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Raptor Ridge Winery Blog



Annie Shull
April 1, 2021 | Annie Shull

April 2021 Newsletter

Mid-April Updates:

Flight Club Thursdays are here!

Members, join us in the tasting room every Thursday from 5-8pm for a glass of wine, an empanada, and socially-distant togetherness. Tickets for April and May Happy Hours are available on our Winery Events Calendar. We cannot wait to enjoy the extra daylight hours with you!

Not yet a member? Find the club that's right for you by responding to this email. 


$99 AVA Packs are ending on April 30th!

Choose between our four packages, Yamhill-Carlton (40% off), McMinnville (45% off), Eola-Amity (27% off), and Chehalem Mountains (45% off), or get them all with the Full Series (40% off).

Shop the AVA Series
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Time Posted: Apr 1, 2021 at 1:00 PM Permalink to April 2021 Newsletter Permalink
Annie Shull
March 1, 2021 | Annie Shull

March 2021 Newsletter

Mid-March Updates:

Flight Club Thursdays start this week!

Members, starting this week, join us in the tasting room every Thursday from 5-8pm for a glass of wine, an empanada, and socially-distant togetherness. Tickets for March and April Happy Hours are available on our Winery Events Calendar. We cannot wait to enjoy the extra daylight hours with you!

Not yet a member? Find the club that's right for you by clicking here


$99 AVA Packs are back!

As the world begins to reopen and we patiently await the day that we can again explore new places and the wines and cuisines that come with those adventures, join us for a tour of the American Viticultural Areas that are nested in Oregon's Willamette Valley. 

Choose between our four packages, Yamhill-Carlton, McMinnville, Eola-Amity, and Chehalem Mountains, or get them all with the Full Series.

Events Calendar
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Time Posted: Mar 1, 2021 at 1:00 PM Permalink to March 2021 Newsletter Permalink
Annie Shull
February 1, 2021 | Annie Shull

February 2021 Newsletter

Happy February!

February Updates

Is your cellar or wine fridge feeling a little sparse after the holidays? Click the button below to visit our online shop, featuring shipping discounts, Valentine's packages, library wines, and $70 magnums from vintages as early as 2011. Give us a call at (503)628-8463 or an email if you would like some assistance with your selections. 

To our neighbors: After a long month of the tasting room being closed, we are so excited to be safely reopening with more COVID precautions than ever to ensure your visit is as safe as it is enjoyable. Visit our reservation system to make your outdoor appointment now! Don't worry, blankets will be provided! If an outdoor tasting sounds daunting, consider a virtual tasting, detailed below.

To our members: Keep an eye on your inbox for our first ever wine club survey! We are so excited to hear about your 2020 membership experience and look forward to the opportunity to share more great wine with you this year. If you have any questions about  this survey or your membership in general, feel free to email Caroline.

Start Shopping

Visit Tuscowallame Estate From Near or Far!

If the current climate or canceled travel plans make an in-person visit impossible for the next few months, never fear! Until you can come and see us in person, visit us virtually!

Virtual Visit Tickets

Valentine's Day Is Fast Approaching!

If you're still looking for the perfect gift, check out our all-new Valentine's Day Packages. With discounts ranging from 15%-50% off with vintages dating back to 2013, you are sure to find something you love. 


Also featured are our limited-production Rose MAGNUMS, only $48 ($38.40 club). 

Shop Here

Winemaker's Update

The red wines have recently finished their secondary Malolactic fermentation and are regularly being topped and maintained.   We will be tasting through and evaluating the different Pinot noir vineyard lots in February. 

-Shannon Gustafson, Winemaker

Copyright © 2020 Raptor Ridge Winery, All rights reserved.

Time Posted: Feb 1, 2021 at 1:00 PM Permalink to February 2021 Newsletter Permalink
Annie Shull
May 30, 2015 | Annie Shull

In The Vineyard with Scotty Shull: Winegrowing for Quality

This week, we begin a series authored by Founding Winemaker Scotty Shull sharing his basic insights on winemaking, winegrowing, and what inspires him to continue perfecting his craft as an Oregon Pinot Noir producer.  The first installment takes us into the vineyards where it all starts… enjoy, and let us know what you think! -Annie

With pride, I call our work "winegrowing" because to make good wine entails a holistic approach. Tending the wine from the roots, through the vines, to the harvest and into the cellar and beyond is like modern day alchemy—Earth,Wind, Fire, and Water.


With all our vineyards, but especially our Raptor Ridge Estate Vineyard, we are monitoring and managing the soil, the vines, and their fruit throughout the growing season. We view ourselves as part of nature's process; we are part of the creation of these wines. We monitor soil nutrition levels through annual soil sampling and analysis of nutrient levels, pH levels, water holding capacity, and general "tilth.” This even includes watching our friendly earth worm population.  If something is deficient, we address it with cover cropping or feeding with our bi-weekly canopy spraying. We plant legumes and rye grass and till them back into the soil to provide "green manure.”

Wind & Fire & Water

In our Estate Vineyard, which is our bellwether for what we do across the Willamette valley, we monitor temperature, wind, soil moisture, and light radiation. We then use the data to tell us how much water the plants are using on a daily basis (evapotranspiration). Certainly we want plants to struggle and produce fruit with character, but we don't want them to stress out to the extent that they produce off-notes with vegetal characteristics. Balance is the key, so we must watch the plants and measure the environment and make decisions.

