Sponsored by Lane Powell

Ripe time for urban vintners

| Print |  Email
Articles - April 2013
Monday, April 01, 2013


0413 FOB Dispatches DrinkCity 02
0413 FOB Dispatches DrinkCity 03
Enso Winery owner Ryan Sharp transfers Grenache wine from barrels to tank to prepare for bottling. The so-called "racking" separates the liquid from remaining sediment.
// Photos by Sierra Breshears

Opening a winery in the city does have its drawbacks, including steeper rents. But with comparatively scant startup costs, it’s much easier to grow a metropolitan winery than a typical one, says Jill Ross, who handles all non-winemaking tasks at Seven Bridges Winery in North Portland, which released its first vintage in 2008. Ross says husband Kevin and Switzer, Seven Bridges’ winemakers, are “both engineers, always tinkering with the process. They just wanted to make the best wine, and the business grew from there.”

The urban location also allows for increased interaction with customers. “About 80% of our business is direct to client,” says Lewis, most of which comes from their wine club, in-store sales, release parties and events like their annual “Squishfest.”

Enso Winery in Southeast Portland opened its doors in 2009 and is one of several wineries diversifying by offering tastings and happy hours, and holding joint events with restaurants. “We’re set up like a wine bar,” says owner Ryan Sharp. “We can charge by the glass. So from a business standpoint, we’re dealing with much higher margins than strictly wholesale.”

Until more customers learn that they don’t have to leave the city limits to discover great wine, the Willamette Valley remains the standard location. But when it comes to luring in new hordes, a Portland address may be just the right choice for the startup vintner set. Seven Bridges gets “a lot of people in the tasting room who wouldn’t normally go wine tasting in the valley. “They come in during bike rides,” says Ross. “You don’t have to make a day of a visit.”


More Articles

Counterpoint: CLT not as green as people think

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
photo-flickr-glasseyes viewthymbBY GREGG LEWIS | OP-ED

The issue of green-washing remains a significant challenge to those of us who would like to see the building sector in this country do more than make unverifiable claims of sustainability. Transparency about the impacts of a given material is the only way to allow designers to make intelligent choices when selecting building products.


5 marijuana business people share strategy ahead of recreational sales rollout

The Latest
Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ahead of the recreational rollout, what are dispensary owners most concerned about ?


The Cover Story

Linda Baker
Thursday, August 27, 2015
01-cover-0915-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

How do you put a baby on the cover of a business magazine without it looking too cutesy?


More Than Meets the Eye

Guest Blog
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Janet Yellen official Federal Reserve portrait-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | CFA

On September 17, the much anticipated Fed decision was delivered and the equity markets haven't liked it.


Have a baby and keep a job? It won’t be easy in Portland

The Latest
Friday, October 02, 2015
100115kimblogthumbBY KIM MOORE

Our intrepid (and expecting) research editor finds the child care search involves long waiting lists, costly fees and no certainty of securing a place before she goes back to work.


Living the dream

Friday, August 21, 2015

smugglespearsthumbRenee Spears, founder and owner of Portland-based Rose City Mortgage, is hot to trot to sell pot.


Cutting Edge

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

“There wasn’t a reason shaving with a straight razor should have been taken over by shaving with disposable razors.”

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02