5 Urban Wineries & Tasting Rooms in Portland to Visit this Fall

In the big city and can’t make it out to wine country? No worries you can still get your wine on in Portland this fall. Try one, or all five, of these  tasting rooms and sip away while the last leaves fall and the rain soaks the street.

Portland Pairings

Pairings PortlandNot sure what to have with dinner? Then head to Pairings Portland to grab a bottle and some inspiration! This fun and funky wine shop organizes its wine by pairings – from food to movies, music, and more. Stop by for one of its weekly tasting flights, to buy a bottle, or for a glass with live music throughout the month. If you don’t want to cook dinner, grab a bit to eat across the street from Pairings and bring it in to enjoy with a custom paired bottle of wine.

SE Wine Collective

Division WineFeaturing 10 small, urban wineries under one roof, this southeast Division tasting room is a delectable and diverse evening spot for a flight of wine. Sample a rousing round of Pinot Noir by four different producers, a mixed flight, or the tap flight, which includes wines that are all available in kegs. Sit around with a glass of wine from its long list paired with a small tray of tasty bits.

Taste on 23rd

Taste on 23rd via FlickrHead down Northwest 23rd avenue for an afternoon of window shopping, an artisan lunch and then a flight of wines at this corner spot. With only a handful of seats, it’s a great location for an intimate tasting for two. Instead of sorting their wine list by region, this tasting bar organizes the wine by texture. Find just the right feel for each day.

ENSO

ENSO bottling via FlickrDark and moody, this tasting room feels more like a Portland bar then winery – but that’s its appeal! Get a group of friends together for a night out on the town and start with a flight of this urban winery’s old-world style wines. Sourcing grapes from three different states (Washington, Oregon, and California) and crafting the small-lot batches in their Buckman neighborhood garage wine lounge, ENSO focuses on making wines that are expressive of their site, the winery’s style, and its trendy customers.

Noble Rot Wine Bar

Noble Rot Wine Bar by Chris via FlickrAt this unique wine bar, come for their amazing wine list and stay for dinner. Showcasing delicious seasonal cuisine (they even have a roof top garden to grow their own veggies!),  Noble Rot knows how to prepare a full meal for the senses. From perfectly paired wines with each course, to simple wine flights that change with the weather, you can’t go wrong on a date night at this location. Reservation highly recommended.

Dig into Oregon Wine

If you missed Lenne’s last dirty event, you are in luck. They are at it again. Come out to Lenne Estate and discover why they say “soil is everything!”

Enjoy a blind tasting of eight high-end Oregon Pinot Noirs and learn how terroir, the soul and the essence of the wine, influences its flavor profile. The event will showcase four wines from the Dundee Hills and four from Yamhill-Carlton. Sample each and learn how volcanic soil differs from sedimentary soil.

  • When: November 9th, 10:30 a.m. – noon
  • Where: 18760 NE Laughlin Road ~ Yamhill, OR 97148
  • Cost: $25 per person
  • RSVP: By tickets online

7 Thanksgiving Table Cork Crafts

With the big din coming up quick, it’s time to get your table (and wine list) set. So as you are preparing your grocery list, cleaning the fire place and shopping for a new table cloth, add these simple crafts to the line up to make the day delightfully crafty!

1. Cork Place Cards

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2. Owl Wall Decoration

Owl Cork craft

3. Cork Serving Tray

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4. Cute Cork Turkeys

cork turkeys

5. Cork Butter Knives

butter knifes cork

6. Cork Candle Holders

candle holders

7. Cork Pumpkin Decoration

cork pumpkin

Real World Wines by Union Wine Company

Wines for the real world, Union Wine Co invites you to sip, savor or even throw a soiree with their delectable pours.

Union Wine Co Riesling

Crafted from some of the oldest Riesling vineyards in Oregon (1968), the Kings Ridge Riesling by Union Wine Company lets loose with flavors of apple, stone fruit and a flinty finish. Without being overly nostalgic to its old vine grapes, the wine remains fresh, clean and lively.

Union Wine Pinot Noir

A blend from vineyards in both the Willamette and Umpqua Valleys, the Underwood Pinot noir is a great Monday night wine. Pick up a bottle, bring it to the Potluck, or savor it to yourself. Any way you drink it, it will fit like a skinny pair of jeans. Featuring notes of subtle blue and red fruit, this Pinot noir is light and bouncy on the palate.

Union Wine Company’s goal is to make Oregon wines that are affordable and delicious and so far from what I’ve tasted they are right on the money. With three separate labels, Underwood, Kings Ridge and Alchemist, this winery has something for everyone’s taste buds.

I still have four more of their wines to try, so stay tuned!

Illahe’s 2012 Rose of Tempranillo

Pink is the new black in Oregon and Illahe’s Rose is the hippest of them all!

Illahe Rose

A pale salmon pink, Illahe’s Rosé of Tempranillo features aromas of cherries followed by equally as delicious notes of strawberry, dry flowers and spice on the palate. Balancing the delicate flavors, the wine pinched the cheeks with nice citrus on the finish and tantalizing acidity.

Illahe Vineyards (pronounced Ill-Uh-Hee) is located in Dallas, Oregon and open Thursday to Saturday, 11am-4pm or by appointment.

