Mount Pisgah – Mistletoe Ridge

We are excited to share that recently our neighborhood submitted a petition to ATTB for the establishment of “Mount Pisgah – Mistletoe Ridge American Viticulture Area.” It presently contains nine vineyards and two wineries and is relatively small at about 4100 acres. We believe the area to be unique in terms of climate, wind, heat, and geology, and soils from the larger Willamette Valley AVA. This is a lengthy process as the petition makes its way through bureaucracy, probably taking four or more years.

Winter Update from Dustin

The 16′ harvest went smooth with pleasant weather and no hiccups. Yields were back to a more normal level, around 3 tons per acre. ’14 and ’15 were both huge years leaving winery’s scrambling to find space for for all the fruit. All in all 2016 was good vintage for us and we anticipate some great wines. We had good weather just after harvest, which was nice for planting winter cover crops. This year we planted Crimson clover as well as Hairy Vetch. The cold weather in December hardened off the vines and aloud us to begin pruning. The hard freeze in early January has let us get into the vineyard with the tractor to chop brush. As long as the temperature doesn’t get into single digits for extended periods the vines should be fine....

Summer Update

It’s been a busy summer season. Bud break was one week behind last year, 4/1. An early start produced fast growing shoots and the crew worked hard to keep up moving wires. July of ’16 has been cool and growth has slowed down a bit, but we are still on track for an early September harvest. For those of you I haven’t met, my name is┬áDustin. I’m Dan and Helens oldest. I returned to the farm in ’12 and have been running day to day operations since then. My youngest sister McKenzie has also joined the family business handling the books and social media. We are excited to announce that we have several new winery’s purchasing fruit this year, Evesham Wood and Cana’s Feast. Also this summer, Devona of Walla Walla has released...

An Update Before Harvest

Harvest 2015 is set to begin this week and it bears similarities to last year. Another early harvest following a warm growing season had us concerned that sugars would rise too quickly out pacing flavor development and potentially having wines being a little thin with high alcohol. However, the recent rains and the return of more moderate temps particularly at night have slowed ripening down and the flavors are coming along. The clusters are heavy this year and we paid close attention to crop estimates and working with our winery partners to insure the tons per acre stayed within quality parameters. Enough of the semi tech stuff, but it’s the kind of stuff we get excited about. Major props to Dustin, Carlos and the rest of the crew that did a fantastic job...

Spring Update

Winter has come and gone and the miracle of bud break has once again occurred. It is so rewarding to see baby shoots emerging with tiny clusters following the emerging leaves. After all the work of pruning the vines it just doesn’t get old watching the vineyard come alive. Bud break happened on March 25 a good two weeks earlier than average. The next major developmental date of note is bloom which occurred on June 9 in 2014 if we are to draw comparisons to this year. I will stop short of saying we will have an early and glorious harvest this year since this is farming and I don’t wish to temp the wrath of nature, but things do look good. Lest I forget, FHV was pleased to have been the focus of a tasting of wines made from our fruit at the Ace Hotel in...

FHV Terroir Tasting!

March 12th has come and passed, but the Dusschee’s spent much of the day in Portland’s Pearl District at the first Freedom Hill Vineyard Terroir Tasting. It was an amazing experience. The beginning portion was a tasting and presentation for the trade industry with Dan and Helen Dusschee, Mark Vlossak, Jesse Lange, and Ken Wright. Dan and Helen each took a roll in presenting the history of the vineyard. Helen focused on the family aspect and Dan educated about the land and farming. The second portion of the Terrior Tasting was the consumer portion. The house was packed with over 130 guests. Six of the wineries that Freedom Hill sells to were there exclusively pouring Freedom Hill. This included: Ken Wright Cellars, Purple Hands Wines, Walter Scott...

In Memory of John Innocent Vlossak

The wine industry has lost a long term and devoted supporter in the passing of John Innocent Vlossak this past week. With all those he came into contact with he offered warmth and ever caring knowledge about wine. His contributions to St. Innocent Winery and his son’s, Mark’s skills are profound. He will be missed. Our deepest sympathy to Mark and family. The Dusschee Family