The Beverage Arts in Portland – James Melendez


While Portland is a capital of beer–might I add world capital of beer—I do think surface has yet been completely scratched as it relates to urban wineries and distilleries.  Distilleries, ironically, out numbering urban wineries by a wide margin.  Portland’s many breweries have placed it as the brewing capital of the world–outpacing and out placing Brussels.  And even with breweries I doubt we have seen the limit.

And more artisan focused beers is a national craving that still needs to be feed.  For a period of time it was only people in certain urban centers who had this craving.  Artisan distilling is quite viable as many people are seeking new interpretations on gin, vodka and whiskey and other spirits.  Visiting a couple of distilleries made me a believer is very small batch production.  The price points didn’t have an artisan price point—very reasonable and a comfortable fit.

Portland, a very short drive from Willamette Valley producers has fewer urban wineries than I would expect.  But to be fair–San Francisco has very few with respect to the nearby wine countries of Napa, Sonoma, and Livermore Valley.  Portland is the epicenter of Pacific Northwest wine as not only is Willamette nearby so are the Washington wine countries just across the Columbia.  Also, in  Northeast Oregon as the Columbia Valley, Columbia Gorge and Snake Valley wine countries.  Enso Winery is the only urban winery that I have visited and has an allotment of wines from Willamette Valley and Horse Heaven Hills.  Enso Winery was packed when I was there (on a recent food and wine tour of Portland).  I would expect more urban wineries to open up in the future—and unlike San Francisco where street level real estate is as rarified as the Dodo–Portland has many more possibilities.  Possibility is an asset and the food scene in Portland is wonderfully developed.  Let me be more clear–since Portland has this scene–I could only expect this to be even more developed in the future

Portland, unlike the fictional show Portlandia, is accessible on many levels–it is easy to get around on public transport and where else could you visit a distillery using a city bus–well…very few… and might I add that bus stop is practically at the door of House Spirits.   And I do like Portland’s friendliness; it is quite noticeable.

I do love Portland as a base camp for so many wine countries, evocative hillsides, and the ever present Douglas fir create a signature that is romantic.  I do like Portland’s view of coffee just as lively as any Pacific coast city.  Portland is a great place for your next culinary and beverage tour.



Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

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© 2013 James Meléndez / Jaime Patricio Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

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About James Melendez

I love wine and have had the privilege of working in the wine trade as a senior national wine marketing manager for a wine, food and home goods retailer in 30+ US States. I executed into making wine experiential and made 'wines of the world' programme work in a highly regulated framework for a successful business proposition. My "wine" site also incorporates those categories intimately involved with wine such as food, travel and lifestyle. This site incorporates my many dimensions of interest. I love to review and also talk about many aspects of wine. I have been privileged to visit many wine countries and find them enthralling no matter how many times I visit. I love all aspects of wine: viticulture, history, winemaking, brand development, wine regions and many more aspects. This is a living tradition that needs documentation, education, reporting and reviewing. Do I have favourite varieties and styles? I love so many varieties and often it is situational and yet there are time honoured wines that I anticipate and I am passionate about. I like all colours of wine and all styles. I have had a mad passionate affair with sparkling wines and they are always top of mind. Wine nourishes our soul and is the key to connecting with other people at our dinner table. Salute, James © 2014, 2017 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social medias.
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