Get Dirty for Oregon Wine

Get down to the dirt about Oregon wine at Lenne Estate!

This saturday, August 24 from 10:30 – noon, enjoy a comparative tasting of wines produced from two different soil types and locations. It’s a head-to-head battle that will be oh-so-palate-pleasing. Enjoy samples of four wines from the volcanic, Dundee Hills and four wines from the sedimentary, Yamhill-Carlton district and learn how these soils play into each wines’ flavor profile.

Tickets are $25 per person and must be purchased in advance. Find out more on Lenne Estate’s website.

Youngberg Hill’s Pinot Blanc

This crisp, citrusy white wine is an instant summer classic!

Youngberg Pinot Blanc

If you closed your eyes and breathed in the aromas of Youngberg‘s Pinot Blanc, you’d think you were waking up on a lake shore with the wind softy blowing at sunrise. It’s aromatic notes of grapefruit, grass and petrol swift through leaving only summer lingering on the mind like the warm of the sun. Then it’s flavor profile takes your palate there. With full-bodied flavors of stone-fruit, citrus and heady minerality, the wine envelops the mouth. And the finish lingers briefly before slowing falling off with hints of tropical fruits.

Fermented in 50% neutral oak and 50% stainless steel, this Pinot Blanc also shows off the best of both worlds. The mouthfeel is silky with touches of vanilla from the oak yet still retains the fresh fruit flavors of the grape variety thanks to the stainless steel. With just enough acidity and alcohol, the wine’s finish (especially the first few, cold sips) leaves the mouth with a nice zing!

More from Youngberg Hill:

2008 Jordan Pinot Noir

Harper Voit’s 2012 Old Vine Riesling

If you could grow a fruit orchard on a stone bed, you’d get this amazing wine.

Harper Voit Riesling

Harper Voit’s Old Vine Riesling greets with a nose of lemon-lime zest, flowers and vanilla wafers. Then it says hello with a blend of guava, grapefruit, citrus and cool slate minerality on the palate. Cutting in with a kick of acidity and only 1.3% residual sugar, the Riesling perfectly balances the juicy, tropical notes of the varietal with a mouthfeel that is not only food worthy but also creamy and luscious. Sourced from the Maresh Vineyard, Harper Voit’s Riesling is crafted with grapes from vines planted in 1970 and you can tell.

Harper Voit is a small lot winery located near Gaston, Oregon. Producing only 850 cases each year, the winemaker, Drew Voit, specializes in creating quality wines that aren’t afraid of food. A veteran in the Oregon wine industry, Voit previously made wines for Shea Wine Cellars and Domaine Serene Winery before starting his own label with the 2009 vintage.

Visit Harper Voit on Beacon Hill by appointment.

Moving on with Kramer Wines

I recently moved to a new house in Portland out on the East side with two strangers from Craigslist. To celebrate and get to know each other, I opened a trio of some of my favorite wines by Kramer Vineyards. Like my new roommates, each of the wines brought a new flavor and flare to the palate and to the flat.

Starting with Kramer’s 2010 Brut Sparkling Wine, we enjoyed the tart citrus fizz and fruity flavors of this 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir blend. Welcoming notes filled and prepped our palates as we settled in, already more comfortable with each others’ company.
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Next we popped the cork on Kramer's 2009 Pinot Gris. Chill and mellow, this white wine was personality-perfect for one of my new roomies. Featuring food friendly notes, the Pinot Gris was round with a balanced acidity from its 9 months of aging in neutral oak.

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Finally to finish the night, we opened Kramer’s 2010 Heritage Pinot Noir. My beard-clad, beer brewing roommate adored this wine. Swirling and sniffing like it was his favorite brew – and matched with earthy dark fruit flavors, it was an easy glass for him.

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Celebrating 30 years in Oregon Wine, Kramer Vineyards knows how to bottle high quality wines that are unwavering each year yet allows each new vintage to show off its personality. And after moving more than once a year, I made sure to cheers with their wines in hope that some of that trusted longevity will rub off on my new home.

2009 Amity Vineyards’ Pinot Noir

Drink up Oregon wine county’s rich history in Amity Vineyards’ Pinot Noir.

Amity Vineyards Pinot Noir

One of their two ECO-Wines, Amity Vineyard’s 2009 Pinot Noir is bright and green with notes of cherry, red fruit, cola and a little fresh earth. The color, like squished black cherries, and aroma of black licorice and spiced cherry cobbler, make the seemingly simple wine complex as layers peel back with each sip – even without oak aging.

Using only certified organic grapes, Amity’s ECO-Wines are produced without the addition of sulfur dioxide, commonly known as “sulfites,” which helps to stabilize and preserve the wine. Fermented in stainless steel tanks, the wines take on the true characteristics and flavors of their varietals and flourish as easy-drinkers.

A pioneer in Oregon wine country, Myron Redford started making wine at Amity Vineyards in 1974. Grown and made famous on their now robust stalks of Pinot Noir, the vineyard is known for its high-quality, fruit forward wines in the heart of wine country. The tasting room is located just north of the vineyards namestake in Amity, Oregon.

Read more about Amity Vineyards and their wines in my upcoming article in Take Root Magazine.