Home Back Issues April 2013 Ripe time for urban vintners

Ripe time for urban vintners

| Print |  Email
Articles - April 2013
Monday, April 01, 2013
Article Index
Ripe time for urban vintners
Page 2

BY KARLA STARR

0413 FOB Dispatches DrinkCity 01
Winemakers Kevin Ross and Bob Switzer of Seven Bridges Winery prepare for a tasting at the shop's North Portland location.
// Photo by Sierra Breshears

Portland Wineries

  • Alchemy Wine Productions
  • Boedecker Cellars
  • Bow & Arrow Wines
  • Clay Pigeon Winery
  • Division Winemaking Co.
  • Enso Winery
  • Fausse Piste
  • Grochau Cellars
  • Helioterra Wines
  • Hip Chicks Do Wine
  • Jan-Marc Wine Cellars
  • Seven Bridges Winery
  • Vincent Wine Company

After shelling out for acreage, machinery, landscaping, labor costs, bottling and marketing, budding vintners would be lucky to start a standard winery in the Willamette Valley for anything less than several hundred thousand dollars.

But in Portland, another business model for wineries is sprouting that’s more like founding Facebook than starting a farm. “We have a standard startup story,” says Bob Switzer, co-owner of Seven Bridges Winery in North Portland. “We started in a garage.”

Call it a natural expansion of Oregon’s fertile wine regions and Portland’s rich microbrewery scene. Today Portland boasts at least 13 commercial wineries within city limits, most of which have opened in the past three years. With such low startup costs (a few thousand dollars of credit card debt seems the norm) and little need for physical space (an empty garage or basement will do), it’s almost surprising that the trend took so long to catch on in the foodie, DIY enclave of Portland.

Urban wineries function like any other winemaking venture, save for one factor: Rather than owning acreage and harvesting their own grapes, they rely on buying grapes from outside vineyards.

“It doesn’t mean that we won’t get screwed in a year if we don’t get all the grapes we want,” says Laurie Lewis, co-founder of Hip Chicks Do Wine in Southeast Portland, one of the oldest vintners in Portland. “But with the lower overhead, it’s a little easier to manage than a traditional winery.”

 



 

More Articles

Detox fashion

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Remember mood rings? A team of scientists at Oregon State University has designed what might be considered a 21st-century analog of the ’70s jewelry fad: a bracelet that reveals one’s exposure to pollutants.


Read more...

Portland: Where young people go to work?

News
Friday, June 06, 2014
UntitledBY KATIE AUSBURGER | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

How to build a hipster-friendly work environment.


Read more...

Oregon Business wins awards

News
Monday, June 30, 2014

ASBPEOregon Business magazine won two silver awards for excellence in writing in the National American Society of Business Publication Editors Western region competition.


Read more...

The role of higher education as K-12 underperforms

Contributed Blogs
Friday, May 30, 2014
ThumbChalkboardBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Since 1970 the performance of our public education system has steadily deteriorated.


Read more...

Understanding Oregon medical marijuana dispensary tenants

News
Friday, June 13, 2014
061314 thumb grassrentBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST BLOGGER

This article summarizes the key considerations a building owner must keep in mind when thinking about leasing to a medical marijuana dispensary.


Read more...

Trends in business succession

News
Thursday, July 03, 2014
TrendsBY TED AUSTIN & MIKE BAELE | GUEST CONTRIBUTORS

The Office of Economic Analysis announced that Oregon is currently enjoying the strongest job growth since 2006. While this resurgence has been welcome, the lingering effects of the 2008 “Great Recession” continues to affect Oregon businesses, especially with regard to estate planning and business succession.


Read more...

Oversight? Or gaming the system?

News
Monday, July 14, 2014
AmazonBY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER

Some people think Amazon’s winking eye logo is starting to look like a hoodwink.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS