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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Nanos of the Grape Kind

I would like to direct you toward Katherine Cole's article in today's Oregonian about a rising phenomenon--urban wineries based in Portland.
A new guard of winemakers has bucked this trend. Instead of moving out to rural areas or driving more than an hour each way, every day, they're staying put in the city. They've started making wine out of their garages and graduated to full-production professional facilities amid the hustle and bustle of city life.

With the formation of a new group called PDX Urban Wineries, this spring appears to be the coming-out moment for metropolitan winemakers. I recently met a few of Portland's garagistes and tasted their wares.
This trend is pan-alcoholic. We see it in the case of nanobreweries, microdistilleries, and now urban wineries. What all three have in common is the intent to become a part of the thrum of the city. The wider trend extends to coffee micro-roasters and farmers markets, where the commodity isn't just designed for general consumption--it feeds (or, I guess you could say creates) growing trends in hyper-local consumption. As Katherine points out, we already can go from coffee shop to bakery to brewery and find this going on--why not wine?

I'm ignorant enough that I will offer no opinion on the wineries--but the trend is consonant with larger a larger cultural evolution in the city.


  1. Similar, but different, Wandering Aengus Ciderworks is moving from Bethel Height Vineyard to a Salem industrial park.

  2. Portland is a little slow on that take, then. The whole city of Woodinville, WA outside of Seattle is basically a whole bunch of industrial park wineries. The vineyards are in eastern WA, but they figure that people aren't going to the vineyards, so they ship the grapes to the city to be made into wine.