Pruning, Tracking, Irrigating, Tuning, and Tasting

We prune the vines in February and then make a prediction, vineyard by vineyard, as to the crop load and canopy 'style' we want that coming year.

Throughout the growing season, we're tracking heat unit accumulation (Growing Degree Days) to estimate how much fruit the vines want to ripen this vintage. A cooler vintage may ripen less than two tons per acre.  A warmer vintage would ripen too fast with such little fruit and may want to hang more than three tons per acre. We use our best judgement to manage crop levels based on the long range seasonal weather forecast. By mid-growing season we make our final call and may come through our vines and drop more than half the crop on the ground.

We have the ability in our Estate Vineyard-- and a few of our leased sites like Gran Moraine, Goodrich, and Meredith Mitchell Vineyard, to efficiently drip small amounts of water onto the root zone of the vine. This provides each vine with the right amount of water to avoid stress, yet continue the struggle, which is called deficit irrigation.

As a final means of “tuning” the vines for optimal ripening, we may go through the vineyard and actually hand pull a few leaves off the vine right at the fruit zone. This allows each wine grape cluster to bathe in sunlight and air which develops more skin color and tannins, while at the same time naturally fights plant diseases such as mildew and botrytis.

As the end of the growing season nears, we're regularly tasting and sampling each block of the vineyards from which we source our wines. Tasting is the most important step, but it is also key to monitor the chemistry, including sugar levels (potential alcohol) as well as pH (mouth feel) and total acid (TA to maintain length and freshness).

Spectral photograph demonstrating vine vigor

 Annually, we invest in aerial spectral photography of our vineyards, which helps us  visualize vine vigor and crop load. Visually, it can guide us in our block-by-block  harvest decisions as well as give us feedback about our cover cropping and feeding  regimen throughout the year. This closes the loop on each season’s farming activity,  and tells us where to go, vine-by-vine, in the coming years.Annually, we invest in  aerial spectral photography of our vineyards, which helps us visualize vine vigor and  crop load.




            (aerial spectral photograph of Estate vineyard)

Time Posted: May 30, 2015 at 8:40 AM Permalink to In The Vineyard with Scotty Shull: Winegrowing for Quality Permalink
Annie Shull
March 15, 2015 | Annie Shull

In Flight for 20 Years

In Flight for 20 Years
As we launch this new website and ready ourselves for our 5th summer of visitors to our Chehalem Mountain Estate, we plan to keep in closer touch with you through this Blog space. Scotty and I will take turns updating you with stories. From the windshield of his Tuscowallame Estate Tractor to my travels across the country and the connections I make through Raptor Ridge Oregon Pinot Noir, we have found that community can happen just as easily in a car working with a sales rep as it can at the tasting room bar, around a Summer Lunch table, or on a yoga mat at one of our Yoga In… the Vines retreats at Raptor Ridge. All of your stories and observations on and about Pinot and enjoyment of the Pacific Northwest are important to us. We value the time we take to get to know each and every one. 

Scotty will undoubtedly add his quirky (and always educational) roving video footage as he checks vineyards and tends Tuscowallame Estate throughout the V.2015 growing season. I will regale you with stories and insights from the yoga and meditation mat to the road. 

Top of mind right now is the fact that we are celebrating our 20th anniversary the same year that the Willamette Valley is celebrating its 50th. Relative to the rest of the winegrowing regions, Raptor Ridge is still a gangly teenager, while the Willamette Valley is perhaps more through graduate school and starting a family of its own. We’ve gone through quite an evolution in these two decades. Some of you Flight Club members may have met us when we were still holding private tastings in the kitchen at Wildhaven Lane, making the wine out of a converted sheep barn 50 yards up a forest path from that kitchen table. We’ve traversed the Willamette Valley since those days, making wine from Gaston, to McMinnville to Carlton, collaborating with other small brands along the way to get their vineyards and tasting rooms established while they were still growing. 

When we commercialized in 1995, we were winery #172. The North Willamette Valley alone now boasts over 400 wine brands. We’ve gone from being distributed in 3 states in 1996 to nearly 30 in 2015. We now ship to 46 states, and have a 3-tier wine club. Growing can be a blessing and a challenge. The most important thing to us, however, is to keep a high quality product and customer service that continues to earn us a sustained connection to you: our Guests, Flight Club Members, Distributors, Retailers, Restaurateurs,  Sommelier, and Server community. We are truly grateful for your support, enthusiasm and sustained interest in Raptor Ridge wines.

Time Posted: Mar 15, 2015 at 1:45 PM Permalink to In Flight for 20 Years Permalink
Annie Shull
March 13, 2014 | Annie Shull

Welcome to Raptor Ridge Winery Blog!

Today we launched our new website for Raptor Ridge Winery.  This is the begining of a new adventure in our winery business.  We invite you to come in and take a look around our virtual winery online and then come visit us in Newberg, Oregon when you are in the area, we would love to meet you!

Annie & Scott Shull

Time Posted: Mar 13, 2014 at 11:42 AM Permalink to Welcome to Raptor Ridge Winery Blog! Permalink

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