Inside of Pullman Wine Bar

4 Questions with David Holstrom of Pullman Wine Bar & Merchant

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With more and more luxury hotels dotting the Portland landscape, their influence on the city’s food and wine scene can be seen with the surge of trendy new eating and drinking hotspots that have been opening — take Hey Love in the Jupiter NEXT and Abigail Hall in the Woodlark Hotel, for example. Though Hotel Eastlund is far from a new player, with David Machado’s popular rooftop destination Altabira, the Lloyd District hotel has taken its vision to new heights with the chic, yet down-to-earth, street-level bottle shop and wine bar, Pullman Wine Bar & Merchant.

Inspired by a French bistro that Machado and wine consultant David Holstrom experienced in Paris, the team has created a warm and welcoming space in Pullman, fusing a tasting room experience with modern European touches, while providing an opportunity for… Read the full story here on SIP Northwest.

Mencia grapes on the vine

Mencia makes its mark in the Columbia Gorge

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If you’re a fan of Spanish wines, you’re going to love this! And if you’re a fan of wineries that take risks to bring consumers something unique, you’re going to love it even more.

Experimentation is at the core of Oregon wine grape growing. After all, it’s what started the Pinot Noir movement in the Willamette Valley during the 1960s and ‘70s. And what could be more experimental than being the first domestic producer of a grape that’s primarily grown only in Spain?

The vineyards of Analemma Wines, in the heart of the Columbia Gorge AVA, are in, what’s by nature, a cool climate AVA. It’s this unique climate that has stirred Analemma Wine’s owners Steven Thompson and Kris Fade to plant and produce the very first Mencia (pronounced Men-THEE-a) grown in the United States… Read the full story here in WinePress NW.

Tailgating party

Tailgate Gourmet: Score big before the game with delectable dishes and fine wines

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With football season upon us, tailgate parties are in force. After all, there’s nothing like the ambiance of a parking lot for eating and drinking to excess. And while throwing some juicy dogs on a grill or bringing a plate of savory charcuterie is always welcome, there’s a whole world of tailgate ideas that will inspire even the non-sports lovers to come out in droves.

Duck or Beaver — or Viking or Pilot or Wildcat or Raider, etc. — one thing we can all agree on is tasty food. The following recipes were generously provided by local restaurants, caterers, as well as local food blogging geniuses, serving to unite fans everywhere. Paired expertly with the recommended Oregon wines, these dishes will surely make you a game-day winner.

Read the full story and get all the recipes here on Oregon Wine Press.

Alex Fullerton holding a bottle of his wine

4 Questions with Alex Fullerton of Fullerton Wines

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The Fullerton family of Portland’s Fullerton Wines believes that great wine speaks profoundly; it’s a universal language transcending any one culture. And as a family that speaks many languages, it’s no surprise that wine has become a favorite language to connect, speak and share with others.

After Alex Fullerton graduated from the University of Oregon in 2010 with an economics degree, he and his father Eric were tasting wine at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars. A conversation about homebrewing and the process of fermentation ensued, which led to another conversation about Alex Fullerton making wine.

He got his feet wet as an intern and later a cellar hand at Penner-Ash. Passion ignited and Fullerton then went to New Zealand to work at the now-defunct Drylands Winery in Marlborough, returning to Oregon more determined than ever to learn more about growing and production. He worked another harvest at Penner-Ash, then at Bergström Wines before Fullerton Wines was born in in 2011 in a garage with just a few barrels of Pinot Noir.

Fullerton eventually took the reins as head winemaker for Fullerton Wines crafting Burgundian varietals of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Here, he talks about what it’s like being one of the youngest winemakers in the Willamette Valley, his Danish roots and his family’s vision for their winery.

Read the complete story here on SIP Northwest.

sniffing out truffles

Digging up the dirt on Oregon truffles

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The elusive truffle is like buried treasure. If only we had a map to guide us to them. The pungent yet marvelous aromas the ugly little culinary nuggets emit — mustiness, garlic, earth, sweat — don’t sound or look appealing. But these gems of the kitchen are expensive and highly sought-after for a reason; they make even the simplest egg or pasta dish sing.

Like wine and other fine foods, truffles confer distinction to the farm and the area where they are produced, and like few other crops, they can be grown profitably on small acreages.

According to New World Truffieres’ mycologist, Dr. Charles Lefevre, “To cultivate truffles, inoculated truffle trees are planted in orchards much like those for fruits and nuts, except that the crop appears below ground and is usually harvested with the help of trained dogs or pigs that can smell the truffles through a layer of earth. Truffles begin to appear several years after the inoculated seedlings are planted, and production can continue for decades.”

While Oregon may have a long history of truffle research at Oregon State University, its truffle industry is still young and relatively undiscovered. Much like Oregon chanterelles… Read the complete story here on Wine Press Northwest. 

pinot paddle

Paddle for Pinot: Willamette Riverkeeper hosts wine-soaked adventure

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We began our trip dipping paddles into the refreshing river water, splashing ourselves each time we switched sides, as we propelled the canoe forward. Stroke after stroke, mile after mile, we kept paddling, knowing at the end of the day, a fully catered dinner and four Willamette Valley wineries awaited our arrival. But as I paddled along, keeping the ultimate goal in mind, I found myself entranced, swept away by the breathtaking scenic beauty of this stretch of river I’d never witnessed.

One of approximately 70 people, from Oregon and beyond, we poured into kayaks and canoes for the 29-mile two-day journey on the Willamette Riverkeeper’s first wine-themed event, Pinot Paddle. The trip began in Salem, with small pods launching inside the city, traffic din all around. It was surprising how quickly the noise fell away, leaving only rural vibrations in its place. In no time at all, it felt like we were remote — without a house, car or person in sight — though in reality, we were merely a few minutes’ drive from downtown Salem.

When I closed my eyes… Read the rest of the story here on Oregon Wine Press.

Adrift distillers bottles

Local is the Word at Long Beach’s First Distillery

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When relationships with local farmers become the foundation of a distillery, you know you’re on to something tasty. Like those that were the inspiration for starting Adrift Distillers, located on the Long Beach Peninsula in southwestern Washington, a sibling distillery to the popular Adrift Hotel. “The distillery started with us wanting to do a cranberry liqueur,” says Matt Lessnau, the chief distiller for Long Beach’s first distillery. “As far as agriculture goes, cranberries have a rich history on the Long Beach Peninsula and Starvation Alley Farms was farm-blazing a new trail with organic fruit.”

That first collaboration with the local cranberry bog and farm then inspired… Read the complete article here on SIP Northwest.

bottles of Oregon Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc Rising: Oregon winemakers give expressive white a proper boost

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Sauvignon Blanc can be polarizing. Either you love it or hate it. And if you enjoy it, you likely feel passionately about one style over another — the tart and floral versions in France vs. the “grassy” glasses from New Zealand.

Although Oregon is probably not an obvious destination when seeking the white wine, you can find various local expressions, from the Willamette Valley to the Columbia Gorge to Southern Oregon. And as Sauvignon Blanc gains in popularity, the state’s selection also grows.

Read the complete article here in the Oregon Wine Press.


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bottle of Oregon arak and arak cocktail

East Meets Pacific Northwest: Oregon Arak

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Nothing describes East meets Pacific Northwest better than the story of Bull Run Distillery’s Oregon Arak. Unofficially known as the national beverage of Lebanon, arak is a classic Middle Eastern grape-based spirit. In the case of Bull Run Distillery’s version, the base spirit is distilled directly from Willamette Valley Pinot Noir wine (not just must) combined with anise seed from Syria, providing the best of both worlds. Bottled exclusively for the Gorham Restaurant Group (and available to taste at Bull Run Distillery tasting rooms), arak is best enjoyed with mezze — as it is traditionally served in the Middle East — where it aids in cleansing the palate in preparation for the next food flavor. It also can be sipped as a delicious and refreshing after-dinner digestif, or — as Jamal Hassan, bar director of Mediterranean Exploration Company and Shalom Y’all expertly demonstrates — mixed in cocktails. Check out the complete article with cocktail recipe here on SIP Northwest.

Women in the vineyard

Outstanding in Her Field: Meet the women turning male-dominated vineyard management on its heels

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Actually, some women want to drive tractors. While women have broken through barriers once keeping them out of the winemaker spotlight, vineyard management is still mostly dominated by men. Here in Oregon — perhaps more than any other wine region — women are changing the status quo. Small in number only, these forthright leaders are turning on its heel the notion that managing
vineyards is a man’s job.

Jessica Cortell, owner of Vitis Terra Vineyard Services, is no stranger to decidedly male environments. At 18, she fought forest fires to pay for college; she’s also raced mountain and road bikes among top competitors. Yet she’s always been a plant person. She studied chemistry for her doctorate before realizing her preference to work outside, not in a lab. Early in her career, while working with Dai Crisp in the ’90s at Croft Vineyard, she helped prune vines, a task not routinely assigned to women at the time. She recalls being the fastest and finest on the crew, earning respect from her male peers. Read the full story of these women winegrowers here on Oregon Wine Press.