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

Speeding up science

News
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
02.25.14 Thumbnail MedwasteBY JOE ROJAS-BURKE | OB BLOGGER

The medical research enterprise wastes tens of billions of dollars a year on irrelevant studies. It’s time to fix it.


Read more...

The solution to youth unemployment

News
Thursday, February 27, 2014
02.27.14 Thumbnail TeenworkBY ERIC FRUITS

Because they have little chance of working for someone else, today’s teens need to be entrepreneurs. But, first, we must teach our teens that entrepreneurship starts small.


Read more...

How to handle the unexpected

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 28, 2014
03.28.14 thumb disasterBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

The next mysterious (or disastrous) event could be one that you or your team might suddenly need to respond to, probably under intense scrutiny.


Read more...

Are millennials reshaping politics in the Pacific Northwest?

News
Wednesday, April 02, 2014

MillennialsThumbA new report explores the impact of millennials on Oregon's business and political climate.


Read more...

Eking out a living

News
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
04.08.14 thumb ourtable-coopfarmsBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

It may be obvious, but most farmers don’t make a lot of money. According to preliminary data from the 2012 Agriculture Census, 52% of America’s 2.1 million principal farm-operators don’t call farming their primary occupation. Farm cooperatives may offer a solution.


Read more...

Green your workplace

News
Thursday, April 03, 2014
100Green14logo200oxBY OB STAFF

Learn how to green your workplace and lower your environmental footprint at the office. Oregon Business presents a two-hour "Greening Your Workplace" seminar on May 28th, 2014 at the Nines Hotel in Portland.


Read more...

Car ignition recalls and lean product design

Contributed Blogs
Friday, April 11, 2014
04.11.14 thumb gm-gettyTOM COX | OB BLOGGER

The auto industry is starting to share more costs across manufacturers for complex and challenging design work, like new transmission design, and certain new engine technologies. What we’re not yet seeing is wholesale outsourcing of “unavoidable waste” components to specialist companies.


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