Hay Harvesting on Three Feathers Estate

Elise StimacFamily, Farm Life, Hay making

Haymaking Team of Three Feathers Estate & Vineyard
3FETHR plate on our 4x4 truck covered with hay during Three Feathers Estate 2017 harvest

Three Feathers Estate & Vineyard vanity plate covered in hay during the 2017 harvest.

Three Feathers Estate 2017 Hay Harvest

The day the Prudhomme boys landed in Portland from France, Three Feathers hay was ready to harvest. We drove the French contingent right to Wilco to buy double-reinforced leather gloves and it was off to work.

John Deere and New Holland cross paths in the haying frenzy at Three Feathers Estate & Vineyard

Haymaking Team of Three Feathers Estate & Vineyard driving the venerable John Deere and our New Holland to make win-rows and pick up bales.

French haymaking team bringing bales to the barn on Three Feathers Estate & Vineyard

French haymaking team bringing bales to the barn on Three Feathers Estate & Vineyard during the 2017 hay harvest.

In three days, Big Blue and Baby Blue (our two New Holland tractors) cut and raked and win-rowed 1200 bales of fine quality fresh green mountain hay for our Oregon customers. We followed behind with our 4×4 truck and trailer, bucking and stacking the bales as fast as the tractors could make them.

Six men and one broken baler during Three Feathers Estate & Vineyard 2017 hay harvest.

Six men and one broken baler during Three Feathers Estate & Vineyard 2017 hay harvest.

Haymaking team evaluating the flat tire on the John Deere at Three Feathers Estate & Vineyard.

Haymaking team evaluating the flat tire on the John Deere at Three Feathers Estate & Vineyard.

The usual mishaps had to happen at the same time on the same day. Our old baler did not like the thicker richer parts of the field let us know it. Big Blue decided it needed more oil and put out a warning light and the huge wheel of our venerable John Deere got a flat.

Three Feathers Estate & Vineyard haymaking team taking a quick break in between bucking bales.

Three Feathers Estate & Vineyard haymaking team taking a quick break in between bucking bales.

New Holland Baler needs to be retuned during haymaking at Three

New Holland Baler needs to be retuned during haymaking at Three Feathers Estate & Vineyard.

“Well”, said Victor, “it’s the pleasures of farming! We are doing much better than last year.”

Haymaking Team of Three Feathers Estate & Vineyard

Haymaking Team of Three Feathers Estate & Vineyard poised on 50 tons of hay

Stirred, not Shaken

Elise StimacWine making

Final comparative view of Three Feathers 2016 Pinot Noir before and after filtration in preparation of bottling on July 6.
Three Feathers Vineyard vintage 2016 unfiltered Pinot Noir awaits filtration

Three Feathers Vineyard vintage 2016 unfiltered Pinot Noir awaits the filtration process via Pall Industries Oenoflow technology (behind right).

Extraction tube is put into place so that the wine flows into the Oneoflow filtration machine.

Extraction tube is put into place so that the wine flows into the Oenoflow Filtration machine by Pall Industries.

Patented Pall XL Modules containing Pall's inert filtration memb

Patented Pall XL Modules containing Pall’s PVDF membrane and Back Pulse which exercises a reverse flow direction allows wine to maintain unrestricted contact with the membrane to ensure an efficient filtration.

Dan Duryee, winemaker at Lady Hill Winery, samples a glass of fi

Dan Duryee, winemaker at Lady Hill Winery, samples a glass of filtered Three Feathers 2016 vintage Pinot Noir directly from the Pall Oenoflow XL filtration machine.

Two comparison glasses of Three Feathers 2016 vintage Pinot Noir

Before and After Filtration. Two comparison glasses of Three Feathers 2016 vintage Pinot Noir; filtered (right) and unfiltered (left).

Vertical full length view of the Pall Oenoflow XL Filtration mac

Vertical full length view of the Pall Oenoflow XL Filtration machine busy filtering our Three Feathers 2016 vintage Pinot Noir.

Finishing filtration of Three Feathers 2016 Pinot Noir, good to

In order to finish filtration of every last drop of Three Feathers 2016 Pinot Noir, Dan and his team tip over the vat.

Final comparative view of Three Feathers 2016 Pinot Noir before

Final comparative view of Three Feathers 2016 Pinot Noir before and after filtration in preparation of bottling on July 6.

