After more than a decade of success as a corporate tax attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dave Specter was emotionally and physically spent. His wife Sara convinced him to leave the profession and they turned the hobby that brought him joy—winemaking—into his new career. The pair had fallen in love with Newberg and the Willamette Valley while on vacation in 2008, subsequently moving here in 2012 and establishing Bells Up in 2013. The first wines were released Memorial Day 2015, coinciding with the opening of the estate winery/tasting room.
Bells Up offers seated private tastings by appointment with winemaker Dave at the winery daily, year-round. Exclusive to a single group—never double-booked—guests are welcome to bring a light meal to enjoy during the tastings. Barrel samples and vineyard tours frequently occur. Tastings are $20 per person, waived with a $75 per person wine purchase, and include the current line-up (typically five wines) and sweeping views of the estate vineyard, Newberg, Dundee Hills and south to the Eola-Amity Hills.
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 French horn player who performed through high school and college—says the winery is his “Bells Up” moment.