Harvest begins in August in Oregon

I tasted Bluet and found the wines to be volatile in a way that was overbearing, kind of like sparkling vinegar. I dumped it down the drain.

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I seem to remember you were sitting beside me while church was in session… [berserker.gif]

The name of the distillery is Die The Wolf (don’t die the sheep, y’know?) but right now it still only produces stuff under the previous name which is Dogwood Distillery and those items are a very nice vodka and gin at very attractive price points. The niche stuff like blueberry eau de vie and quite possibly a hazelnut liqueur (that doesn’t take like Frengelica) and stuff like that will be under Die The Wolf.

Kelley and I own a company called (there is literally no relation here it’s just pure coincidence) Wolves Above. We plan, at this point, to bottle the wine under that name. We shall see.

Glad Kirk chimed in.

We will kick off fermentations tomorrow morning. Don’t need a long cold soak to get blueberries to release color!

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Ha! (true) [cheers.gif]

Shouldn’t it be Der Wolf?


When I was kid in Oregon we would go to summer school and a SCHOOL BUS would pick us up at noon and take us to pick strawberries and blueberries. Got paid pennies.

It was slave labor. No kidding.

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Strawberries have to be a bit easier than blueberries, bigger and fill up the container more quickly.

I only picked wild blueberries on the side of a mountain except maybe one time when I don’t really recall the location. Tasty but very slow picking. Would never sign up for it.


Here in Maine there is a blueberry rake that people use that makes picking a lot easier for the small berries. It would take forever to pick Maine blueberries by hand. they’re not the same ones you buy in most grocery stores. Ours are about 1/3 the size.

super cool Jim, looking forward to trying these when they come out! We pick blueberries locally every year, just finished picking 48lbs - tedious for sure! but so worth it.

Yeah, that rake is vital, but there’s still a lot of work after using it to separate berries from the bits of stem that are still connected (as you know, just pointing it out for the sake of conversation, having done this process myself over the years). For anyone who doesn’t know, the reward is a significantly more flavorful berry than what most people are used to. Thinking about that, I guess the flavor concentration of the raw fruit translates to those Bartlett wines often being comparable to something like a Rhône Syrah, or in the case of the (singular?) 2010, maybe left bank Bordeaux. So I’m not surprised to hear that the Oregon berries could become something more delicate and Pinot Noir like.

I’m so glad Jim and Kelley have taken this on. Thank you. Hopefully after a few seasons, and then in many years when the wines have begun to mature (wild assumption here, but based on the aging curve of the Bartlett wines and the winemaking team behind these ones), more people will see how good blueberry wine can be.

And of course, huge thanks to Kirk for introducing so many of us to the Bartlett wines.

We have 11 fermenters going, all with right around 1 ton in them. We had to have lower levels than we would with grapes because pigeaging them is extremely difficult. They are obviously more mucilaginous than grapes and with less “free run” juice (basically, none) coming out of them. Were these at normal grape depths in the fermenters it would be like trying to get out of a quicksand trap. We inoculated the winery fermenters this morning after two very hard core days of pigeage by Kelley. We are going to wait a day or two (if possible even three but I doubt it) on the distillery fermenters before kicking those off. Everything smells great right now and I expect once we are rolling into full fledged fermentation it will basically smell like a blueberry muffin factory in here.

Oregon blueberries are definitely not as “intense” as Maine blueberries. These do have really nice flavor and are actually fairly high in sugar (nearly 14 brix) but I don’t expect that we will get resulting wine that is much like Bartlett. We did make a 60 pound batch from berries these folks had frozen from the 2020 harvest. It turned out nicely although we did learn some lessons along the way, which is great as we weren’t trying to make a commercial wine. We then distilled that to eau de vie and even though the amount was so small that our distiller had to use her small home still, which definitely is not as sophisticated as the professional one at the distillery, the results were exceptional. Not to be too big in our britches about it but the tiny amount of EDV she produced we tasted against some of the most expensive EDVs in the world and, let’s just say, we’re going to be on their corner.

Excited. Long way to go but all good right now.


What a very cool project! Thanks JM for sharing the news along the way.

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I cant believe it took me two days to see this! what a cool project!

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Jim. I want some of the blueberry wine and eau de vie! Any way you could just post a link to order both? I’m in, sounds delicious…

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Boondoggle projects are the best! Of course, I went crazy and picked Napa and you two picked…blueberries. Huh. It’s genius.

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We sure appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm. We’re pretty confident our plans are going to work out on both fronts. That being said we’ve neither made blueberry wine nor eau de vie before at anything other than a trial run level. We will hold off on our sales schedules for the time being but we hope in the upcoming months that there will be increased enthusiasm as we can bring positive reports of tasting notes.


This project is delightfully crazy, I’ve loved following this thread. And ofc I hope to try the result. I’m glad you guys are doing this at good scale. Hah, 11 roto fermenters! Awesome! Pls keep sharing updates.

The title of this thread keeps triggering me. Not yet!! Not yet!!!


If you want to move to Maine…I know a winery for sale here. :slight_smile:

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