Perhaps you've heard of the passport to Portland's Distillery Row. Perhaps you've already taken the trail to some of southeast Portland's urban distilleries; if not you can read about one stop at Eastside Distilling here. But have you heard about the PDX Urban Winery Passport?
This passport is a map, a guide and a massive cost saver as you trailblaze Portland's urban wineries. Some of these spots are hard to find, but with your passport buddy, you shouldn't have any trouble. Just be prepared for some great wine and a unique look into some of Portland's hidden spaces. In addition there are more than twenty partnering businesses offering discounts and coupons. Just for $20!
Hip Chicks do Wine is Portland's oldest urban winery and a great place to start the tour, since it's the furthest south. Tucked behind the Brooklyn Rail Yard, the Hip Chicks have been making wine since 1999. You can even see the growth of renagade grape seeds flourishing in this urban, industrial environment. Walk inside the Hip Chicks do Wine warehouse, and you'll straightaway see barrels, fermenters and cases of wine being prepped for sale. Idyllic pastoral setting this is not. The epitome of an urban winery this is.
Working with blends and single varietals, Renee and Laurie take their winemaking seriously, but this isn't your snooty wine tasting room. Prepare for fun. Hip Chicks do Wine is open seven days a week 11-6.
Just a few blocks north, discover Alchemy Wine Productions. Inside this light-filled, industrial space, you will find some delicious Rhone varietals to enjoy (and the prerequisite Willamette Valley Pinot Noir). Chances are Nic Donahue will be behind the bar, ready to educate you on wine and regale you with stories. Just ask about the shelving—Hollywood ghost stories! Alchemy is open Saturday and Sunday, only, so if you want to hit all the urban wine countries in one day, plan accordingly.
Continuing your northward journey, find SE Wine Collective, where you can taste wines from a number of different wine makers, including Helioterra Wines, Vincent Wine Company and Division Winemaking Company. Now you're a bit more on the beaten track, as this location is in the heart of bustling Division Street. Visitors get more of a feeling of a wine bar than an actual winery and tasting room, but don't be fooled.
A cheese plate can help cleanse your palate and prepare you for some stand out wines like Division's Red Collar Chardonnay and Helioterra's Woah, Nelly! Melon de Bourgogne. SE Wine Collective is open Wednesday through Sunday, with mutable hours.
Northward, march! ENSO Winery is located on SE Stark street, and it is the last urban winery in SE Portland. ENSO is a delightful space in the heart of hip Stark Street. Bright, warm and inviting, this can easily become a favorite wine spot. In addition they serve Olympic Provisions salami, cheese from Steve’s Cheese Bar and bread and oil from Little T Bakery. Way to support local and delicious!
Like Hip Chicks do Wine, ENSO is open seven days a week. In this bar type atmosphere, you're not guaranteed to speak with a wine maker, but you are guaranteed some interesting selections. Check out their intriguing Sauvignon Blanc and Muller-Thurgau blend, Counoise and Mourvedre.
Above the Mason-Dixon line of Portland are two more wineries using the PDX Urban Wineries passport, including Jan-Marc Wine Cellars and Seven Bridges Winery. Seven Bridges is open on Saturdays and Jan-Marc is by appointment only.
Get your PDX Urban Wineries passport now and start tasting some great urban Portland wine.