Fall 2019 Special Magnum release

Happy Harvest from big table farm!!

Screen Shot 2019-10-13 at 6.46.02 PM.png

Brian and I and the whole big table team hope this finds you well. We’ve been enjoying some stunning fall harvest weather as we press off the 2019 wines! We have picked all of our fruit and the winery is humming with a great crew and VERY happy fermentations. 

We have some beautiful 2017 magnums for you. The number of bottles is low, so don't delay. These bottles are now available to you on our web site, via the link below. Earth and Pelos Sandberg as many of you have been sad to hear are sold out but there are magnums of both these wines available if you missed out on the 750’s.

click here to go to the magnum offering

The 2019 vintage is shaping up to be another good one. Cooler weather allowed the grapes to ripen while maintaining lower brix. Nice thick skins had time to ripen and the ferments all smell gorgeous. We are excited and optimistic for these 2019 wines! We have been enjoying more than our share of farm meals as we diligently make some great wines for you to enjoy in the future. If you don't follow me on Instagram you might enjoy doing so - I'm often post my recipes from harvest meals along with pictures of the farm and winery during this vibrant time of year.

We were honored to be named in the top 100 wineries of the year by Wine and Spirts and pour at the event in SF this fall. Brian and I will also be at Pinot Fest in SF November 16th at Farallon we’d love to see you there.

Fall ground shipping will last for a few more weeks, take advantage of it and stock up now for the holidays! (complimentary case shipping 12 - 750’s or 6 magnums)

May I suggest buying a three pack of magnums - a chard magnum for thanksgiving, a willamette valley for your winter holiday table and a single vineyard to stash away!

Screen Shot 2019-10-13 at 7.31.24 PM.png

For those of you would would like to have some of my label art the 10 year anniversary label collections is available - This is a special 22 page box set is my labels hand letterpress printed by Emily Johnson and features the drawings of our labels over the course of our first 10 years, and the associated stories of each. This first edition is a limited run of 200 signed box set of prints. Click here to order. 

 Cheers!! and thank you ALL! Clare and Brian


- give away hugs and share that bottle you've been saving! --

End of summer, beginning of fall 2019

Screen Shot 2019-08-28 at 10.25.12 PM.png

Howdy from western Oregon! 

We hope this finds you well, we have had a fantastic summer here with all kinds of things to report.  We also have three more 2017 Pinot noirs for you and for the Oregon chardonnay lovers we have 2 new chardonnays, one from Yamhill Carlton and other from the Eola Amity hills, both are delicious! And of course the 2018 version of our skin fermented Pinot Gris


Our 2019 has been amazingly busy with so many things to tell – goats and a donkey! Fencing! Vineyard progress! A bull! And maybe the most amazing – biochar! Biochar? What the hell is biochar?   Basically charcoal, but when produced in a specific way it has amazing properties that can have all sorts of applications, including agricultural.  Last spring we began preparing ten or so acres for vineyard which produced about 200 piles of biomass.  Conventional practice is to push these piles into larger piles and then light on fire.  Clare and I sought a different approach that would create a product from the harvested biomass, chipping and composting was a potential solution but would have been energy, time and space intensive.  I had read about biochar and even made some on a very small scale, this is the direction we wanted to go.  It took us over a year to find the right people and machine, but with the help of Blackwood solutions we turned all 200+ piles of scotch broom, blackberry and immature douglas fir into 100+ 2 yard totes of biochar, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sequestering carbon in the form of biochar that will be with us for centuries.  Clare and our friend Jeremy Fenske created a video that is on the front page of our website (the second now down) that explains the project in greater detail.  Regardless, we consider our biochar project as the first step in establishing our vineyard in a thoughtful and environmentally low impact way.  Stay tuned, more wackiness to come!

In the meantime the vineyard site is being prepped and seeded with cover crop in anticipation of planting in the fall of next year or spring of 2021.

Thanks to Dan Hoecker and his crew at Results Partners, perimeter fencing for vineyard (think elk!) has been completed as well as some livestock fencing.  This has allowed us to get back into the goat game and made managing our cows A LOT easier.  We have about a 3 acre part of our property that is really steep and severely overgrown with blackberry (invasive species).  We have put 6 Boer goats (a meat breed) and a guard donkey in the area and let them go to town.  Yes I did say guard donkey, his name is Sal, and from my perspective he is still very suspicious, but Clare is thrilled by his addition to the menagerie.  The goats have thrived on this otherwise unusable parcel, they LOVE to eat the blackberry and we will enjoy eating them this fall and winter.  Don’t worry Goateo is still around and won’t be on the menu!

Our attempts at artificial insemination with the cows has been a dismal failure, despite the handling equipment and our best efforts.  One for six for the past 2 years doesn’t cut it, so we are now the proud owners of a red Devon bull, named Red Fred.  We hope Fred will produce a few more calves for us than the turkey baster did.  

In other farm news, American guinea hogs Sam and Rick are happy and thriving under Clare’s care, layers are mostly contained  and another year of broilers have made it from post office (as chicks) to pasture to freezer. Bees are thriving and Bob the cat continues to charm everyone along with Clementine and Levi who advise us to the comings and goings of the life here at BTF.

I spent the month of July tasting the 2018’s and preparing for bottling mid august.  Everything went like clockwork and I am really happy with the wines.  We look forward to sharing them with you next year.  2019 harvest is right around the corner, it has been a delightful summer, I call it a good sleeping summer, only one hot spell early on that was uncomfortable and more rain in July and August than most years.  Keep your fingers crossed for more great weather as the grapes ripen in the coming weeks.


The wines!

2018 Pinot Gris – this is our second year working with fruit grown by Brian O’Donnell of Belle Ponte.  We were super happy with the 2017 and are equally delighted with the 2018.  Fermented on the skins per usual, with just the right amount of tannins and acid and sweet fruit.  I can’t wait to have this wine with a seafood meal, oysters on the half shell and Dungeness crab immediately come to mind! Bottled without fining or filtration, just like all the other wines I make.  Theses are maybe some of my favorite labels that Clare draws, this year thimbleberry and fescue. 133 cases produced, 32 dollars a bottle, and don’t forget, complimentary shipping on case orders!


Attention! All Oregon chardonnay lovers!  We have 2 new bottlings for you!

2017 Yamhill Carlton chardonnay – we realized last year that we work with 7 different chardonnay sites and that after we make the elusive queen there was still an opportunity to make some regionally focused wines, hence this wine and a second from the Eola Amity hills.  Several sites in each AVA comprise both wines.  The YC is mineral driven, some fruit of course, very dry with some tannin – delicious now but will also reward if cellared.  I hope you love these chardonnays as much as we do!  Blossoms on the label, 91 cases produced, 48 dollars a bottle.

2017 Eola Amity hills chardonnay – companion to the YC – slightly more fruit forward and generous, same winemaking but clearly very different fruit sources make distinctly different wine.   We hope you enjoy them both for their individuality and reflection of time and place.  This wine has a nice sweetness on the palate (although completely dry) and a finish that lingers and lingers.  We look forward to enjoying this wine this fall, and watching it develop in the coming years.  We just had a 2014 BTF chardonnay at a wine dinner (thank you Q!) and it was a standout for the evening.  

2017 Cattrall Brothers vineyard – spicy, earthy and a healthy dollop of fruit thrown in – Bill and Tom work together to farm their neighboring vineyards, certified organic since the beginning in the 70’s and 80’s.  700’ elevation and direct exposure to the Van Duzer corridor winds make this our most restrained and delicate pinot noir year in and year out.  Vineyard runabout on the label, 136 cases produced, 62 dollars a bottle.

2017 Sunnyside vineyard Pinot noir – It is important to me to be present during the growing season to understand what and how the conditions the grapes have been created in.  I spent a great deal of time visiting each site as the grapes ripen to access and evaluate what will eventually come into the winery and decide when to pick, the most important decision I make.  For this reason I choose vineyards that are close by.  Sunnyside is my furthest flung, just south of Salem and takes me about 45 minutes to get there.  Lucy and Tom’s fruit and resulting wine is so compelling that the extra time to get there is well worth it.  Elegant and yet still muscular, this vineyard produces amazing wine year in and year out.  Label is one of Clare’s laying hens, 245 cases, 62 dollars per bottle.  Shipping is on us when you buy a case!

2017 Yamhill Carlton Pinot noir – Now comprised of 4 vineyards here in the YC AVA – where Big Table Farm resides – each brings a slightly different element to create a wine with the power the area is known for, but also the finesse that makes Pinot noir so beautiful.  I visit these sites as often as all the others, but their proximity makes it just a little bit easier.  Three are early ripening (warmer) and the fourth is one of the last to be picked.  Clare has chosen to honor the area’s history by drawing local barns for the labels.  239 cases produced, 62 dollars per bottle, and yes of course we will cover the shipping when you order a case!  

A general note on these wines, we opened them to inspire us to write you several days ago, because they are young and energetic they have continued to develop and become more expressive with time open.  Gentle winemaking, youth and vivaciousness give them the ability to be enjoyed over several days time, if possible.  Decanting may be another option, but we have not tried this recently.

Our Magnum release is end of September and we still have 2017 Willamette valley Pinot noir and a little bit of the 2017 Pelos Sandberg vineyard left.  And please remember – complimentary shipping on all case orders!


Cheers! From Brian and Clare and the whole team at BTF

buy wine

To get right to the wines, click here!

Note on ordering wine: we respect YOUR time.

If you're super busy - please let us help you order wine in whatever way is EASIEST for YOU! We are happy to assist. Call, email - Clare and Laura (the newest member of our team!) are always available to make sure you get the wines you love! If you want to reach out please just send an email to admin(at)bigtablefarm.com or call 503.662.3129 - and we'll follow up with YOU and get your order!

Wine orders will be shipped end of September or early October, when temperatures across the country are a little more consistent, we will follow up with your order's shipping details.

nobility, simplicity, pigs and art

Greetings from ALL at Big Table Farm!

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 4.15.22 PM.png

We just bottled our 2018 Laughing Pig Rose and and we are excited to share it with you!   The rose bottling has happened this year just as the fruit trees around the house have started to bloom and despite the rain this past week it is really feeling like spring around here! Also part of this release are the eagerly anticipated, Elusive Queen (Chardonnay) and Earth (Pinot noir).  These two wines represent less than 5% of our production but hopefully capture not only the most beautiful expression of the vintage but a little magic too.  Brian tastes all the barrels and narrows things down and then he includes me to help select the final barrels that end up in Earth and the Elusive Queen. They truly represent our taste, and our very best!

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 4.18.14 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 4.17.12 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 4.18.03 PM.png

So far since our last letter to you we’ve had a cool and rainy spring. Although the grass is starting to really grow and we are still only getting the animals out on the pasture in short increments as not to take too much too early and therefore effect our summer pasture. We have some new baby goats and pigs and chicks all due to arrive in the coming weeks! My Instagram feed will soon be flooded with babies! Brian has a new greenhouse and has started lots seeds for the summer garden and I’ve been totally enjoying all his asparagus and last of the winter greens the past week or so! Bob the cat continues to keep him self completely ingratiated. The dogs and horses and bees are all thriving and the farm is just teaming with joy and excitement this time of year!

