Who Ever Thought a French Horn Could Taste so Good?


By Linda Kissam, “Food, Wine & Shopping Diva”


Bells Up Winery is a beloved Oregon micro-boutique winery curated by winemaker and owner Dave Specter and his wife Sara. The winery makes approximately 600 cases annually.

Winemaker Dave explains, “The name Bells Up refers to a dramatic moment in classical music where the composer instructs French horn players to lift the bells of their instruments up and project sound with maximum intensity.” Dave, a former French horn player, says the winery is his “Bells Up” moment.

ON BIG BLEND RADIO: This episode features writer Linda Kissam, and Dave and Sara Specter, owners of Bells Up Winery in Oregon. Watch here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Acast.com.


Think beautiful tasting wines composed in a classically tailored style. The Pinot Noir, Rosé, Pinot Blanc, Seyval Blanc, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon are worth your time and money. The grapes are sourced exclusively from its estate, and from micro-sites in the Willamette Valley and Eastern Oregon.

Every Bells Up wine is named for a piece of classical music that, “… perfectly epitomizes the wine and/or prominently features the French horn, the instrument owner and winemaker Dave Specter played for more than 20 years.”

I was fortunate to taste two of the Bells Up wines. They are definitely Diva Approved. Bells Up wines are available for purchase exclusively through the tasting room. Orders are also accepted by phone or email. The winery ships throughout the U.S.

  • Bells Up Hornucopia Family
    Bells Up Hornucopia Family




2021 Helios

Estate Vineyard ∞ Chehalem Mountains AVA Seyval Blanc


Although this hybrid wine is found mostly in the Midwest and East Coast, it certainly has found a new home in Oregon. It shares many similarities to Sauvignon Blanc but with its own plucky style. The nose presents in citrus, fresh earth, and a faint but smooth mention-worthy diesel aroma. It is a distinct creaminess on the plate with lovely notes of grapefruit and pineapple.

Named for Carl Nielsen’s “Helios Overture, Opus 18.”

Per owner, Sara, “The 2021 Helios Seyval Blanc is DEFINITELY a food wine and can be paired with a variety of things like dill pickle popcorn, asparagus with Béarnaise and crab meat, fresh oysters, or halibut fish tacos with mango salsa.”

2020 Jupiter 

Estate Vineyard ∞ Chehalem Mountains AVA Pinot Noir

94 cases were produced. $50

Made of nearly equal parts heritage clone Pommard and Dijon clone 667 this wine on the nose presents with juicy cherry, pomegranate, black pepper, herbs, strawberry, and a touch of rhubarb. On the palate expect concentrated dark cherry flavors spiced up with notes of black pepper, some lovely earthy notes, and juicy blackberry, pomegranate, and red fruits on the finish. Drink now or hold for 5-10 years.

This wine is named for both Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” orchestral suite and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter.”

Pair with Urban Bliss Life Pinot Noir Chocolate Chip Brownies (click here for the recipe)

Delicious with the 2021 Jupiter Pinot Noir Barbecue Sauce (click here for the recipe)


Delving DeeperTasting Protocol

  • Only three sessions are offered daily, by appointment, at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. (Six guests per appointment, max.)
  • Tastings may be booked by calling the winery landline at 503.537.1328. Please allow 90 minutes for your group’s private session.
  • No tasting fees are charged. However, because your party will be enjoying Winemaker Dave’s full and exclusive attention for the entire appointment, there is a minimum 3-bottle purchase commitment per guest. No shared tastings, please.

Address: Bells Up Winery, 27895 NE Bell Rd, Newberg, OR 97132. Visit https://bellsupwinery.com/

Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’ is a professional travel, food, and wine writer who specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits. Visit www.AllInGoodTaste.info


Pacific Northwest Travel

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About the Author:

Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’ is a professional travel, food, and wine writer who specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits.

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