After recently being chosen as this year’s Oregon Winery to Watch by Wine Press Northwest, owner and winemaker Ryan Sharp aims to live up to those expectations. He’s a man on the move, in constant motion, even working during our interview.
Inspired after visiting a winery in the Willamette Valley, Sharp returned to his urban winery and decided to gussie things up a bit.
“My winery space looked a little ghetto after seeing what another winery had done. Since my Dad was in town, I put him to work and we covered a wall in wood. It looks great and gives the winery a homey feel,” says Ryan Sharp, owner & winemaker of ENSO Winery.
With the winery’s second anniversary coming up, Sharp has learned how to improve some areas of his business and fill in gaps where he can. After selling out his first vintage years before expected, the winery upped production by 1000 cases and has diversified the line up. Going from 1500 to 2500 annual cases will ensure that more people have access to ENSO’s many wines.
ENSO Winery will release three new wines this year; an Orange wine, a Pinot blanc and a rare Pinot noir/Chardonnay field blend from the Willamette Valley called the Prince. While the Prince won’t be available until summer, the new Orange wine and Pinot blanc will debut with a celebration on April 27. Sharp has invited fellow winemakers Matt Berson of Love & Squalor and Sterling Whitted of Holden Wines to join the party. Never heard of Holden Wines? Well this will be the world introduction of the new wine brand so don’t miss it.
Partnering up with other wineries, including those in the PDX Urban Winery group, not only allows for additional exposure but also stretched ENSO’s wine supply during the first year. Even with increased production, Sharp anticipates a shortage again since he’s now got ENSO wines into several local restaurants. As more people try his wines, he expects more visitors to the winery’s tasting room, eventually driving a need for higher production levels next year.
With educational classes, a rentable space for parties and a number of First Friday guest winemakers pouring their wines, ENSO Winery will continue to innovate Portland’s urban wine scene. So keep an eye on this rising star and try their wines, you’ll like what you taste!
1416 SE Stark Street