Screen Shot 2018-12-13 at 3.52.30 PM.png

a little time for art….

My art show is next Saturday here at the farm if you would like to come to the farm to see the paintings we’d be happy to see you from 1 -5pm 4/20/2019 - parking will be VERY limited so we ask that you please rsvp so we can plan accordingly. You can also visit my web site www.clarecarver.com.

There are also a couple of spots left for the big table farm wine dinner at the minam river lodge June 9th come out to this pristine wilderness and relax and enjoy! http://www.minam-lodge.com

Thank you so much for buying, drinking and sharing our wines. 

We are humbled and honored to be part of your daily meals and celebrations alike.  

Cheers! Brian and Clare

To get right to the wines, click here!

Don’t forget – ground CASE shipping is on us!


Note on ordering wine: we respect YOUR time.

If you're super busy - please let us help you order wine in whatever way is EASIEST for YOU! We are happy to assist. Call, email - Clare and Laura are available to make sure you get the wines you love! If you want to reach out please just send an email to admin(at)bigtablefarm.com or call 503.662.3129 - and we'll follow up with YOU and get your order!

2019 Spring release 3/4/2019

Happy almost spring from wet western Oregon! and Happy ‘March Forth’!

thanks to Doug Wilder for this cover shot of PDWR

thanks to Doug Wilder for this cover shot of PDWR

We are doing great here, a little soggy but happy the days are getting longer and spring is around the corner. We took some time off this winter but are back to work now and have some great wines to share with you!  Not only a new vintage but two new wines as well that we are really excited about!  All the animals are good, the garden feeds us (barely this year) and we are taking steps forward on the vineyard project.

The 2017 vintage was warm with large clusters and berries, much like 2015.  Thankfully September cooled with a little rain and allowed grapes to finish ripening at a slower pace, giving us a harvest that was relatively relaxed, despite the size.  I was even able to give people days off at the height of busyness, a first for me.  I am really happy with the resulting wines.  This was our fourth vintage in our own winery and I feel like we have settled in nicely, with a good flow and understanding of how the building contributes to the winemaking.

Today we have the 2017 version of our Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and Pelos Sandberg vineyard Pinot Noir on offer and two new wines!  The Wild Bee will take the place of our Willamette Valley chardonnay in name only, with a very different label and a price that will convince you to drink more Oregon chardonnay – I am sipping some now as I write!  We also have a new syrah to offer as well, we started purchasing fruit from Rich Funk’s vineyard in the Rocks District of Milton Freewater, part of the Walla Walla AVA , but in Oregon.  We have had an affinity for syrah for a long time, so we are excited to have it back in our line up again!

The farm, garden, and vineyard project

All the graziers are in the barn this time of year eating grass hay from the neighborhood, we think the AI missed a couple of the cows but we are think we are still ahead of last year.  During the wet months the pastures are too fragile for grazing, the regrowth is slow  - and they all – cows horses and Goateo seem really happy in the dry and warm barn.  Clare got a new flock of laying hens in the fall who have just started laying – so we are back in eggs! We have moved the chicken bus more times in the last two months than the previous two years  and have been diligent with the electric fence so have thwarted whoever took out the last flock.  Henrietta and Reina were dispatched end of December  and are enjoyed now as sausage, chops, bacon with prosciutto hanging.  Their replacements should arrive early spring.  Bob has continued to endear himself and is probably more house cat than barn, we’ll see what happens when it warms up.  Despite the amount of time he seems to spend sleeping in front of the fire with the dogs he leaves us regular gifts to demonstrate his worthiness.

Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 5.18.06 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-02-27 at 2.28.06 PM.png

On the vineyard front Dan, Jesus and crew have nearly completed vineyard and livestock fencing – both will dramatically change how we will be able to manage and utilize our pastures and property.  This is something we have long dreamed of and barely accomplished, until now.  The moratorium of no new species (goats/sheep) will be lifted once the fence is complete.  I expect Clare to quickly add to the menagerie. 

Yours truly suffers from analysis paralysis and has not ordered any vines, so planting date is still TBD, but we still have prep work and layout to do once the fencing is complete.  More fun news is this year is that the truffles seem to be prolific and very fragrant this year – we have foraged a few times these past weeks and filled our pockets in only a short while.  I was so busy last august that I didn’t have much time to get things planted in the garden, so we are eating leeks, mustard greens and some turnip raab at the moment, of course fortified by trips to the grocery store.  Hopefully I will find a few more moments this year to get a few more things in the ground.

Our friend and videographer Jeremy Fenski  put together a remarkable video that makes both Clare and me seem much more suave than we really are – the reality of all of this is that we could not do even half of what we have accomplished without the amazing community of people around us that make what we, and we all do possible, from the guys in the vineyards, the people we hire in the cellar, office, cleaners, our garbage and recycling drivers, the drivers who bravely bounce down our gravel road, the restaurant people who frame the moments surrounding our wine, both in the kitchen and on the floor, and of course you, our customers who make it all of it possible with the purchase and enjoyment of our wine. Thank you!

In early December Clare took a short sabbatical in eastern Oregon to paint, she is so amazingly able to plan and then implement and get things done.  She created some great paintings and still has some more work to do, but plans to show all of them here April 20, I hope you can join us. 

The amount of press we have received in the past year has been nothing short of amazing, I am honored and humbled.  So many nice reviews, photographs, 4 top 100 lists! Two features in Wine Spectator, The Prince of Pinots all American 2x’s over and Winery of the year by PWDR.  It is all on our website for when you have a moment. - see press here-

Ok – the wines!


2017 Chardonnay – The Wild Bee!
The Wild Bee represents a shift in our chardonnay program. As I alluded earlier, this wine will take the place of our Willamette Valley chardonnay – only in name, label and price!  Same vineyard sources, same winemaking, same barrels.  We love chardonnay, both making and drinking it, but the reality of the moment says that we needed a more accessible wine (lower price) to allow us to continue making our current production – in addition to the Wild Bee we have added two AVA blends, Eola Amity and Yamhill Carlton, that will be released in the fall, exploring what more specific place does for chardonnay.  The Wild Bee is a combination of all 6 sites of chardonnay that we work with and is a fantastic representation of Willamette Valley chardonnay for 2017.  We hope you enjoy it, lots of it!  For the first time we have chosen another artist’s drawing to dress The Wild Bee, someone whose work both Clare and I have admired for quite a while.  Thank you April Coppini!

525 cases produced, 28 dollars/bottle and of course if you buy a case the shipping is included!


2017 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
I know that our pigs always adorn our Willamette Valley pinot but this wine feels like the tail that wags the dog – it has taken on a life of its own with each vintage and I feel like 2017 is no different in that regard.  It is quaffable if that is what you want, but if you slow down and take a step back, it has most everything wine should have, fruit, acid, tannin, sweetness all in harmony and balance.  When delicious is the first word that comes to mind. I smile, bow my head and say thank you and know that I have done my job well.


Henrietta and Reina eating BTF windfall pears grace the label. 2509 cases produced, 45 dollars/bottle, and shipping is on the house when you buy a case 

2017 Pelos Sandberg Pinot Noir
– I met Don Sandberg when we first moved here in 2006 and we quickly became good friends.  He began selling us fruit in 2010 and we look forward to working with him and our friendship for many years to come.  He is an amazing farmer, so diligent, attentive and intuitive, that year in and year out he delivers the most amazing fruit, which as long as I don’t fuck it up, makes some pretty good wine.  2017 is no different.  Over the years I have gotten to know the blocks we buy pretty well too and when I taste the wine I feel the sense of place that comes through.  On your next visit to the Willamette Valley I recommend giving Don a call/email to set up an appointment to try the wine he makes from his own vineyard – Iota Cellars, and you will begin to understand what I mean by sense of place.  The 2017 label is Clare’s drawing of Don’s work boots, honoring the long hours he spends growing some of the best fruit in the Willamette Valley.

242 cases, 62 dollars/bottle.  Complimentary shipping on cases orders!

2016 Syrah - the Rocks District of Milton Freewater – I think the ability of power and finesse in the same glass has allured me to syrah since my first introduction over 20 years ago.  I also remember the photograph in Barbara Neyers’ office of Vieux Telegraphe vines growing seemingly out of just rock being mesmerizing and profound.  So when the opportunity arose to work with fruit from the Rocks District of Milton Freewater, I jumped.  Rich Funk of Saviah Cellars agreed to sell us some fruit from his meticulously farmed estate vineyard.  He has continued to trust us in 2017 and 18 and I hope beyond.  I have done my best to capture both the power and the finesse, plus a little fruit and some spice.  The knife, fork and spoon have been replaced by an iconic vine surrounded by stones.

196 cases, 48 dollars a bottle.  Shipping included when you buy a case!

We are scheduled to bottle the 2017 Laughing Pig Rose on April 12.. We will let you know ASAP when it is ready to go, along with the house favorites, Earth and the Elusive Queen.

Screen Shot 2019-02-27 at 2.24.18 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-02-27 at 2.23.58 PM.png

Thank you again for continuing to buy, drink and share our wines.  From the Big Table to your table, cheers!  Brian and Clare   


To read more on the wines, click here!

If your super busy - please let us help you order wine in whatever way is EASIEST for YOU! We are happy to assist. Call, email - Clare and Laura are available to make sure you get the wines you love! If you want to reach out please just send an email to admin(at)bigtablefarm.com or call 503.662.3129 - and we'll follow up with YOU and get your order!

Wine orders will be shipped towards the end of March early April, when temperatures across the country are a little more consistent.

Fall 2018 Special Magnum release

Happy Harvest from big table farm!!


We hope this finds you well. It's been a stunning fall stunning harvest weather! We have picked almost all of our fruit and the winery is humming with a great crew and VERY happy fermentations. 

We have some beautiful 2016 magnums for you. The number of bottles is low, so don't delay. These bottles are now available to you on our web site, via the link below. Earth as many of you have been sad to hear is totally sold out but there are exactly 43 magnums available of this wine if you missed out on the 750’s

click here to go to the magnum offering

The 2018 vintage is shaping up to be another good one with beautifully ripe fruit. We have a great crew this year and we have been enjoying more than our share of great farm meals and hopefully are making some great wines for you to enjoy in the future. If you don't follow me on Instagram you might enjoy doing so - I'm starting to post a few tips and recipes from some harvest meals along with pictures of the farm and winery : )

I’m super honored to be presenting at the Wine Spectator New York Wine Experience with three other Oregon producers at ‘Oregons Rising Stars’ seminar at the end of October - and Brian and I will be at Pinot Fest in SF November 17th at Farallon we’d love to see you at either of these great wine events.

Fall ground shipping will last for a few more weeks, take advantage of it and stock up now for the holidays! (free case shipping on 750’s)

May I suggest buying a three pack of magnums - a chard magnum for thanksgiving, a willamette valley for your winter holiday table and a single vineyard to stash away!


