 2 T of paprika (Penzeys Hungarian-style Paprika is great for this recipe) 2 T butter 2 cups sour cream 1 tsp flour 1/4 cup light cream 2 T bread crumbs
VERSION # 2
Substitute lightly steamed cauliflower for the potatoes. To make this recipe gluten-free, use cornflakes or gluten-free bread crumbs and potato flour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pre-cook the sausages separately by roasting them simply in the oven. If they are set in links, four links should be sufficient.
Boil the potatoes with their skins in salted water for 15 minutes. Peel and slice when cool. If you are substituting with cauliflower, break the head into florets and steam them lightly.
Butter a 12″ x 8″ x 2″ baking dish (Pyrex works well) and arrange half of the potatoes, sausage and eggs in a layer.
Combine the paprika, salt, sour cream, flour and light cream.
Spread the cream mixture over the first layer.
Make a second layer with the remaining ingredients and top with bread crumbs.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Serve this hearty casserole with a simple green salad and a fresh bottle of our 2018 Three Feathers Blanc de Noirs (white Pinot Noir), which adds a fruity and acidic touch.
At Three Feathers, our goal is to perpetuate the Oregon tradition of locally owned and operated vineyards and handcrafted wines for which our region Internationally known.
The success of Oregon Pinot Noir has made us the envy of many other larger wine producing regions who are now trying to muscle in, buying thousands of acres of Oregon Vineyards. Mass producers, frequently owned and sometimes operated out of State, where production laws for Pinot Noir are looser, are motivated by different things than smaller locally owned producers.
Their target is the mass market and the result is that prices are going down and the cost of land is going up. There have been instances where wine promoted and sold as “Oregon” wine was not produced in Oregon. In certain states production rules are not as strict as in Oregon. California legislation, for example, allows Pinot Noir wines to be blended with up to 25% of other varietals without naming them on the bottle.
Our response to this is to appeal to the true Pinot lover who understands the value of what we produce, who does not want to buy their wine in a can and who appreciates that the real way to buy quality wine is to get it from the source; directly from the Vineyard.
Why is that important? As in the traditional wine making that has existed for thousands of years, the quality of the wine depends a lot on the location of the vineyard, the soils, the climatic variations from season to season. That’s what makes every year, every vintage, different.
For a wine that is drunk every day, a table wine, you want consistency and value. A mass produced wine which is blended in large quantities from many different sources can produce an inexpensive option. In a small vineyard/winery setting, this is hard to achieve.
However, in the process of creating “sameness” the wine loses its individual characteristics. Wines like ours are unique to our vineyard and reflect all the fascinating elements that make a great taste experience. Taste and aroma are affected by seasonal temperatures, rain and the length of the season, the particular Pinot Noir clone grown, when the grape was picked, early or late. Then the winemaker adds his talents by choosing the yeast, time on the skins and the aging process in new oak, neutral oak, or stainless. The variables are endless.
People who appreciate these subtleties are our customers. The only thing we don’t do anymore is squish the grapes with our feet!
Sunday May 26 dawned cloudy, cool and windy. Not an auspicious start for a day of guests and wine tasting outdoors considering that it had rained hard on Saturday! We pulled out the fire pit, made from the end of an old heating oil tank, and stacked up the firewood.
Cheerfully, by 11 AM the sun came out, the clouds blew away and our first guests were greeted with a picture perfect day in the gardens. From 11 to 5 we had a small but steady stream of visitors.
There were plenty of places to take a glass of wine to enjoy the views of the vineyard and gardens or sit by the fire. Many stayed for the afternoon.
The new Blanc de Noirs was a big hit and everyone went home with at least one bottle. Some drank one with the buffet of spiral cut ham, rolls and other delectables. We received many positive comments such as “refreshing”, and “pleasantly dry”, “mineral notes” and several said this wine reminded them of a Sauvignon Blanc.
All in all, it was a lovely day where we made new friends, met neighbors and signed up new Flight Club Members. Welcome to the Club Heather, Doug and Nina!
Family Heirloom Chicken Casserole with Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Sour Cream Sauce
This is a wonderful, simple and inexpensive casserole that is a good family meal but elegant enough to serve for company. This recipe is perfect with home-canned tomatoes, although the vineyards have prevented me from canning over the past few years! The leftover broth makes a lovely soup.
Ingredients: 6 pieces of of cup up chicken, any parts 1 large (28 oz) can of whole tomatoes 8 ounces of sliced white Mushrooms 1 cup of Sour Cream Salt and pepper to taste 1 T of flour 1 T oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sauté in a small amount of oil in a fry pan until lightly browned.
Layer the chicken, tomatoes and mushrooms in a 4 quart ovenproof casserole and pour in all of the juice from the canned tomatoes.
Cover the casserole and put in the preheated oven for 1 hour or until the dark meat is well cooked, almost falling off the bone.
Remove the chicken to a platter.
Mix the Sour Cream with the flour in a small bowl and add some of the liquid from the casserole. Mix to remove any lumps and pour the mixture back into the casserole. Heat on the stove until the sauce has thickened slightly. Return the chicken to the casserole and serve.
Serves 3 and can be doubled. I usually accompany this dish with steamed rice and a salad.
Our newly launched wine club is called the “Three Feathers Flight Club”.
This is not the type of club where we exclude people. Nor is it the type of club that requires a membership fee (golf club, country club, Costco, Sam’s Club). No initiation rituals. Just a group of people who will constitute Three Feathers insiders. People interested in the Vineyard Cycle and the production of superior wine who want to share in the process by purchasing a small amount of wine every year.
Our club is exclusive in that it is limited to our yearly production – currently 300 – 400 cases per year. Our goal is to make as much wine as we can sell to our club members and a few select retail outlets. You will not find our wine in supermarkets or discount stores.
Because our members will select the wines in their annual shipments, the production will be targeted to the taste of our members. Limited production wines such as Reserve Wines will be offered to Members first. And members will receive preferred pricing on all purchases and free tastings at our events.
The Three Feathers Flight Club is designed to benefit our Members with special pricing, special offers and the opportunity to be part of a small family enterprise.
You don’t have to bust your budget to join; the annual purchase commitment is only 12 bottles of your choosing. You can start with our latest release 2018 Blanc de Noirs, for example, for $294.00 broken into two shipments 6 bottles at $147.00 each.
Our Pinot Noir grapes are popping out of their buds ten days after showing a “baby bump” on April 15. This is called Bud Break and is the start of a grape’s annual growth cycle in the spring. Vineyard owners use bud break to calculate the harvesting date; the average number of days from bud break to maturity is 180 days.
I would call the 2018 – 2019 winter a “ normal “ Oregon winter – not too wet, like 2015, or too dry, like 2018. Temperatures were somewhat above average and we took advantage of the mild weather to get our grapes pruned in late January. February became cold and snowy and this pattern continued until mid-March. Fortunately the grape plants did not get too cold and everything looks good so far.
Our gardens are really putting on a show this year, especially the wild cherries and native dogwood that are heavy with blooms. Spring temperatures have been fairly cool, keeping plants at their peak for longer. We have a nesting pair of bluebirds for the first time in years and the ladybugs hatched thousands of babies in the vineyard.
Oregon is grass growing country and things are so green it almost hurts the eyes. We are very busy mowing and weeding garden beds to get them in shape for our Wine Tasting event on Sunday, May 26th during Memorial Day Weekend.
We will be showcasing our newest wine, our White Pinot Noir, or “Blanc de Noirs” and introducing our wine club called the Three Feathers Flight Club. To receive an invitation, contact us: