May 26, 2011

Enso Winery Opens in SE Portland

I'm really excited for the official opening of Enso Winery on SE Stark at 14th this weekend in Portland. Enso is a project of Ryan and Holly Sharp and Chris Wishart.

What? A winery on SE Stark next to Meat, Cheese, Bread, in an old auto garage right on a city thoroughfare? Yes, and based on Enso's soft opening earlier this month when I took a few pictures, it's going to be great.

Yes, Enso is a founding member in PDX Urban Wineries with Vincent Wine Company and six other producers. And yes, Enso is featuring my 2009 Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir as the guest winery pour through June. And yes, I'll be there in person pouring on Friday, June 3 in the evening.

But as someone who's really interested in urban wine production, especially urban wine production in Portland, I'm ecstatic to see a relatively small, neighborhood space become a working winery and tasting lounge. A place where the fermentation and barrel aging happens, and where you can stop by and sample the goods or sit for a while, buy a glass or a full bottle, enjoy some small plates of food and live a good, city life.

Essentially, this is urban winemaking at a high point. As you might with your favorite roastery or bakery, brew house or distillery, hang out at this little spot with the garage door open, watch the cars and people go by and drink some wine. Expect a new guest winery pour each month, in addition to what Enso is putting out.

I look at this spot and think...this could really catch on. This didn't take a million dollars. Maybe some day soon there will be a bunch of places in Portland like this. For now, there are only a few, and only one on SE Stark. Check it out. Maybe see you there on June 3, but this weekend is their official opening. I'll be stopping in for sure.

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