Last but not least, there are a few of my 10 year anniversary label collections left - This is a special 22 page box set is my labels hand letterpress printed by Emily Johnson and features the drawings of our labels over the course of our first 10 years, and the associated stories of each. This first edition is a limited run of 200 signed set of prints. Click here to order. 

 Cheers!! and thank you ALL! Clare and Brian


- give away hugs and share that bottle you've been saving! --

End of summer... beginning of fall 2018


Howdy from the Willamette valley!

Screenshot_2018-08-20 Clare Carver - Big Table Farm ( bigtablefarm) • Instagram photos and videos(4).jpg

    Clare and I have had a great summer with so many things going on and buoyed by all of your support and enthusiasm for what we do and make.  Thank you to all of you who enjoy our wines and Clare’s art, we are truly grateful and all of what we do would be impossible without you.  We have many longtime and fabulous customers, but there are two in particular I would like to recognize today because they gave us a couple gems of wisdom that Clare and I repeat regularly as we try to steer our lives and business in the best direction.  We are not trained or by nature business people, I spent ten years in Napa learning how to make wine before we moved to Oregon in 2006 to start our crazy project, and Clare has been painting since she was a little girl and studied graphic design and worked at that for 20 years until the winery began to pay for itself.  Winemaking and art we know, running the business that goes with those, well, by the seat of our pants might best describe.

Ewen McKechnie lives in the San Francisco bay area as he likes to say and is originally from Scotland.  He is a rugby teammate of my uncle, and as soon as he heard what we were up to he began calling us asking to buy wine – before we even had any to sell!  He still calls us regularly to order wine and has been with us every step of the way, always encouraging.  During a moment of difficult decision making he proclaimed that we needed to continue “onward through the fog”.  This idea of pushing ahead into the unknown is a daily act of courage, but as Clare and I make big and small decisions, we decide and then move “onward though the fog”.  “Onward through the fog” is repeated often by Clare and me as a way of breathing confidence into our plotted course as we venture into the unknown of each day.  Thank you Ewen!

“Just get started” is the second phrase that we often repeat as a motivation for both big and seemingly small projects and challenges.  This came from Peggy Dark, a successful entrepreneur, we met her briefly a number of years ago and as we were desperately trying to make our business work.  Clare asked her what advice she could give us, and the three words of “just get started” have become part of our lexicon.  We quickly realized that taking the first steps toward anything can be the most challenging, but once you have some momentum it is easier to keep going.  “Just get started” is our regular motivational cheer, whether it is cleaning up the kitchen after a busy day of hosting or preparing to embark on a new project – like planting a vineyard.  Thank you Peggy!

Screenshot_2018-08-20 Clare Carver - Big Table Farm ( bigtablefarm) • Instagram photos and videos(8).jpg

So yes! That is our exciting news – we have broken ground on planting vineyard on our property, behind the winery.  This has been part of our vision from the very beginning.  It is a big project for us, a little daunting on top of everything else, and expensive.  We have chosen a great team of people to help us as we ‘just get started’.  The process will take at least three years before we see any fruit and then at another year to 18 months to wine in a bottle.  We look forward to the day we can share those efforts with you.  Onward through the fog!

Other farm news


We just had our one and only calf of the year last week, so our initial attempt at artificial insemination was only 17% successful but at lest we avoided the rodeo scenario of the first attempt, and we have learned and made some changes that will hopefully make this year’s attempt in the coming weeks more fruitful.  Clare is now quite the beekeeper with currently 5 hives, some of which are stronger than others, and she is definitely able to take some honey, which is great.  Unfortunately she is still trying to figure out how to extract the honey from the comb efficiently, which to my chagrin means the kitchen is a perpetual state of sticky – the floor, doorknobs, utensils etc.  So I look forward to the process being completed.  With all the busyness of spring and summer my garden suffered a little bit.  I still have lots growing but not as much as I would like.   Hopefully I will find a moment to put in all the brassicas that we enjoy throughout the winter.  Of course we have a couple pigs to help us clean up all the leftovers and windfall fruit – Henrietta and Reyna.  They are hugely entertaining, both as pigs and as the labels they will adorn, and of course as all the deliciousness the will provide.  Our laying flock has been reduced in numbers significantly by a coyote, plans are in the works to get a new flock and to fortify their living quarters.  Clementine, Levi, Goatio and Bob the cat still consider themselves as greeters although both Clementine and Goatio are slowing down as they age, leaving Levi and Bob to pick up the slack.


The Wines!

We have some great wines to offer today!  These wines represent my very best effort that each vineyard can produce.  They all have their own quirks and characteristics that make them unique and delicious in their own way.  I handle all the fruit that comes into the winery with equal diligence.  I spend a great deal of time tasting the fruit and the resulting wine from each vineyard, and each barrel so that I can put together what I think are the best and most delicious representation each site can offer.  Please enjoy, and remember, Case shipping is on us!


2016 Wirtz Vineyard Pinot noir. Sadly this is our last vintage of pinot from the Wirtz vineyard.  The economic realities of leasing and farming an old vineyard and the time spent managing it no longer made sense.  The bright side is this last wine is delicious and the void created has allowed us to focus on our own vineyard project.  I will miss having a piece of history in our cellar and the wine that it produced, please enjoy this last effort. 203 cases produced, wild cherries on the label, 62 dollars per bottle

2016 Sunnyside Vineyard Pinot noir,  this is 50 minutes from big table farm making it our farthest flung site, but the great fruit that Luci and Tom coax out of their old Wadensville vines is amazing and I do my best to capture that in the bottle.  326 cases produced, hen and chick on the label, 62 dollars per bottle, Case shipping is on us!

2016 Cattrall Brothers Vineyard Pinot noir, also Wadensville clone planted in their old vineyard, but very different aspect and elevation make for a very distinct wine year in and year out. 184 cases, vineyard truck on the label, 62 dollars per bottle.

2016 Yamhill-Carlton District Pinot noir – the same two vineyards as the last two years, Kalita and Coats and Whitney make up this AVA blend, combining to show the best our neighbor hood can produce.  Big Table Farm is one step closer to being able to make a contribution to this wine! 315 cases produced, Bernard’s barn on the label, 62 dollars per bottle, and of course, case shipping is on us!


2017 Pinot Gris, also sourced from here in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, and made in the same style I have always done, fermented on the skins to create a wine that is copper colored and more importantly has structure and body to make it stand up to food, particularily seafood. 135 cases produced, ancient and invasive on the label, 32 dollars a bottle.  And yes, case shipping is still on us!

As I write we are in the midst of preparing to bottle the 2017 vintage and anticipating 2018.  We have had a warm growing season and I look forward to making more wine! It has been great to see so many of you at all the events we have participated in over the summer, and we look forward to seeing more of you in the fall, at Farralon for Pinotfest and Clare will be traveling to New York for the WS NY wine experience.

Clare and I consider ourselves so fortunate to have so many great customers, and love knowing that our work is cherished, shared and enjoyed all across the country and even in a few places around the world.  Thank you again for all your enthusiasm for our wines, and of course, don’t forget, free shipping on Case orders!


 From our table to yours, cheers! Brian and Clare

buy wine

To get right to the wines, click here!

Note on ordering wine: we respect YOUR time.

If you're super busy - please let us help you order wine in whatever way is EASIEST for YOU! We are happy to assist. Call, email - Clare and Laura (the newest member of our team!) are always available to make sure you get the wines you love! If you want to reach out please just send an email to admin(at)bigtablefarm.com or call 503.662.3129 - and we'll follow up with YOU and get your order!

Wine orders will be shipped end of September or early October, when temperatures across the country are a little more consistent, we will follow up with your order's shipping details.

thank you all for being part of this adventure with us!

thank you all for being part of this adventure with us!

Royalty, Dirt and Joy

rose_group_sm 2.jpg

Greetings from ALL at Big Table Farm!

We bottled our 2017 Laughing Pig Rose last week and are thrilled to have a little more to go around than last year.  Our rose bottling and release has been happening since 2007 (although not every year) and is an annual marker in time for us, a mid spring ritual that promises the warmth of summer while still in the midst of what this year seems to be a perpetually rainy spring.  Also on offer are our two barrel select wines, the Elusive Queen (Chardonnay) and Earth (Pinot noir).  I continue to joke, but in all seriousness if you don’t buy these wines we will (and we do) drink them ourselves.  They represent less than 5% of our production but hopefully capture all of the best magic possible from the vintage.  I do the heavy lifting of tasting all the barrels and narrowing, then clare helps me select the final barrels that end up in Earth and the Elusive Queen, so they truly do represent our taste, and our very best! Please remember ground shipping is included on case orders.


Since our last missive in early March only a little has changed here on the farm.  We have had a cool and rainy spring so the cows are still in the barn, and noisy as hell, as they are ready to be outside.  Although the grass is starting to grow, the pastures are still too wet to let them out.  Clare has ordered her chicks, both layers and broilers, scheduled to arrive April 19, via US post… for real!  The post office will call us at 6AM to tell us the chicks have arrived, many of our neighbors do this too because when you go into the post office the noise of all the chirping day old chicks is deafening!  I have started some of my seeds for the summer garden and still have more on the docket, once I get my greenhouse fixed.  Levi and Clementine chased a squirrel into it and blew out the whole back end – huzza – there is always something!  Bob the cat is still with us and has started to leave us “gifts” on the front porch.  Goateo is also still with us and Clare’s horses are good too, although apparently Hummer is almost 30 and only has three teeth, so now gets special mushy senior horse feed. I only know this because Clare has been traveling quite a bit and their care (read scooping poop) falls to me when she is gone.  New pigs are chosen and should be here any day now.  We have had several suggestions for names but it seems only fair that we should meet them before they are christened.

Big Table Farm_20180102_015-Edit.jpg

We are still amazed and so grateful for the success of our Oregon adventure.  Thank you so much for buying, drinking and sharing our wines. 

We are humbled and honored to be part of your daily meals and celebrations alike.  

Cheers! Brian and Clare

To get right to the wines, click here!

Don’t forget – ground CASE shipping is on us!

For our Friends in the  Chicago area we will be in Chicago May 14-15 for Pinot in the city  http://willamettewines.com/pinot-in-the-city-chicago/

Note on ordering wine:  we respect YOUR time.  If you're super busy - please let us help you order wine in whatever way is EASIEST for YOU! We are happy to assist. Call, email - Clare and Elaine are available to make sure you get the wines you love! If you want to reach out please just send an email to  admin(at)bigtablefarm.com  or call 503.662.3129 - and we'll follow up with YOU and get your order!

Note on ordering wine: we respect YOUR time.

If you're super busy - please let us help you order wine in whatever way is EASIEST for YOU! We are happy to assist. Call, email - Clare and Elaine are available to make sure you get the wines you love! If you want to reach out please just send an email to admin(at)bigtablefarm.com or call 503.662.3129 - and we'll follow up with YOU and get your order!

Happy Spring from the farm

Happy almost spring!  I hope this finds you and yours well – we are doing great here in western Oregon, the winter has been relatively mild and we were able to take a vacation in January.  Thank you ALL for your continued support and enthusiasm and most importantly - buying, drinking and sharing our wines! 

When Clare and I started this in 2006 we could not imagine having such great customers and all the great press that we continue to receive, with two standouts being the New York Times last fall and the current March issue of the Wine Spectator. Our business is doing well but we have decided to make a significant change and offer complimentary Ground shipping on CASE orders. In the era of Amazon prime we cannot ignore the reality of “free shipping” becoming the norm.  We have heard you and CASE shipping is now included!  Everything else stays the same though and we will leave allocations, clubs, coupons, discounts, etc. to our competitors.  Buy what you want, and when it is gone that means it is really gone- no games here at BTF.  To that end we still have a few of our 15’s left, but what I really want to tell you about are the 16’s that are here today and yet to come.


Big Table Farm_20180102_077-Edit2.jpg
Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 1.55.37 PM.png

I am really happy with all the wines we have to offer today – and those to come in early April and then again at the end of August.  The 2016 vintage was warm like 14 and 15 and the 16 Pinots seem to have some of both vintages in them, the structure is similar to the 14’s but the juiciness of the 15’s is there to balance.  Very approachable now but will continue to reward with time.  The Chardonnays are just delightful – vibrant and brimming with stone fruit and richness framed by minerality and acidity.

I continue to make my wine in the same manner as previous vintages, although I do continue to make small adjustments and experiment and learn as any true professional does.  I believe that my skills as a winemaker continue to improve with experience, and my goal of making the best wine that I can is still true.

    All the animals are good, we seem to have gone through a few cats though, but we have ended up with Bob, a big orange cat who is very friendly and curious and loves to sneak into the house.  He will most likely say hi if you visit, along with Goatio who is still with us (she is 12 now!).  Despite all her freedom to eat whatever she wants,  she decided this year that the holiday wreathes on the house and winery were tasty snacks.  Levi and Clementine are also good, except they have learned how to open the fridge.  I jury rigged up a lock that we have to use when we leave, otherwise we come home to a mess and no cheese or salami or bacon left cause that is what they go for first.  Clare of course still has her horses that she mostly just rides at the moment because she is busy training for her third degree black belt (the household no hitting rule is firmly in effect).  The cows are happy in the barn this time of year, hopefully 6 are pregnant through our second attempt at artificial insemination.  We bought some cattle handling equipment that made the process a lot smoother, avoiding the rodeo action of the year before.  My garden looks a little beleaguered this time of year but is still giving us kale, brussel sprouts, leeks and celery, and the favas and garlic planted last fall have popped up and hopefully will be good this spring. Also, I am hoping we can take a little bit of asparagus from the crowns that I planted a couple years ago.  Apparently if the beds are properly established they can produce for 20 years or more, fingers crossed!


2016 Willamette Valley Chardonnay – even if this wine is terrible you will still want to buy some because the label is sooo cool – Clare continues to tend her bees which inspires this label – a bee crawling across comb.  I think the wine is pretty good too though.. barrel fermented with just enough new oak to make it interesting, malolactic complete and bottled end of August without any filtration or fining.  2 new vineyards add to the mix this year, Kindred, in the Eola Amity Hills and Arlyn, in the Chehelam mountian AVA,  continuing to make it a true Willamette valley blend.  901 cases, label bee and comb, 45 per bottle - Buy a CASE and the Ground shipping is included!!!

2016 Willamette Valley Pinot noir - some of all 8 of the Pinot vineyards we work with end up in this bottling, making it too a good representation of the Willamette Valley at large.  I think this wine will be as pleasing as past vintages and as I said earlier I think I am getting better at what I do, but I will let you be the judge of that.  Buttercup graces the label – an American Guinea Hog.  They are a super practical pig for us, not too big, do well on kitchen scraps, windfall fruit and just a little grain.  Clare finished Buttercup and Hibiscus on hazelnuts, so we are eagerly looking forward to trying the prosciutto in another 8-9 months.  In the meantime we have lots of other porkyness to keep us fed.  So you might ask does this Pinot go with pork?  You bet! And a whole host of other things – cheese, salmon, kale chips, chicken. Potatoes gratin – etc. etc – the versatility of Pinot Noir is amazing…. This is our largest production wine at 1835 cases, but we do sell it all.  The 15 has been sold out for a few months – so get this one while you can!  Buttercup on the label, 45 per bottle.  Buy a CASE and the Ground shipping is included!!!


2016 Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Pinot noir - Clare found a 2013 version of this wine the other day and brought it out for a Saturday lunch.  It was vibrant, still fresh and full of fruit.  I was quite pleased.  Was it my winemaking or my good friend Don Sandberg’s good farming?  The 2016 is also a solid wine that is pleasing now and will reward in a year or two, if you can resist.  I am pretty sure it is my superior winemaking…. A pair of Don’s vineyard clippers on the label to honor his farming diligence.  285 cases produced, 62 dollars per bottle.  Buy a CASE and the Ground shipping is included!!!

2014 Syrah, Rogue Valley - the warmth of the 2014 vintage is evident in this bottling.  Picked just before the rains came in mid October – there is plenty of dark fruit and richness to complement hearty fare, but enough lithe and zest that it isn’t overpowering.  Syrah has always held a special place in our hearts and this wine holds true. Per usual silverware on the label.  192 cases, 48 dollars per bottle. Buy a CASE and the Ground shipping is included!!!

Don’t forget – CASE shipping is now on us!!

We will be out and about in the next little bit, pouring at the High Museum wine auction in Atlanta March 22-24, then in Chicago for Pinot in the City on May 15, and on July 27-29 we'll be attending IPNC as guests (this is a great event!).

We are scheduled to bottle the 2017 Laughing Pig Rose on April 3 and initial tastings show great promise. We will let you know ASAP when it is ready to go, along with the house favorites, Earth and the Elusive Queen.

    Thank you again, we are so glad you enjoy our wines!  Cheers! Brian and Clare.

To get right to the wines, click here!

Special release of magnums and 10 year anniversary art

Happy Fall from big table farm!!

Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 9.51.57 PM.jpg
Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 9.51.14 PM.jpg

We hope this finds you well. It's been a stunning fall near with perfect harvest weather! We have picked a good bit of fruit and the winery is humming with a great crew and VERY happy fermentations.



We have some beautiful 2015 magnums for you. The number of bottles is low, so don't delay. These bottles are now available to you on our web site, via the link below.

click here to go to the magnum offering

The 2017 vintage is shaping up to be another good one with beautifully ripe fruit. We have another great crew this year and we have been enjoying more than our share of great farm meals and hopefully are making some great wines for you to enjoy in the future. If you don't follow me on Instagram you might enjoy doing so - I'm starting to post a few tips and recipes from some harvest meals along with pictures of the farm and winery : )

We are happy to pass on news of more awesome press from last month - including a great piece about Oregon wine in the NY Times featuring big table farm! Click here to view the article on their web site.

Fall ground shipping will last for a few more weeks, take advantage of it and stock up now for the holidays!

Last but not least, the long anticipated 10 year anniversary collection of labels is released! This is a special 22 page box set that I'm proud to have finally finished! It's hand letterpress printed by Emily Johnson and features the drawings of our labels over the course of our first 10 years, and the associated stories of each. This first edition is a limited run of 200 signed set of prints. Click here to order. 

A note to our friends in Napa and Sonoma: our hearts are with you. We are sure our wine release is the last thing on your mind in the coming days. We of course will be hoping to hear you are all safe. Sending our love and support.

 Cheers!! and thank you ALL! Clare and Brian

-- give away hugs and share that bottle you've been saving! --

book2_sm 2.jpg

Fall 2017 release

Photo taken at IPNC this July by:Jamie Goode

Photo taken at IPNC this July by:Jamie Goode

... making decisions on the elusive queen with clare

... making decisions on the elusive queen with clare

Howdy all! I hope this finds you well.  Summer has always been my favorite time of year, it’s just too damn short.  I like the fall too, but it takes second place to the Oregon summer.  There is something about the energy that comes from the warmth and long days. 

Nevertheless we are happy to present you with our fall release wines: Cattrall, Sunnyside Wirtz and Yamhill- Carlton.  I am sipping these wines as I write, each one is a stunner in it’s own way.  This missive comes to you in a precious moment as I prepare for bottling the 2016 wines and before harvest of 2017.  

My overarching winemaking goal is and has always been to make delicious wines.  Complexity, age-worthiness and interesting wines are all also important, but if the delicious is not there, then all else is unimportant.  I mostly use my own palate. I taste and try and taste again, from the grapes in the beginning to each of the barrels before blending, sometimes until my mouth can take no more.  Each barrel is evaluated a multitude of times to make sure it finds the right home in one of our wines, or is even cast off.   

We drink all of our wines regularly because we make what we like and what we think is delicious.  I am sure you have all heard the expression “too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the sauce” -  small wineries like ours where the owner is also the winemaker are in a unique position artistically. We have no outside investors, owners or partners looking over our shoulders and the wines can truly reflect a singular focus. I certainly check in with clare to make sure I am not crazy, but she likes my wine too. Perhaps that’s why the labels are so great!  Or maybe it tastes good because the labels are so great!  OK – enough bullshit – here are the wines.


The Wines

I tasted them in this order... so here they are presented to you as well.



2015 Yamhill- Carlton pinot noir.  

Big Table Farm is in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and the longer I work with fruit from Coats and Whitney and Kalita the more I appreciate the power, depth and dark fruit flavors that grow here.  Both vineyards are represented equally in this blend and maybe someday a little BTF fruit will join in.  We love old barns and the emotions they evoke whether you are viewing across the landscape or protected inside.  Pike Rd Barn on the label .303 cases made. 48 dollars/bottle.

2015 Wirtz Vineyard pinot noir. 

These old vines have become my friends. We have made wine since 2010 and started farming it in 2013, so I have walked up and down the rows many times.  I have always loved the spice and red fruit that come out of this vineyard regardless of vintage.  Label isthe flat friendly fir.  368 cases.  48 dollars/bottle

2015 Sunnyside Vineyard pinot noir. 

Vibrant and stalwart – this wine is always a reflection of luci and tom and the effort and enthusiasm they put into farming their vineyard.  I am honored that they continue to sell me their fruit, I do my best to let their work shine through.  Always savory, both red and blue fruits make this an irresistible wine.  One of Clare’s chickens on the label.  369 cases.  48 dollars/bottle

2015 Cattrall Brothers Vineyard pinot noir. 

Fruit and humus and then some in this wine, definitely a pinot lovers pinot.  Bill and Tom broke the mold.  They have farmed cooperatively and organically since the 70’s.  Again I am honored that they continue to sell me the same rows of own rooted wadensville since 2009.  I always do my best and I think everybody will be happy with the 2015 version.  Tom’s grape delivery truck on the label. 202 cases made.  48 dollars/bottle.

2016 Pinot Gris.

Yet to be bottled this wine is last but not least. (It will be bottled in just a few days) This wine is made in the same fashion as all previous vintages. The fruit is macerated in its own juices until it starts to ferment with its natural yeast. It’s then pressed and finishes both primary and malolactic. The copper color and structure comes from the time spent on the skins. The result is a very full-bodied, luscious wine with lots of fruit and structure, and with the freshness of a white wine. We will rack 5 barrels today and bottle approx 125 cases. Queen Anne’s lace on the label. $32 dollars/bottle


The 2015 vintage was warm, then a little hot, then warm again and then thankfully cool in September.  It was large in terms of the volume of fruit, which was a good thing given the warmth, giving the vigorous vines more work to do and extending the ripening.   The cool September allowed us to make our picking decisions in a thoughtful way.  The resulting wines are beautiful, balanced and of course delicious.  The quintessential Oregon pinot noir in my mind.  They are drinking well now and conceivably for the next 3-5 years.

On the farm

miss 'buttercup' awaiting more treats...

miss 'buttercup' awaiting more treats...

We will be attempting to AI our cows again this year – we have ordered some handling equipment to avoid the rodeo action of 2016.  Curley the bull did the job in the end last year and we had 6 healthy calves hit the ground this spring.  They are so fun to watch cavort, playfulness must be an attribute of all youth.   Our freezer is full of broilers that clare did another amazing job of raising and of course, thanks to shorty the steer, we will be well fed again this year.  My garden still takes more time than it should and of course the book titled “The $64 Tomato”  often rings in my ears. 

Clare is still riding and driving her horses, but just realized that hummer is a little older than we thought and only has 4 teeth.  So of course he gets special treatment and I fear a third horse might be in the works.  Levi and Clementine are still happy to perform dog tricks if you have some treats and of course goatio still graces the place (and sometimes guest’s shoes).  And how could I forget the pigs – hibiscus and buttercup are cute as ever, love all the windfall apples and pears and their daily belly rubs. Buttercup will grace the 2016 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir label, and of course will make more delicious pork chops, bacon, prosciutto, lard, sausage, coppa roast… yes, we eat well.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 8.08.14 AM.png

My very best to all of you, thank you for enjoying our wine, making the trek out to see us or taking the time to say hi at an event.  We cannot do this without you. 

cheers! Brian and Clare

buy wine

To get right to the wines, click here!

Note on ordering wine: we respect YOUR time.

If you're super busy - please let us help you order wine in whatever way is EASIEST for YOU! We are happy to assist. Call, email - Clare and Elaine are always available to make sure you get the wines you love! If you want to reach out please just send an email to admin(at)bigtablefarm.com or call 503.662.3129 - and we'll follow up with YOU and get your order!

Wine orders will be shipped end of September or early October, when temperatures across the country are a little more consistent, we will follow up with your order's shipping details.

thanks Mila for capturing this special moment!

thanks Mila for capturing this special moment!

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 8.05.10 AM.png

Royalty, Dirt, Romance and Rose

Howdy!  Spring has sprung here in western Oregon – we are so happy to see all of the blossoms and to have three more wines to offer!  Here are the latest versions of the Laughing Pig Rose, the Elusive Queen and of course, Earth!

The 2016 Laughing Pig Rose – wrongly or rightly I always use the rose as a bellwether for the latter bottlings of the vintage, what does the 2016 LPR say about its yet to come relatives?  Bright, intense fruit and good now but good later too… it really reminds me of the first Laughing Pig we made in 2007, which we surprisingly recently tasted.  Clare found a forgotten case in our cellar (it is crowded, not big) and we apprehensively popped one open and lo and behold – still vibrant and completely drinkable.  I think its best days have passed, but this ten year old rose speaks volumes to maintenance of vitality through gentle handling in the winery.  

The 2016 vintage was almost a repeat of 14 and 15 but with a smaller crop load – smaller berries and clusters meant less saigné (bleeding of the red wine ferments to concentrate flavors) was needed so consequently we made significantly less rose.  This wine has energy and nerve beyond belief, red raspberry and floral on the nose and into the palate that continues for seemingly forever.  Only 129 cases bottled and I am reserving a couple to keep me company in the garden throughout the summer.  Get it while you can, 2016 Laughing Pig Rose, $32

The Elusive Queen is a passion project for Clare and me – we seem to share a similar palate when it comes to chardonnay and it is really romantic when we can agree on something we want to drink together, that we made together.  Best on days that went a little sideways and a correction is needed, the EQ comes out and wow! – smiles happen and worries disappear.  The Elusive Queen and Earth represent what Clare and I feel epitomizes what we work so hard to achieve and we want to enjoy.  We hope that it raises consciousness in a moment for you too.

Earth is the Pinot noir counterpoint to the Elusive Queen.  I do the heavy lifting of the initial barrel selection with a piece of chalk in my pocket and notes at hand, tasting and marking each barrel.  This process takes over a month to accomplish.  Then Clare comes in and helps with the final decisions that make these wines happen.  They are the best in our cellar.  Any winemaker can/will tell you that there are always a few barrels that stand out from all the others, and we feel that we can skim a little of the cream off the top, for ourselves and those of you who share our palates, without dramatically affecting the rest of our blends.  As I have said before – I treat all fruit and fermentation lots equally once they come into the winery.  I do my very best to guide each to dryness and then into barrel, using foot stomping and a simple basket press.  Malolactic is encouraged by maintaining conducive temperature, which is easy in our super efficient building.  Minimal sulpher is maintained and a small adjustment made at bottling.

Some barrels just stand out, some we just like more than others, so we select and blend and bottle to our own taste.  If no one else likes them, no problem, we will happily enjoy them ourselves.  We are so happy with the 2014 versions of these wines, it would be embarrassing to admit how many bottles we consumed ourselves.  We are in the lucky position that we can make what we truly enjoy, as Clare and I are solely responsible, and therefore free to make wines we chose.

The labels are wacky but beautiful, you will have to ask Clare what they signify.

2015 Elusive Queen Chardonnay, 109 cases, $85 bottle
2015 Earth Pinot noir, 107 cases, $105 bottle

I hope you have already popped a few corks of the 15’s we have just made available, Willamette Valley and Pelos Sandberg Pinot noir and Willamette Valley Chardonnay.  If you liked these then Earth, and the Elusive Queen should please as well, and hopefully even more!  All of the above are available on our website.

We have thoroughly enjoyed the 14 versions of these wines and we are thrilled to be able to present the 2015 versions to you!  We hope that the enthusiasm the 2014 EQ and Earth (both sold out) received will extend to the 15’s.  We have started to drink them now, and like all our other 15’s they have surpassed my expectations.  I am still stunned by what they have evolved into.

Thank you again for continuing to enjoy our wine, we love what we do and are so grateful for your continued support.  Cheers from our table to yours! Brian and Clare


Happy Spring

Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 5.26.35 PM.png

Happy spring!  From wet western Oregon – we are thrilled the days are getting longer and warmer with a bit more sunshine.  We are also thrilled to have some terrific wines from 2015 to offer – our 2015 Willamette valley Pinot noir and Chardonnay with of course the Pelos Sandberg Pinot that always shows well as a youngster.

Ten years into this crazy Oregon adventure Clare and I still shake our heads in disbelief at who and what surround us – We have great team here at the farm, our winemaking/winegrowing community, the vendors we work with and of course our customers, YOU!  Who keep coming back for more is most humbling and encouraging at the same time – motivating us to continue to strive to do our best.


We began labeling the 2015 wines Feb 6 and just finished – 3.5 weeks to apply art to the front of each bottle and wrap to protect it. The first couple years Clare and I did this together, maybe with a friend or two, and then even just 150 cases took forever, but we felt then and still do today that dressing each bottle shows how important they all are to us.  Now that we are making a bit more wine we hire a small crew, train them and then work with them every day to ensure all goes well.

brian working on the blends!

brian working on the blends!

So you may say “the wine looks good – how does it taste?” my easy response is the wines are stunning, I am stunned by them.  I put the blends together end of August, bottled them and sent them to the warehouse and promptly put them out of my mind to focus on the 2016 vintage.   We just recently began to try them and I am truly amazed at what they have blossomed into, both Chardonnay and Pinot alike.  Certainly a knitting together and development is to be expected.  I knew the blends were well crafted and would be very approachable, pleasing wines, but as one mentor told me – winemaking is part art, part science and part magic, and certainly there is a lot of magic at play as part of the 2015 vintage. I have embraced this way of making wine – I think it gives me the license and ability and boldness to capture the moment of each vintage, at each vineyard and at BTF. 

As shepherd of each vineyard, each block within and then each small fermentor I use all of the art and science I know to push the magic in the right direction – shoving doesn’t work nor does being timid.  The results of all the coercion in 2015 are magical, you have already had a few – the LPR, Pinot Gris and Edelzwicker. If you like these then the Pinot noir and Chardonnay are sure to please (hopefully) as well – lithe, taut, plenty of fruit and tannins that will make you remember it is wine for a couple years.  Not surprisingly the benefits of magic can also have unintended consequences – the unforeseen drawbacks, and while the 2015’s are delicious they have decided to deposit more of a sediment than I would like or we normally see in a young wine.  I do not know why this has happened, the racking (moving the wine out of barrel, off the lees) went really well. I rack every barrel myself while Jeff is close at hand and does all the many other important tasks.  We plan and prepare for the prebottling racking and yet with true magic there is always mystery.  This sediment is really only a small inconvenience and most wines eventually throw some as they age, but for some reason our 2015’s have chosen to do so a little bit sooner than we expected – yet please believe me they are DELICIOUS!

In addition to the magic, I have always believed that wine has vitality to it, that like all life, is finite and therefore I take a less is more approach once we have guided the fruit from vineyard to barrel.  Once in barrel the wine continues to ferment until all the sugar and malic acid are consumed, hopefully by late December or early January, but sometimes not.  We add a little sulpher and top the barrels regularly, but mostly we just let the wines rest and settle in barrel.  As the bottling date nears we gently move the wine out of barrel into a blending tank, mix and we are ready to bottle, no filtering or other processing that might take some of the nourished “vitality” away.

2015 was a large (volume of fruit) and warm vintage, with a nice cool September.  Early bud break and flowering with good set, set the stage.  We knew we would have a long growing season ahead so the prudent gamble was to leave a little more fruit on the vines to slow maturation down so we could finish ripening in the shorter cooler days of late September and early October.  This gamble paid off and as I believe you will taste, exceptionally balanced Pinot noir and Chardonnay with amazing aromatics, mouth filling flavors and yet the ethereal feeling of weightlessness.

2015 Willamette valley Chardonnay –

we just poured this wine at the Oregon Chardonnay Celebration with 40 other Oregon wineries – what a fun Saturday afternoon! Our ’15’s showed beautifully and were well received.  Selling Oregon Chardonnay today reminds me of our early days with the Laughing Pig Rose – I often had to cajole people into trying it, because I know it is great and it is different than what they expect it to be.  Now, dry rose has many fans and I hope that we continue to build the same understanding and enthusiasm for Oregon Chardonnay.  I enjoy making it and Clare and I both enjoy drinking it.  As I have said many times, if we can make decent Pinot noir we should also be able make Chardonnay.

Sourced from the same 6 Willamette valley vineyards as 2014, barrel fermented in French oak (about 10% new) with yeast that blew in the door.  We bottled after 11 months of aging without filtration or fining.  I think this wine will steal your heart, it has a special place in mine. The label is one of Clare’s honey bees humping a thistle, 950 cases produced, $45

2015 Willamette valley Pinot noir –

This wine leaps out of the glass with fruit and spice and doesn’t let up until long after you have set your glass down – unless of course you take a perfect bite of anything – it will ALL taste better!  This wine is a true representation of the northern Willamette valley as all 8 pinot sites I work with end up in this bottling, from south of Salem to north of Forest Grove.  It would be arrogant of me to think I could predict which fruit will turn into the best wine (that magic, remember?) so I treat all with equal diligence.  I think this approach makes this bottling different but on par with our vineyard designates – it is more affordable because we make a lot more of it, but it gets the same care and handling as the rest of the wines.  Kirby and Pickle saunter on the label, they were super cute American guinea hogs and now they are super delicious.  We hope this wine is regular on your table.  Please don’t be afraid to open it and drink it over several days (if possible).  I regularly drink our wines leftover from tastings 2, 3 and even 4 days later.  This is a benefit of youthfulness and the maintenance of vitality.  Regardless, Enjoy!  2393 cases produced $42.


2015 Pelos Sandberg vineyard Pinot noir

Year in and year out the wine that comes from Don Sandberg’s hard work in the vineyard is always delicious and 2015 is no exception.  As the vineyard matures its’ wines continue to develop even more complexity and depth, with 2015 at the forefront.  My memory says past vintages are fruit forward and plush (it’s been awhile since I’ve had an older vintage, even the 14,  it has been sold out for quite awhile), while this wine still has the fruit but maybe more tension, tannin and acidity to balance the fruit, potentially a more age worthy PSV than past vintages by my hand.  Don is a tremendous farmer and a great friend. He also makes wine under his own label, from his own fruit, called IOTA.  Clare chose his 3 n’ 1, a cultivation implement, to adorn the bottle.  402 cases bottled, $48

Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 5.18.06 PM.png

On the farm! 

We are still eating brussel sprouts! We have had multiple days of single digit weather this year and a few frozen pipes (none broken though, that we know of yet) and the brussel sprouts survived.  Most everything else in my garden perished, even the kale.  The barn is full of Clare’s menagerie, dry and warm, 1 cat (Winston), 1 Goatio, 2 horses, 10 cows, 6 of whom we hope Curley (the bull) was able to romance and we will have baby calves romping in the spring grass soon.  We attempted to use artificial insemination for the first time this year but it was an utter failure without proper infrastructure, it was a fucking rodeo.  We have learned our lesson and we will invest in some panels and a crowding pen and give it a try again in 2017, and hopefully Curly can stay home.  He is a nice guy and all but he is still a bull, big, strong and unpredictable.  Clementine and Levi still let us know when you have arrived most of the time, although Clementine is almost 11 and has let us know she is definitely only interested in working part time.  Instead of running out to greet you she compromises by barking at you from the porch… we are still in negotiations regarding this new protocol.

We have already seen a few of you with a great trip to Texas and Clare to the Carolinas for dinners and the Triangle Wine Experience in the beginning of Feb this year.  We are participating in IPNC July 28-30, a fabulous event, definitely a great weekend of Pinot noir in McMinnville.  We will also be doing a spring release dinner in Portland late March, 25th see below for detatils!

Also coming mid April – 2016 Laughing Pig Rose, 2015 Earth and Elusive Queen!

2016 Laughing Pig Rose – bottling is scheduled for April 4.  2016 was a ‘normal’ sized vintage, so there will be significantly less rose than the last two years, also it will be a little more intense, rich but still all the same tastiness as past vintages, just a little less of it to go around, so please act quickly once released if you want some.  We will also release 2015 Earth and Elusive Queen mid April – we are also extremely happy with where/how these wines are and look forward to sharing them with you.

Thank you again for all your support and enjoying our wines.  We look forward to continuing the adventure! CHEERS! Brian and Clare.

To get right to the wines, click here!


Note on ordering wine: we respect YOUR time.

If your super busy - please let us help you order wine in whatever way is EASIEST for YOU! We are happy to assist. Call, email - Clare and Elaine are always available to make sure you get the wines you love! If you want to reach out please just send an email to admin(at)bigtablefarm.com or call 503.662.3129 - and we'll follow up with YOU and get your order!

Wine orders will be shipped towards the end of March early April, when temperatures across the country are a little more consistent.


'winemaker dinner and spring release celebration in portland'


We have changed dinner up this year! I'm really excited to tell you we are essentially bringing you our big table farm harvest dinner. Chef Tim Wastell and David Padberg,  two of our closest chef friends who happen to be two of portland finest chefs will both be cooking for us!! Tim and David have cooked at the farm countless times for big summer meals as well as our harvest dinners over the years. This year we changed things up and found a venue that will help us feature these two amazing chefs and our wines in the best possible way! I think this will be a spring release dinner to remember! 

This will be a multi-course dinner (menu coming soon! working with chefs on what's coming from us as well as our other friends' farms!)  We will be featuring our spring release wines as well as some extra special bottles including the 2011 Resonance Pinot Noir that we are pulling out of library!!! — Brian and I will be bringing out pre release wines too - The Elusive Queen and (fingers crossed) a sneak peek at the 2016 Rose - this is gonna be off the hook!!

As always, it will be a fun evening with good friends and wines...  

$125 including all wine pairings
When Saturday March 25th 7pm

Elder Hall - 3929 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212 - https://www.elderhall.com/

call big table farm to reserve your seat with payment - 503-662-3129
(don't delay, these seats will go very quickly!)


our tenth autumn at big table farm

photo: Neringa Greiciute

photo: Neringa Greiciute

Howdy from sunny western Oregon!  We have had a great summer here, I hope yours has been excellent as well.  We are excited to let you know that we have four more 2014 Pinot noirs and a couple ‘whites’ from 2015 now available.

Ten years ago Clare and I packed up our things and moved from a comfortable existence in Napa to Oregon with a crazy dream of making food and wine and enough space to do whatever we wanted. Little did I imagine then that the adventure we were embarking on would become what Big Table Farm is today.  We made 150 cases in 2006 with purchased fruit in a rented space. Today we are preparing to bottle almost 4000 cases in our own winery, thanks to the help of many. Our barn built two years ago has taken our beef herd to around a dozen, give or take a few depending on the time of year, and the facility has given us the space to focus on improving our herd and our grazing management.  We feel that our adventure is still a work in progress, we still have plans and ideas for improvement, refinements and hopefully making wine from the south slope above the winery.  We are deeply appreciative of what we have accomplished while continuing to move forward.  We are having a lot of fun and we are so glad to have all of your continued support.  Thank you!!


Clare and I did most of the above single handedly until two years ago when we hired Jeff Porth to help bottle the 2013 vintage and make the 2014 wines.  He has been a perfect fit, a great worker and he seems to enjoy the craziness of Big Table Farm.  He shows up ten minutes early everyday and always has a great attitude and is ready to work – whatever that might be. We feel fortunate and greatly appreciate that he keeps showing up for work…  I know that we are not always easy to work for.

Clare continues to play with her horses when she isn’t breaking boards and throwing punches (2nd degree black belt now). Clementine and Levi have arguably the best dog life ever and mostly do a good job of letting us know when someone shows up. They will also relieve you of any food you might have in your car so beware. Levi ate two lunches last week. I spend more time than I should in the garden but I really enjoy it and we eat really well.
I look forward to the continued adventure and that in another ten years I can report equal success and progress.

The Wines

2014 was warm and dry without any difficult challenges in growing and ripening grapes. We had a timely rain at the end of September that gave the vines a little drink and helped them finish ripening the fruit.  It was the type of vintage that makes me joke that if I can’t make a decent wine from what I’m given then I should find another line of work!  The fruit was amazing and consequently I think the resulting wines are pretty good too.

2014 was the first vintage in our new winery, very exciting! Before the ink was dry on our temporary occupancy license the grapes were rolling up our driveway.  We are grateful to all who helped make the dream a reality.  We have settled in nicely and are looking forward to making the 2016 wines – very soon! We have a great crew lined up and as soon as the 2015’s are bottled at the end of the month the focus will be vineyard visits and making the best wine we can!

The Wirtz vineyard

We didn’t really plan it this way but our fall release includes three wines from the Wirtz vineyard. I met Dave Wirtz in September of 2007 when I went to buy a piece of used equipment from him. He was late so I helped myself to a vineyard tour. I was stunned and inspired by the old vines, planted before I was born. The vineyard was in rough shape, but the fruit tasted great and I told Dave that when I had the resources I would love to buy some fruit from him. I didn’t forget about the vineyard and in 2010 I made a trip out to visit and again I was stunned. Vast improvements had been made, new trellising, a small apple orchard liberated from an engulfment of blackberries and all the junk gone. I contacted the new owners and cousin’s of Dave who told me he had died but that they would agree to sell me some Pinot noir and Pinot gris. I was ecstatic and we continue to be so today, as we now farm all twelve acres (organically) and do our best to make delicious wine.

