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Podcast - The Best Spring and Summer Wine Varieties @minstrelandmuse

Companion post to June #winemuse podcast. 

On the Third Thursday Wine Muse podcast hosts, Linda Rez and William Pollard explored the varieties which make spring and summer POP. Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir Blanc, Riesling, Rose', Sauvignon Blanc, and sparkling wines, are some of the wines you'll want to enjoy on a hot day. 
Listen to the June Podcast "The Best Spring and Summer Wine Varieties.

For this special podcast, guests included winemakers and growers from Oregon and California: Wayne Bailey from McMinville, Orgeon, Youngberg Hill Vineyards introduced his Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc, Mike Bayliss from Oregon's Yamhill Carlton's AVA, Ghost Hill Cellars introduced his 2013 Pinot Noir Blanc, and Chris Kajani from Carneros, California, Bouchaine Vineyards introduced the 2014 Bouchaine Riesling.

Listen to the podcast and follow along with the included tasting notes below.


1. Wayne Bailey, Youngberg Hill 

10660 SW Youngberg Hill Road
McMinnville, OR 97128
Phone: (503) 825-0284
(888) 657-8668

  • Wayne Bailey is a grower and winemaker.
  • He practices Organic to Sustainable to Biodynamic farming.
  • They do not irrigate, dry farmed.
  • A beautiful property with an Inn with four king suites and four queen guest rooms.
  • Located in the Willamette Valley, McMinville, Oregon.

Tasting Notes Youngberg Hill 2014 Pinot Blanc Willamette Valley: 

Note: Pinot Blanc is a mutation of the Pinot Noir grape - white grapes instead of dark. Wayne purchased the Pinot Blanc grapes from a neighbor, fermented in stainless, bone dry, neutral oak.

Color: Straw.

Nose: Delicate stone fruit, light hazelnut, some mineral funk, powdered vanilla.
Palate: Medium body, creamy across tongue, delicate stone fruit, nutty, vanilla, tart at front, semi-sweet on the savory dry finish.

Day two: Generous palate, crisp, tart, drank dry, light pear, lightly nutty, savory finish. Craved seafood on day two.

Thoughts: Interesting white wine. Wants food, especially seafood on day two. Pair with crab cakes with mango sauce. Bone dry, so pair accordingly. Recommended

ABV: 13.5%
RS: 0.17%
Closure: Screw Cap
AVA: McMinville
Production: 165 Cases

Tasting Notes: Youngberg Hill 2014 Aspen Pinot Gris

Note: Estate planted in 2006, no malolactic, stainless fermentation, pair with spicy foods. 

Color: Shiny straw.

Nose: Cool, mineral fresh, floral, stone fruit, coconut.
Palate: Full on the palate, sweet, stone fruit, pear juice, coconut and acid into finish maintained interest, focused to the front, a sipping wine suitable for after dinner or served with soft cheese and fruit.

Day two: Weighty, creamy, sweet, light pear, zip down the palate, acid more present, tasty finish. Enjoyed more on day two.

Day three: Lovely after dinner sipper. Apricot with a pleasing sharp vanilla creaminess. My kind of dessert after a too warm day. Big like.

Thoughts: My first sweet Pinot Gris. Caught me off guard at first. Interesting and quite tasty when sipped and savored. Pair with spicy dishes or enjoy after dinner with a summer sunset. Strongly Recommended.


ABV: 13.5%
RS: 3.62%
Closure: Screw Cap
Production: 162 Cases


2. Mike Bayliss, Ghost Hill Cellars 

12220 NE Bayliss Rd 
Carlton, Oregon 97111     

Mike and Drenda Bayliss live in the original farmhouse built by Daniel and Samuel. Mike, Drenda, their son Michael, their daughter Bernadette and son-in-law, Cameron Bower are working together to make the vineyard a success and preserve the farm for future generations.

Located in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, rolling hills with Willakenzie soil, ancient ocean bottom, sedimentary soil on top, some broken down volcanic rock. The family is preserving the land for future generations. The entire family is partners in the winery. The ghost story goes with the name "Ghost Hill" from the pioneer days.

  • Ghost Hill Cellars is LIVE (Low Input Vineyard and Enology) certified. 
  • LIVE is an internationally recognized standard for sustainable viticulture practices in wine grape production. 
  • Ghost Hill Cellars is also SALMON-SAFE, dedicated to restoring and maintaining healthy watersheds. 
  • Property farmed since 1906. Vineyards planted in 1999.
  • AVA location, Yamhill-Carlton AVA.
  • Small tasting room from re-claimed materials. Built by Mike. Very rustic. 
  • Open May - Thanksgiving. 
  • Produce 1,200 cases of wine a year.


