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:
After much research, we have created a simple way for you to enjoy more of our wines at a better price and never miss out on the rarest wines in the valley. We produce a limited amount of wine every season and we sell this wine only at select venues without a tasting room. As a Charter Club Member you will know that every year we have wines reserved for you.
Unlike many other clubs, you will select which wines to receive in your shipments as well as benefit from preferred club pricing.
All members will be offered first access to new and limited production wines such as our 2018 Three Feathers Reserve Pinot Noir – a single Vineyard, single clone Pinot Noir from our 10 Acre site on Chehalem Mountain. This wine will be kept 18 months in the barrel and only 50 cases will be released in 2020.
Your Three Feathers Flight Club membership card will entitle you and a friend to a free tasting at any event we pour at and members will be invited to all vineyard events, starting with the Memorial Weekend Open House on Sunday May 26.
As a Charter Member you will be in at the beginning of what we hope will be an evolving concept; always growing and improving for our members.
The Three Feathers Flight Club Launch will be held on Sunday May 26 during our 2nd Annual Memorial Day Weekend Wine Tasting. At that time, our 2018 Blanc de Noirs – a still white wine made from Pinot Noir grapes – will also be making it’s debut.
Stay tuned for more information or request further details by email.
With concentrated energy, the Stimac family and our marketing specialist Sandra Hogan and her companion, Dennis, set up a wine tasting booth under the awesome canopy of fighter planes, rockets and space paraphernalia that embellish the Evergreen Aviation & Space museum when normally operational.
Complete with pale grey aprons embroidered with “Three Feathers” and our names in red, and two banners of photographs with our logo by Elise, we hunkered down for 20 hours of greetings and explanations about our product. Our three licensed alcohol servers, Sandra, Victor and Cynthia, did not stop serving wine to passersby; the attendance was at its usual high and by the end of the weekend we felt well-loved despite our newbie status.
The fine art of wine tasting, spittoon and facial expressions included, is a fascinating process. Some people came with their own spittoon, others took copious notes, still others tasted 1 ounce and came back for a 5 ounce glass… sipping once, sipping twice as Maurice Sendak so aptly put it.
Well-situated, with Asiatico Sushi to our right and Pike Road Wines to our left, we could not have asked for nicer neighbors. As the hours passed, little plates of sushi and tastes of wine complemented the exchange. We especially enjoyed the music, notably The Jake Blair Band on Saturday evening, and found that it was conducive to wine tasting and selling.
A couple of days later, just as we were coming to our senses, Three Feathers partner Elise Prudhomme headed back to Paris in preparation for the professional wine tasting trade show organized by the Oregon Wine Board in conjunction with Hilltop Wines in London.
Elise arrived in Paris on Wednesday, broke down her suitcases and repacked for her departure on the Eurostar on Thursday with husband François. Unbeknownst to her, the French Customs strike was in full swing. Despite email warnings to cancel their train tickets and reschedule, Elise and François arrived at the Gare du Nord at 6.30am to tackle a three hour wait, missing their original train and finally grabbing a 10am scheduled to arrive 10 minutes before the trade show opening at noon.
Despite this stressful beginning, the venue at Oxo Tower on the banks of the Thames in London was lovely and well-equipped with copious quantities of clean glasses, standing spittoons between the tables and plenty of space for presenting wine.
Out of 395 registered to attend, visitors included sommeliers, distributors, wine buyers, wine critics and winemakers from different parts of the world. Tasters appreciated our 2018 Blanc de Noirs (still white wine made from Pinot Noir grapes), scheduled for bottling in April and our 2017 reds, finding that they were fairly unique compared to other Oregon wines presented.
During the Magnum Opus after party, when magnums of Oregon and Washington wines were especially opened for the occasion, Elise and François vanished with their carry-on luggage to St. Pancras International for their return on the Eurostar. Happily, it only took them 10 minutes to pass security and customs on the London end; a painless end to a very long but enjoyable day.
The London trade show was a perfect compliment to the public wine tasting event in McMinnville, encouraging us to hone our presentation for a professional crowd. Challenging questions were asked and comments given that will push us forward on the path to perfection.
Three Feathers Cuvée Virgina 2017, a delicious blend of Pinot Noir from our two high-elevation vineyards on Chehalem Mountain; Three Feathers Vineyard and Torio Vineyard, received a Silver Medal in this year’s McMinnville Wine & Food Classic!