Not long-ago Drew Bledsoe was throwing touchdowns in the NFL. Shortly after his retirement in 2007, they planted their first vineyard. Now its has now been more than ten years since they set out on their vineyard adventure. Throughout those years Drew learned and waited patiently for just the right time to open Bledsoe Family Winery. During this same time, the family established long-term sources from some of Walla Walla’s oldest blocks of vines.
“We are thrilled to be able to share our passion for wine with a community that has created so many wonderful opportunities and memories for our family,” said Drew Bledsoe, who moved to Bend with his family shortly after he retired from football in 2006. “Bend has long been a beer and outdoors town, both of which have become interwoven into the fabric of the town. And we felt that the timing is right to pair great wine with the area’s beloved outdoor-oriented culture, too, and to do so in a way that is both unique and fun. This has long been a dream for us.”
Walking in, guests are greeted by soaring ceilings, walls lined with staves that have been repurposed from Bledsoe Family Winery wine barrels, and large, roll-top doors that make for a seamless indoor-outdoor transition. The white quartz countertops are contrasted by a large barn mural on one of the interior walls that pays homage to the Bledsoe family’s Flying B ranch. in Ellensburg, Wash. The owners can also shop now if ever they want to replace those countertops.
The tasting room also offers indoor and patio seating on the first floor, a mezzanine for private tastings and events, and a lineup of wines available for purchase by the glass or bottle.
Director of winemaking Josh McDaniels explained “The Bledsoe Family Winery tasting room is designed to be open and accessible for all to enjoy,We want our guests to be able to enjoy a great wine in a beautiful space, while at the same time creating a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere, a hallmark of both Bend and Walla Walla.”
In addition to their brilliant line up of exceptional wines, the wine club only, White Label project stands alone. It was was created specifically for their wine club members only as they explore vineyards, varietals, and are moved by small lots.
2017 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley white label is exceptional. The Pinot Noir is sourced from
from the Ridgecrest vineyard planted in 1980, and the first vineyard to be planted on the Ribbon Ridge AVA. It is a blend of two renown clones, Pommard and Wadensvil was fermented in small, open top tanks with 30% whole cluster inclusion. The wine was then aged without racking for 16 months in 50% new French oak. One the nose- aromas of earth, red berries and black tea jump right out of the glass. On the palate red cherry, all spice and perfect acidy all come together in a nice balance at the finish with soft tannins.
A visit to the brand new winery in Walla Walla is a must stop for any Oenophile and lover of fine Oregon wines.