Tasting Notes Ghost Hill Cellars Pinot Noir Blanc 2013 Bayliss-Bower Vineyard: 

Color: Pale, copper-orange.
Nose: Orange blossom, vanilla, cream, pretty.
Palate: Vanilla cream, thin orange, almost cherry, fresh, focused to front palate, solid acid backbone, tacky on tongue, restrained, a pretty wine. Very chill, fantastic on a hot day. Wonderful for sipping and reading a good book.

With air: Strawberry, vanilla, cream, peach, flavor focused to middle, creaminess, bright at the front, medium finish. Mineral nose with strawberry and peach. Lovely strawberry cream finish. Fantastic sipper outside on a hot day. My speed. A tongue pleaser.

Day two: Crisp, fruity, strawberry, pow down the middle of the palate, peach and mandarin essence into the dry finish. Drank like a Rose'. My speed.

Day three
: Strawberry, peach, mandarin, nice splash mid-palate, fresh strawberry on the finish. Drink me!

Thoughts: Hot tub wine, spa wine, wonderful on a warm lazy day. Strongly Recommended.

100% Pinot Noir

Estate Grown
Closure Screw Cap
ABV: 13.5%
The Winemaker, Rebecca Pittock-Shouldis.
Sample provided by the winery


3. Chris Kajani, Bouchaine Vineyards

1075 Buchli Station Road

Napa, CA 94559

(800) 654-WINE
(707) 252-9065


  • Chris Kajani is the winery’s new winemaker and general manager.
  • After a 45-year career, 13 as Winemaker/GM at Bouchaine Vineyards in The Carneros, winemaker Michael Richmond is retiring. 
  • Ms. Kajani, has been with Saintsbury winery - also in The Carneros - since 2006, and was promoted to winemaker there in 2013. Chris Kajani was previously at the Napa Valley winery Pahlmeyer. Her husband Alex also works in the wine industry.

Tasting Notes Bouchaine 2014 Riesling Las Brisas Vineyard Carneros: 

Color: Pale straw.

Nose: Steely mineral, apple blossom, fragrant, fresh herbs. Like.
Palate: Full body, creamy, bright, medium-sweet, Braeburn apple, good grip top palate, flavor focused mid-palate, hint of petrol, apple skin into the finish. Like.

After 15 minutes: Softer, sweet apples, crisp nectarine, tasty with good acid on the finish. Like. Paired with grilled pork steak. Yum!

Day two: My speed. Wonderfully balanced, sweetness, acidity, minerality, voluptuous in the mouth, apple and stone fruit flavors, nice tartness on the tasty finish. Enjoyed with soft cheese, crackers and chicken. Big like.

Thoughts: Balanced sweetness and acidity, delicious and food ready. Also a good drinking wine. Cheese and fresh fruits on a summer day. Only one acre of Riesling planted for this wine. Discover the beauty of California Riesling. Strongly Recommended


Closure: Natural Cork

ABV: 10.2%
SRP: $24
RS: 20+/grams per liter
Sample provided by the winery


Enjoy Your Summer

I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations on this podcast. Speaking with winemakers and growers adds depth to the understanding and appreciation of the wine they made. Yes, these wines made for wonderful food pairings and fun conversations. Serve well chilled outside and enjoy the summer season. Invite some friends and share the pleasure. 

Summer Reading List

You may have noticed in my photos that I paired these wines with food and reading material. A good book paired with a lovely sipping wine is my idea of relaxation. I am recommending these books to you for your summer reading enjoyment. Pair with a delicious wine and enjoy. 

These are science fiction/fantasy books and I enjoyed reading each one.

War Dogs by Greg Bear - My kind of old school hard science fiction. A group of marines trying to survive alien encounters on Mars. A lot of fun. Book two will be available in the fall. Strongly Recommended. 


The Cusanus Game by Wolfgang Jeschke - A dystopian future affected by climate change and environmental disaster. A cadre of religious scientists attempts to change the present by altering the past. A fun read with a decidedly European focus. This book stuck with me. Translated from the original German. Strongly Recommended. 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - Returning to his childhood home after years away, a tired, lonely man is drawn to a house at the end of the lane. How could he have forgotten the wonders, horrors and sacrifice suffered there as a child? Memories are unlocked as he remembers his true past. This book appealed to me at several levels. Strongly Recommended. 

Planesrunner (Everness Book One) - Ian McDonald - Yee ha! I read the first three books of this series last year. Loved them. I also met Mr. McDonald last year at a book reading in Seattle. He is one of my new favorite authors. I felt like a child reading his books - I was instantly immersed in his world and forgot I was reading a book. Wonderfully written from the perspective of a young teenager in London. Tripping from one parallel dimension to another, the protagonist is being chased because he holds the key to unlocking the treasures of all dimensions. Wow! Become a kid again and enjoy the wild ride. Highly Recommended. 

Many thanks to the wineries and people who made this podcast and wine tasting possible. One of my favorites this year.


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