Functioning as a multifaceted operation, certainly the one thing The Wine Valet knows better than anything else is wine. Part event space, part tasting room, and part tour guide, The Wine Valet hosts one-of-a-kind events for up to 75 and offers tours with transportation that visit local wineries and vineyards. The staff welcomes patrons to sample varietals from different wineries before traveling to Artisanal Wine Cellars to sniff, sip, and listen to vinos. The Wine Valet is so immersed in the regional wine culture that they offer a free Android app for self-guided tours of more than 200 wineries.
For more than four decades, the Ponzi family has used the rich soil of the Willamette Valley to produce lush, sustainable wines. Winemaker Luisa Ponzi worked alongside her father for many years, gaining hands-on experience with viticulture and foots-on experience with grape stomping. She deepened this education in Beaune, France, where she studied Burgundian practices. In 1993, Luisa earned her Brevet Professionnel D’Oenologie et Viticulture certificate, a first for an American woman.
Luisa and her sister Maria carry on the dynasty started by their parents, creating wine varietals suited to the climate with sustainable practices that respect the tradition of winemaking. In addition to stocking the cellar with an award-winning collection of pinot noir, pinot gris, pinot blanc, chardonnay, and white riesling, the Ponzis fill bottles with arneis and dolcetto, two rare Italian varietals.
Urban Wine Works curates wines from across the world to fill the shelves of their shop and slosh into glasses in their tasting room. Frequent events highlight wines from regions such as southern France and southern Oregon or bring live music into the space. Sommeliers at the wooden bar also pour out a themed flight of the week featuring five related wines alongside a cheese plate. In addition, the shop stocks bottles from the owners' winery and vineyard, Bishop Creek Cellars, which grows pinot-noir grapes on pinot-noir rootstock for a purer expression of the grape's flavor.
Island Mana Wines’ owner, Mark, has lived in three primary locales: Portland, Hawaii, and the sky, where he spent much of his early career as a pilot and engineer in the US Air Force. But now, Mark’s focus is less on the sky than on the fruits of the earth and the wine they produce. He and his team blend natural and organic fruits into their wines, creating small batches that evoke Hawaiian sunsets and Portland tableaus.
Though crafted from guava, passionfruit, and mango, the dry Hawaiian vintages avoid over-sweetness more effectively than many fruit-filled wines and those made from Raisinets. The winery also features traditional Oregon wine styles, such as pinot gris, chardonnay, and cabernet sauvignon.