2015 Edelzwicker – this is our third attempt at coaxing the most out of the old vine Gewürztraminer, Pinot gris and Riesling that Dave and his dad planted in the late 60’s. I think these aromatic whites blend beautifully and make a wine that has so much more to offer than if we bottled each individually.  I know it is hard to say (try spelling it) but once you get past the name it’s a delicious wine.  Bone dry, bottled without filtration or any monkey business, it will make your mouth a happy place.
Blossoms - 299 cases produced – 28 dollars

2015 Pinot gris – the clone of Pinot gris at Wirtz vineyard is particularly dark, and we use this feature to make a wine that showcases this. Fermented on the skins until I think it tastes right, about ten days, we press it and let it finish fermenting in old French oak barrels. The dark skins make this wine orange in color and we can’t get enough of it when there is seafood on the table. Clare’s art on this bottling is one of my favorites of the year.
Pasture wild flowers – 159 cases produced – 32 dollars

2014 Pinot noir Wirtz vineyard – Dave got all of his vines from Charles Coury, who had a nursery at what is now David Hill winery, which is close by. I don’t think Charles was the most organized person – nobody really knows where he took his cuttings from in Europe, so the early vineyards planted from his nursery have the dubious distinction of being planted to the “Coury clone”. When I walk through the vineyard I see varying morphology and can only guess that there was a lot of variety in parent material. I think this is maybe where the wine gets its consistently warm spice notes, red fruit and earthy notes. We are honored to be making wine from these old vines.
Maple seeds – 367 cases produced – 48 dollars

2014 Cattrall Brothers vineyard – despite the warmth of the vintage, Tom’s vineyard continues to show me why it is great for Pinot.  The high elevation and great exposure to the cooling winds of the van Duzer corridor make it a cool site that maintains its acidity.  It is powerful, elegant and yet has a wildness to it. Tended organically since the beginning and all Wadensville clone.
Tom’s grape delivery truck – 193 cases produced – 48 dollars

2014 Sunnyside vineyard – this is the fourth vintage I have worked with Luci and Tom’s fruit  - and we finally convinced Luci she needed to stomp some of her own produce (yes, we still make wine the old way). She did a great job and maybe we can convince her to do it again in 2016!  Planted in 1971, I was born then but still shitting my pants. Dark fruit, spice and enormous amounts of complexity are the hallmarks of wine from this vineyard and 2014 has it in spades. Don’t miss it.
Rooster – 348 cases produced – 48 dollars

2014 Yamhill Carlton AVA – our own backyard, someday we will contribute fruit to this cuvée. 2014 sees the addition of the Kalita vineyard, only a few miles from BTF. Its elevation and south slope seem to ripen fruit perfectly – not too fast, not too slow – just right.  This, combined with the elegance and finesse of the Coats and Whitney vineyard give the wine a presence and depth that beguiles its charm.
Barn of Yamhill County – 228 cases produced – 48 dollars

All wines are fermented with whatever yeast blows in the door. Minimal handling and only small SO2 additions leave the vitality in the wine and also a little sediment. These are the wines Clare and I want to drink, and do on a regular basis.  I believe this informs my winemaking. We love to eat and drink and therefore make what we want to eat and drink. We have recently realized that we are somewhat unique in that we are able to make wine to our own taste. We own it, most winemakers are obligated to indulge the desires of an owner or investor or the marketing department. I often joke, but with some seriousness that if we can’t sell it we’ll be happy enough to drink it ourselves. We are, however, grateful that some of you enjoy the same things we do!

To read more about the wines of our newest release, click here.

Cheers! from our table to yours, and thank you again.  Brian and Clare

p.s. All wine orders will be shipped in the Fall, when cooler temperatures are frequent, so that your wine is not cooked during transportation. 

Royalty, dirt and a little pig

It seems like just yesterday we sent our last missive, but it has been six weeks.  We hope all who have ordered the first of the fourteen pinots are enjoying them and are happy with our efforts. We have two new wines to offer and a reliable favorite. 

Clare and I have evolved as a winemaker and an artist dramatically since we started Big Table Farm almost ten years ago.  I have gone from using the memories and wisdom of mentors to creating my own set.  The wines that I make today are certainly still influenced by what I learned from others so long ago, but I have filled in those lessons with many of my own. I know what I want to drink and how to push to get there.  

To that end, the Elusive Queen and Earth most clearly demonstrate what I and Clare feel represent what we are most proud to share.  I joke, but in all seriousness, if we can’t sell these wines, we will be happy to drink them ourselves, and at just over 100 cases each we could certainly do with time.  These wines are not for everybody. They are for those who know and want understand pinot noir and chardonnay, unquestionably some of you know even more than I. 

With almost 700 cases of chardonnay and 3000 cases of pinot noir in our cellar for 2014 we felt that we could pull out the best of the best barrels, blend and bottle them, without having a dramatic impact on the regular bottlings. 

I hope that those of you who get to try these wines enjoy them, I hope that this trial is a success because I would like to continue creating and exploring the best that I can offer each year with what is presented to me.  Will these blends happen every year? I don’t know. 

I don’t remember who came up with the name Earth but I chose it. There were other names bantered about but I chose Earth because it represents so much and can mean so many different things, interpreted from a plentitude of angles. It is our home, expansive and tiny at the same time. Made simply of 118 elements, yet so profoundly complex. We have known it for generation upon generation yet we continue to make discoveries, both personally and scientifically. As I write I think maybe I have chosen a name too grand, but I want this wine to make us think about our home. Clare and I try to live each day in harmony with ourselves, each other and all that is around us. We are not religious, but we try to accept our humanity and try to live within the confines of our home and what it can support. 

As the wines are a departure from our past the labels are also an artistic exploration. I remember the day Clare was working on them.  It was a beautiful Sunday (one of the first we have started to take off). I was in and out of the house as she worked with focus and intention. I left her alone and when she finally showed me what she had come up with – I was a little shocked and asked her what she had been smoking? 

Absolutely nothing she laughed (not her thing and I know it) and proceeded to explain the significance of all that had been committed to paper. I cannot remember all that she explained and I’m not sure I would/should share if I could. I think it is up to you to make your own inferences, to add to the enjoyment and mystery of drinking these wines. 

The name the Elusive Queen is inspired by Clare’s passion for keeping bees.  As you well know, our Willamette valley bottling of chardonnay always has honey bee inspired drawings, so then should the barrel select.  Clare can tell the story better than I but the name came to her one day as she was collecting a swarm of bees and wasn’t sure if the swarm contained the queen, and then she caught a glimpse and knew the swarm would turn into a successful hive. 

2014 Elusive Queen Chardonnay, 116 cases produced, 85 dollars

2014 Earth Pinot noir, 108 cases produced, 105 dollars

Part II – April 8, 2016.  Today was a great day, cold and clear in the dark this morning as I opened up the winery to prepare to bottle the 2015 Laughing Pig rosé and edelzwicker (fall release).  This was our fourth time bottling in our new winery, and it gets easier every time. The bottling went smoothly, Clare made everybody cornbread and chili for lunch. Jeff and I cleaned up in the afternoon and now I am sipping 2015 Laughing Pig rose as I write- admiring the cows graze new spring grass, dogs lazy in the sun on the porch, and me taking it all in. The wines are TERRIFIC; I am looking forward to having the Laughing Pig around all summer.  I love to take a glass out with me at the end of the day to the garden and spend an hour or two hoeing weeds, puttering and planning, watering and watching it all grow. 

The laughing pig rosé is back – it is as good as ever.  We have just a little more than last year, and from what I read in the wine business rags, rosé is increasingly popular these days, so please don’t wait to order.  I promise it will make any occasion just a little bit better, a little laughing pig makes all moments more memorable. 

2015 Laughing Pig rosé, 480 cases produced, 28 dollars

Thank you again for continuing to enjoy and share our wine, this is unquestionably what allows us to continue this wacky adventure called Big Table Farm. 

From our table to yours, Brian and Clare

p.s. Click here to browse the three new wines.

'winemaker dinner and spring release celebration in portland'

Simpatica and Big Table Farm are teaming up for the fourth year in a row! For those of you who came last year and the year before, you know you are in for a very special evening!

This will be a multi-course dinner with big table farm wines paired with each course. We will be featuring our spring release wines as well as some extra special bottles — Brian and I will be bringing out The Elusive Queen and Earth! — our two new Cuvee's, and some big bottles too!

Menu — 

Simpatica Dining Hall Featuring Big Table Farm

Amuse Shrimp Crepenette, Citrus
2014 Big Table Farm Edelzwicker

Rabbit Strudel, Rhubarb, Tarragon, Fennel
2015 Big Table Farm Laughing Pig Rosé of Pinot noir

Burrata, English Pea, Radish, Pistachio Brown Butter
2014 The Elusive Queen

Smoke-roasted Ribeye, Shaved Asparagus, Morel Hollandaise
2014 Big Table Farm Willamette Valley Pinot noir
2014 Big Table Farm Earth 

Torteau de Chevre, and assorted cheeses
2013 Big Table Farm Syrah

As always, it will be a fun evening with good friends and wines...  

$125 including all wine pairings, excluding gratuity
When Friday April 15th @ 7:30 pm

Where - 828 SE ASH ST. PORTLAND, OR 97214 

call simpatica to reserve your seat
(don't delay, tickets will go quickly!)

Spring 2016 Wine Release

Howdy from rainy western Oregon!

We hope this finds you healthy and happy. We are a little soggy after a very wet winter but looking forward to a great 2016 after an amazing 2015. We are excited to have new wines to show and sell this spring! Our 2013’s were well received and we watched the last of them walk out the door a couple months ago, so we have rested up and are ready for a (hopefully) busy spring and summer. 

2015 ended with a bang for us. Harvest was fantastic; we had a great team, thank you to all! And especially Clare, who fed the whole gang. The fruit was perfectly ripe and bountiful and I hope/think we have succeeded in making some nice wines. I will let you be the judge of that, soon, our Laughing Pig Rose will be bottled April 8 and ready to ship shortly thereafter. And then… one rainy December morning our phones started ringing… and didn’t stop for two days. Our 2012 Willamette Valley Pinot noir had been selected as #11 on the Wine Spectator top 100 wines of the year – we had no idea this was coming until the first congratulatory phone call. I am still stunned and honored to be estimated for inclusion on such a list, and so near the top. 


Additionally we have received tons of great press from many others, best to check it out on the website lest my head get to big recounting it all.

We have settled into the winery nicely, our second vintage was much smoother than the first, the kinks have been ironed out and all the details that make a difference were in place. 

2014 — An Early Harvest

The wines we have to present to you this spring are the 2014 versions of wine we have been making for a few years now – Willamette Valley Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Pelos Sandberg vineyard Pinot noir and one new addition, a southern Oregon Syrah.

The 2014 vintage was early, warm and large… and fantastic! An early harvest is usually determined months in advance by early bud break and bloom, so we knew it was coming. We had great fruit set, so we left a little more fruit on the vines to lengthen the ripening process – which was aided by the warmth. A timely rain at the end of September gave the vines just enough of a boost to finish ripening and toned down some of the sugar that accumulated during the warmer days in the beginning of the month. The resulting fruit was perfectly ripe - skins, seeds and stems, all of which come into contact with the juice, which was an equal perfection of sugar sweetness buffered by acidity, fermenting together to bring a sensorial exuberance to the final wines. My concern during the vinification process was too much of a good thing, so a gentle hand was used to extract enough but not too much.  The resulting wines are rich and powerful and at the same time balanced and delicate.  As young wines they are still evolving and are very exciting – they have much to offer and can differ dramatically from moment to moment as they open in your glass and through out the evening in bottle. We have enjoyed getting to know the 2014 wines, we hope you will too! 

The bounty of the 2014 vintage has given us the opportunity and fodder to select and blend a few barrels each of chardonnay and pinot noir that exemplify what Clare and I feel represent our best efforts. These barrel select wines will be available in the near future. 

The Wines of Our Spring 2016 Release

2014 Willamette Valley Chardonnay – warmer vintages present great opportunities to capture the best that chardonnay has to offer. 2014 saw the addition of fruit from the Shafer Vineyard, planted in the early 1970’s. I have finally convinced Miki Shafer that we are worthy of her fruit. The older clone planted on her property maintains it’s acidity as it ripens, much like the chardonnay from the Wirtz vineyard. I think these older clones blend amazingly well with the newer plantings found at Durant, Yates Conwill and Bieze vineyards. Our basket press was used along with piseage a ped (foot stomping) which has changed the nature of our wine. The brief contact of skins, stems and juice has given our white wines a slight “grip” that I think has taken them to a whole new level of delicious. All other aspects have remained the same – barrel fermented, some new but mostly used, batonage, malo lactic complete and the wine went from barrel to bottle as directly as possible. The chardonnay offered today is sure to please. 680 cases of our Willamette Valley chardonnay produced – adorned by bee boxes. 45 dollars/bottle

2014 Willamette Valley Pinot noir – this wine is a stunner, which is good because it is our largest production to date! There should be enough for everybody at 2200 cases, yet I can already hear the pleas come July of “are you sure you don’t have anymore?” Per usual this wine exemplifies the maxim the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.  

While anchored by amazing pinot from Bieze, Johan and Coats and Whitney vineyards, it sees additional barrels from all the vineyards we work with, so it is a true Willamette Valley blend. One of our cutest pigs to date will make you smile on the outside as you grin ear to ear on the inside while drinking this wine. Bert, an American Guinea hog, 42 dollars/bottle

2014 Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Pinot noir – working with my friend Don Sandberg is just plain old fun. He is a constant perfectionist yet doesn’t take himself too seriously. Consequently he grows damn good grapes and shares them with us. I try not to fuck up his good work. In 2014 he offered us half an acre of Wadensville, in addition to the acre each of 777 and Pommard we have been buying since 2010. I was so excited I didn’t even check with Clare, I just said yes. The addition of the wild and brambly Wadensville clone has given this normally hedonistic wine an air of nobility – but don’t worry – it still has all the fruit, spice and silkiness of past vintages. Don got a new tractor that he was proud of so we put it on the label. 334 cases produced, 48 dollars/bottle

2013 Syrah – we have always had a soft spot for syrah, maybe even an Achilles heel, so we jumped when the opportunity came to work with Oregon fruit. The Rogue valley in southern Oregon is much warmer and dryer than our home in the northern Willamette, and gives this thick skinned variety what it needs to ripen. The 2013 vintage was an entirely different animal is southern Oregon - long and warm – the fruit came in well after we had put all the Pinot into barrel. Dark fruits, balanced acid, tannin and richness make this a beauty. And back to the beginning, knife, fork and spoon on the label. 195 cases produced, 48 dollars/bottle

Other Announcements

Over the past couple of years most of you have come to know Tiffany Stevens and her adept abilities of seamlessly getting your wine to you, navigating each of your state’s shipping, licensing, taxing and weather intricacies. Sadly she is moving to greener pastures, we wish her only the best.

We hope that 2016 is fruitful and fun for all – we look forward to seeing you at one of the many events we are participating in (or hosting). July 9 we are hosting Outstanding in the Field again. We will host a spring release dinner again at Simpatico dining hall, date still TBD. Clare will be in Chicago and the Midwest this spring and I will head to Atlanta for the High Museum wine auction end of March. There is more in the works that we will apprise you of in our next missive for the Laughing Pig Rose early April.

Thank you for continuing to enjoy our efforts, we cannot do it with out your buying and drinking our wines. We are truly amazed at the success of our Oregon adventure, thank you again. From our table to yours, cheers! Brian and Clare

ps. You can read more about our 2016 spring release by clicking here.

Fall 2015 Wine Release

Howdy from western Oregon!

We hope this finds you well and enjoying the last days of summer! I am writing you today to let you know that our single bottlings of 2013 Pinot noir are now available as well as two ‘whites’ from 2014, 6 wines total!  And to share all the goings on since I last wrote. Per normal we have been busy, welcoming so many of you to our little corner of earth, selling our wines and introducing animals, projects, and of course the new winery to old and new friends/customers alike.

Summer of 2013

The 2013 growing season resulted in grapes that were deceptively ripe – the metric commonly associated with ripeness ‘brix’ or measure of sugar, never materialized.  What happened? The summer of 2013 was beautiful, a good sleeping summer I overheard someone describe it. It never got too hot or too cool, perfect for ripening grapes, and that is exactly what happened.  However, September was exceptionally cool, so the normal accumulation of sugar that happens as the grapes finish maturing – didn’t.  So we had ripe fruit without a lot of sugar.  This translates into wines that have wonderful fruit, almost transparent tannins and for our fall release range in alcohol from 11.2 to 11.8.

We have begun to show the wines here at the farm as we have begun to sell out of the spring wines and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.  I chose not to chapetalize (add sugar, both legal and common) because I thought the fruit was complete – it needed nothing.  This was a gamble that I believe has paid off – the wines are delicious and yet fall below the ‘acceptable’ level of alcohol of 12%.  These wines are charming companions with food and we hope they find their way to your table.

The 2013’s we released in the spring have gathered considerable accolades, 90+, from the usual suspects. These fall wines were made with the same care and gentle handling.  The fall wines range in production number from 136 to 211 cases.  This is not a lot of wine so please don’t hesitate if you are interested in buying these wines.  That being said we did make significantly more Willamette Valley Pinot noir and chardonnay, so we do still have some of those wines available.

Fall 2015 Release — The Wines

2013 Wirtz Vineyard Pinot noir –this was the first year we were entrusted with the farming of the entire Wirtz vineyard by brother and sister Ben Hawes and Megan Lockheart.  With new ventures comes excitement and enthusiasm as well as learning by experience – fortunately the 40 plus year old vines knew exactly what to do and we picked our first fruit of the vintage from the vineyard September 18.  I was duly impressed with what came into the winery and harvest began in earnest from all our other sites, allowing us to avoid the downpour of late September.

The resulting wine is beautiful – heady fruit and spice aromas lead to more of the same on the palate with a satisfying finish that begs you to take another sip, or another bite. Clare continues to draw fabulous labels, hazelnuts for 2013. 157 cases produced, 48 dollars.

2013 Cattrall brothers Vineyards Pinot noir – this is our fifth year working with Tom and Bill Cattrall, and the same block from Tom’s vineyard which sits high in the Eola Amity hills and is one of the coolest sites we work with.  The own rooted wadensville clone has been organically farmed from the beginning. We process the fruit with a hands off approach that would allow us to label as such with the exception of SO2.  We add a little after fermentation is complete, an amount that would be allowable under EU organic rules, but not in the US. 

All that aside – this is a compelling wine – red fruit and spice run from beginning to end all on a frame of 11.2%.  As we have begun to introduce this wine to many here at the farm the responses have been enthusiastic and positive, and yes it is true, when we run out of wine from a previous release we pre- release here at the farm.  Bill and Tom have an amazing array of equipment that continue to inspire drawings by Clare, this year a different persepective of their grape delivery truck. 136 cases produced, 48 dollars.

2013 Sunnyside Vineyard Pinot noir – visiting Lucy and Tom is always a refreshing experience. They take utmost care of their vineyard, deliberating course of action with equal parts education and experience – they have been tending the same vines for over thirty years. The evidence of their work and care is clear – not only in the appearance of the vineyard but the quality of fruit they produce and subsequently the wines. 2013 is no exception, the wine is substantial with all the trappings of past vintages, dark fruit, firm but elegant tannins and fullness yet weightless, all at 11.5%.  We enjoy watching chickens here at the farm, we call it chicken TV. Clare has attempted to capture one moment of that here.  211 cases produced, 48 dollars.

2013 Yamhill Carlton Pinot noir – this is a new offering from us and represents the best of what our neighborhood produces. Our property is within the YC AVA and our hope is that the fruit from our property will eventually end up comprising a portion of this wine, although that means we need to get off our asses and plant some vines. For 2013 however the wine is comprised solely from the fruit of the Coats and Whitney vineyard farmed impeccably by Daniel Fey and the team at Results Partners. My two favorite clones are planted on the 7 acre vineyard, pommard and wadensville and a mix of new and used French oak barrels along with some whole cluster fermentation make a distinctive wine. Clare has chosen a theme of Barn drawings for the wine – structures that grace our local landscape and the site of which we cherish. 160 cases produced, 48 dollars.

In contrast to 2013 – 2014 was also a beautiful summer but September was warm and mostly dry, punctuated by a late rain that gave the vines just enough of a drink to finish ripening perfectly.  Our first release of 2014, the Laughing Pig Rose is sold out, but not to worry there more wines to come, our Pinot Gris and Edelzwicker are available now, and are just as gorgeous, both from the Wirtz vineyard.

2014 Edelzwicker is the same as 2013 – yet different.  For one we bottled it in April but have held on to it until now – something we learned from our first vintage of this wine, 2013, a little time in bottle does wonders and the 14 has proven to be no different. Additionally, while still from the same blocks of Riesling, gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris the ratio of the three is slightly different, there is a little more gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris than Riesling, giving the wine a warm spice component to go with all the floral and fruit components.  Barrel fermented in neutral oak to dryness and malolactic complete and per usual bottled without any filtration or fining.  Pear blossoms (with a little color) adorn the label. 451 cases produced, 28 dollars.

2014 Pinot gris – we continue to make this wine in the same fashion since 2010.  Five years in we still think that using everything the grape has to offer is best.  Henceforth it is fermented on the skins and stems, the reddish/grayish grape makes an orange wine that explodes with fruit, body and texture and salinity – seafood, especially fattier versions have always been an amazing accompaniment, I fully expect the 2014  version of this wine to hold up its end of the bargain.  Erosion control plants after the construction here at BTF grace the label.   162 cases produced, 32 dollars.

The Farm and Goings On

Spring and summer have been amazing! We have been at BTF now for 9 years this fall, amazing how time flies.  Our team has doubled in the last couple years – Tiffany is moving into year three and does a fantastic job, I am sure many of you have heard from her as she keeps the right wine moving in all the right directions. Jeff has helped us in the winery and farm for just over a year now, we depend on both for their hard work to keep things afloat.

We hosted Outstanding in the Field for the second time July 11 and it was maybe even more inspired than the first.  The weather was perfect, food amazing and staff exceptional.  The wine was OK.  Feeding 160 people at one big outdoor table is no small feat.  We also participated in the International Pinot Noir Celebration as a featured winery at the end of July, it was great to see old and new customers alike, and is a super event.  We poured the Laughing Pig Rosé at Drink pink at Patton valley vineyard to finish the month, also a super fun afternoon focused on rosé.

Thank you to all who have bumped down our dusty road to say hi and buy our wines.  I am truly amazed at the steady stream of people who come to see us. 

Thank you and cheers! Brian and Clare

For Customers

And for all you loyal fans out there, we have another exciting announcement: We’ve just upgraded our e-commerce system to a new platform that will help us better manage everything from our mailing list to order fulfillment. 

What this means for you: your customer accounts will be more secure, the wine ordering process will be simpler, and it will be easier for you to manage your account. To get your account up to date, you only need to do one thing: change your password.

If you are a returning customer of ours, go to this page and enter your email address so that we can send you a link for re-setting your password. Please do this before you shop; it’ll make the checkout process much easier for you!

If you're a new customer, you can create a log-in during the checkout process (after you’ve added wine to your cart and proceeded to checkout).

As always, we thank you so much for your patience and support.

Take a look at the wines we have in stock or go straight to the online wine shop