Stirred, not Shaken: Clarification of our 2016 Three Feathers Pinot Noir

We received a text message from Dan Duryee, our winemaker at Lady Hill Winery, to say that our Three Feathers 2016 vintage Pinot Noir would go through the filtration process that day.

“Is there anything to photograph?”, Christine texted back.

Up pops a photograph of a strange machine and the line “I’ll let you be the judge of that”.

I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed. Pall Industries’ Oenoflow XL is a fascinating machine combining state-of-the art technology with clinical know-how. Delicate membranes made of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) sift out the suspended particles during the wine clarification process in one since process step, thus avoiding centrifugation or other filter aids. Non-aggressive and efficient, this inert filtration membrane system helps to preserve the taste and balance of complex fluids such as wine. An unappealing metaphor would liken the event to dialysis, but the comparison is realistic.

It was exciting to hold up samples of our 2016 Three Feathers Pinot Noir “before” and “after” clarification. Ready to bottle on July 6.

Wine Tasting in San Diego and Cruising on the USS Theodore Roosevelt

Elise StimacEvents, Wine Tasting

Cynthia Sciarratta, Angela, Alessandra and Vittorio Sciarratta, T. Victor Stimac, Oscar Prudhomme and Christine Stimac at the TR Association cocktail at the Hilton in Mission Valley San Diego, California on June 19, 2017.
Cynthia Sciarratta, Angela, Alessandra and Vittorio Sciarratta, T.

Cynthia Sciarratta, Angela, Alessandra and Vittorio Sciarratta, T. Victor Stimac, Oscar Prudhomme and Christine Stimac at the Theodore Roosevelt Association cocktail in Mission Valley Hilton in San Diego, California on June 19, 2017.

Tweed Roosevelt, Christine Roosevelt Stimac and Cynthia Sciarratta speaking with Head Weapons Officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt during the TR Association cocktail Mission Valley, San Diego, California on June 19, 2017.

Tweed Roosevelt, Christine Roosevelt Stimac and Cynthia Sciarratta speaking with an Officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt during the TR Association cocktail Mission Valley, San Diego, California on June 19, 2017.

Captain Craig Clapperton in the Commanding Officer's quarters of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) surrounded by Theodore Roosevelt memorabilia and portrait.

Captain Craig Clapperton in the Commanding Officer’s quarters of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) surrounded by Theodore Roosevelt memorabilia and portrait.

Sailor Castro and Captain's Cook Bagna with Angela and Alessandra Sciarratta and Vittorio Sciarratta (alias Top Gun) - standing on the Flight Deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).

Sailor Castro and Captain’s Cook Bagna with Angela, Alessandra and Vittorio Sciarratta (alias Top Gun) standing on the Flight Deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).

Elise Prudhomme, photographer, on the windy catwalk of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) cruising in the Pacific Ocean off of San Diego, California.

Elise Prudhomme, photographer, on the windy catwalk of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) cruising in the Pacific Ocean off of San Diego, California.

View from the Bridge looking out over the fore of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) cruising in the Pacific Ocean off of San Diego, California.

View from the Bridge looking out over the fore of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) cruising in the Pacific Ocean off of San Diego, California.

Wine Tasting in San Diego and Cruising on the USS Theodore Roosevelt

Beautiful SUNNY San Diego! A nice change from the cloudy and cool Portland that we left behind.

Christine and Victor converged at the Hilton in Mission Valley with Elise and Cynthia, four grandchildren and a 40 lb case of wine. Elise had created a beautiful marketing piece for the event. The tasting took place on the verandah and we “meeted and greeted” for two hours. Elise was asked to do photography for the event and she was everywhere! Snapping photos in her high heels and décolleté she wowed all the officers of the USS Theodore Roosevelt. See her report from the bridge! Cynthia and Christine manned the tasting table.

Lots of future contacts were made and we hope all the effort will pay off in sales and positive response to our wine.

Our day on the ship was incredible with a personal escort from two crew members- sailor Castro and Captain’s Cook Bagna. Their attentiveness and patience with all our questions was outstanding. We toured the ship from the Captains quarters to the anchor room ten floors below. – No elevator and steep stairs that we went up and down all day. The impression was of a giant floating city of immense complexity. Everyone had a very specific job and responsibility from checking the quality of the aviation fuel to keeping the anchors greased and operational. The ship had to be in a state of constant readiness for any emergency foreign or domestic.

Low-lying fog kept them from doing the air show that had been planned but they improvised with a helicopter demonstration and fire drill.  We still had a remarkable experience standing in the shoes of our incredible Navy.

Have Wine, Will Travel

Elise StimacEvents, Wine Tasting

Sample wine bottles 2016 Pinot Noir vintage
Sample wine bottles 2016 Pinot Noir vintage

Sample wine bottles of our 2016 Pinot Noir ready to travel to our tasting in San Diego.

Samples of our first vintage 2016 Oregon Pinot Noir

We are thrilled to be invited to a wine tasting event in San Diego to present our first vintage 2016 Oregon Pinot Noir! Here is a glimpse of sample bottles, ready for take-off.

Birds of a Feather

Elise StimacEvents

Close-up on the nose of a McDonnell Douglas VC-9C USA Air Force presidential airplane that served chief executives and their staffs from 1975 to 2005, Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, McMinnville, Oregon.
Close-up on the nose of a McDonnell Douglas VC-9C USA Air Force presidential airplane that served chief executives and their staffs from 1975 to 2005, Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, McMinnville, Oregon.

Close-up on the nose of a McDonnell Douglas VC-9C USA Air Force presidential airplane that served chief executives and their staffs from 1975 to 2005, Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, McMinnville, Oregon.

Birds of a Feather flock together aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt

Three Feathers and their children will be presenting our 2016 Pinot Noir at a dinner for members and guests of the Theodore Roosevelt Association at the Hilton in Mission Valley, San Diego on Sunday, June 18.

Then, on June 19, we will be embarking on a day-long cruise aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Stay tuned for a full report and photos by our official photographer and Three Feathers partner,  Elise Prudhomme.

Living with the Wildlife

Elise StimacFarm Life, Wildlife

Nubian goats eating grass in their pen, Ford truck in background.
Nubian goats eating grass in their pen, Ford truck in background

Rear view of the barn where the goats are happily eating hay just next door and the mice are hiding.

Living with the Wildlife

Our Ford F-150 gets a lot of use during the growing season, but when it is idle, it is parked in a dry spot by our goat barn.

Last summer we noticed an odor inside the cab; a faint odor of manure.  We checked our shoes, nothing.  As the odor persisted we looked further, under and behind seats, in the engine… and found nothing.

This spring the smell was unbearable. We felt as if we were in a zoo with the elephants.  We took the truck to a detail shop and it came back squeaky clean, but it still smelled.  What was it?

In to the mechanic.  A faint smirk on the attendants face.  They knew!  “Happens all the time”.  They opened up the hood, took off the covers to the blower motor and the firewall and inside were two beady eyes looking out at them!  Johnny Town Mouse had moved to the Country.  He had found a great warm and dry spot to build his nest.  And right next door was a terrific source of bedding – a goat barn.   Thousand of uninterrupted trips back and forth with manure and he packed the spots for his nest.  Then he called all of his relations and they moved in.

$800.00 later we had our truck back, clean and mouse free. The mechanics had to remove the dashboard, replace the filters and clean out all of the manure.

Now Johnny lives back in the City again. We still can smell a faint remembrance of mice past.

God Speed The Plough

Elise StimacGrowing

The verse on this mug purchased by Virginia Roosevelt Armentrout just about sums up the entire philosophy expressed at Three Feathers Estate.

The verse on this mug purchased by Virginia Roosevelt Armentrout just about sums up the entire philosophy expressed at Three Feathers Estate.

The verse on this mug purchased by Virginia Roosevelt Armentrout just about sums up the entire philosophy expressed at Three Feathers Estate.

Let the Wealthy and Great
Roll in Splendor and State,
I envy them not, I declare it.
I eat my own Lamb
My own Chickens and Ham
I shear my own Fleece and I wear it.
I have Lawns, I have Bowers
I have Fruits, I have Flowers
The Lark is my morning alarmer,
So Jolly Boys now
Here’s God Speed the Plough
Long Life and success to the Farmer

The banner underneath reads:

Industry Produceth Wealth

The verse on this mug just about sums up the entire philosophy expressed in our website. Funny that Virginia found this mug 20 years ago in a local Antique Shop and gave it to Christine as a gift. This was years before we ever had a Vineyard.

Barrel Tasting at Lady Hill Winery

Elise StimacWine making

Barrel tasting custom crush 2016 Three Feathers Pinot Noir with Winemaker Dan Duryee at Lady Hill Winery, Saint Paul, Oregon, USA.
Barrel tasting custom crush 2016 Three Feathers Pinot Noir with Winemaker Dan Duyree at Ladyhill Winery, Saint Paul, Oregon, USA.

Winemaker Dan Duryee and Victor Stimac sample 2016 Three Feathers Pinot Noir from the custom crush barrels at Lady Hill Winery, Saint Paul, Oregon, USA.

Barrel Tasting with our Winemaker Dan Duryee

Our tasting compared the four barrels against each other. Winemakers do this to ensure that none of the barrels are bad or “off” tasting before they are blended. One of the barrels was noticeably different. The simplest explanation was that the barrel manufacturer was different from the other three. Interesting that that would make a difference. The barrels were filled at different stages of the pressing- the first was free flowing juice, then the consequent barrels were filled as the grapes were pressed with increasing pressure so each barrel would have different characteristics from the amount of solids in the juice.

New Buds on Pinot Noir Grapevines

Elise StimacGrowing

Springtime buds on grape vines on Three Feathers Estate, Chehalem Mountain AVA, Yamhill County, Oregon, United States.
Springtime buds on grape vines on Three Feathers Estate, Chehalem Mountain AVA, Yamhill County, Oregon, United States.

Springtime buds on grape vines on Three Feathers Estate, Chehalem Mountain AVA, Willamette Valley, Oregon, United States.

New Buds

We go out frequently to see if the vines are coming to life. Today I could detect the tiniest little swelling on a new bud. We have had a record breaking winter of ice, snow, rain and mud with many slides in the valley.  With the coming of spring it has warmed a bit and we have had some dry days but there is still a lot of water and the ground is not dry enough to do any work. The vines have been pruned so we’re all ready for the new season in the vineyard.

It is hard to believe that inside this almost imperceptible white bump is a miracle of foliage and fruit waiting to burst forth.

Harvesting and Custom Crush at Lady Hill Winery

Elise StimacWine making

Three Feathers pinot noir grapes sorted and de-stemmed and ready for the fermentation tanks, Lady Hill Winery, Saint Paul, Oregon, USA.
Christine Stimac, Three Feathers Estate owner, looking at the first harvest grapes in fermentation tanks at Ladyhill Winery, Saint Paul, Oregon, USA.

Christine Stimac, Three Feathers Estate owner, looking at the first harvest grapes in fermentation tanks at Lady Hill Winery, Saint Paul, Oregon, USA.

Three Feathers pinot noir grapes sorted and de-stemmed and ready for the fermentation tanks, Ladyhill Winery, Saint Paul, Oregon, USA.

Three Feathers pinot noir grapes sorted and de-stemmed and ready for the fermentation tanks, Lady Hill Winery, Saint Paul, Oregon, USA.

Christine Stimac, Three Feathers Estate owner, presses the first

Christine Stimac, Three Feathers Estate owner, presses the first harvest grapes in fermentation tanks in the company of winemaker Dan Duryee of Lady Hill Winery, Saint Paul, Oregon, USA.

Custom Crush at Lady Hill Winery with Winemaker Dan Duryee

Recent genetic studies of grape varieties has identified Pinot Noir as one of the oldest grapes in the world. A small cluster variety, Pinot Noir has a reputation for being a finicky grape. It prefers cool nights and warm days. The wine is light in color and flavor and on the dry side compared to some other Red Wines. It’s flavor is subtle, not assertive.

The Willamette Valley, Oregon has the perfect conditions to grow Pinot. In 2016, we experienced a relatively dry and warm spring followed by a dry and warm summer. Perfect conditions for a great harvest. The only “damper” on this was an early start to our rainy season – just as we were starting harvest in mid-September! Everyone in the valley was doing a balancing act between getting picked with the proper amount of sugars (Brix) and picking before the rains came in earnest.

Three Feathers 2016 Pinot Noir was made in the Burgundian style with minimal manipulation so the character of the fruit is primary. The fruit was picked, sorted, and de-stemmed. After 21 days in the fermentation tanks it was gently pressed and barreled in four neutral oak barrels. The wine was left in the barrels for at least 10 months. The Reserve will be bottled after 16 months.

The wine is a ruby red color with an aroma of fruits and berries. It has low alcohol and acidity so the flavor is pleasant, mellow and bright.

A total of 100 cases were made.