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.
Each step of Ryan Sharp?s winemaking process embodies the small-batch ethos. Within the Eastside headquarters of ENSO Winery?Wine Press Northwest?s 2013 Oregon Winery to Watch?he mixes several winemaking techniques, yielding complex flavors inside miniature fermentation bins. He mashes grapes in miniature crush equipment and ferments whites and ros?s in steel-jacketed tanks no larger than a fully grown mannequin. He sources grapes only from the West Coast, giving himself a framework for his experiments with varietals such as pinot gris, pinot noir, zinfandel, and counoise. As part of his craft-oriented operation, he never makes more than 100 cases at a time of the wines from his ever-evolving roster.
At ENSO's Urban Winery & Tasting Lounge, rustic wooden chairs gather under bare light bulbs and tin lampshades, surrounding a tasting bar crafted from old wooden timbers. Guides stationed at the bar pour tastes of ENSO- and Resonate-label wines, explaining how to decipher each wine's flavor notes. These wines?along with two rotating draft beers and libations crafted by 10 other local urban wineries?complement plates of marbled artisan salamis cured by Olympic Provisions, blocks of raw and aged cheeses from Steve?s Cheese Bar, and sweet and savory pies from Pacific Pie Co.
Inside a historical brick building, Howard Hinsdale Cellars' wine pros select from international and Oregon-based small producers to fill glasses with potables, which diners sip between bites of creative and health-focused bistro fare. Tenders at the stained wooden bar pour each palate-pleasing blend, and the kitchen crew uses local, seasonal items as well as imported meats and cheese to craft more small plates than are spun by a circus school's kindergarten class. Beginning at 7 p.m., music fills the lounge-style dining area with groovy tunes from jazz groups and singer-songwriters. Visitors can also sip wine on a wooden deck overhanging a scenic creek or plan their visit to correspond with events such as tastings and movie nights.
Cinetopia's super-high-definition digital projectors, wide leather seats, fresh market-to-table cuisine, selection of local microbrews, extensive wine list, and art gallery have earned the cinema acclaim from multiple media outlets. The Vancouver Mall 23 location boasts four enormous GXL screens up to 80 feet with 4096p projection?4 times the resolution of Blu-ray?and an exclusive immersive 64.2 channel Dolby ATMOS sound system, five luxury-themed movie parlors, nine living rooms, and five grand auditoriums with steep stadium-style seating and ejection buttons that allow audiences to escape the theater during too-scary shower scenes.
The Mill Plain location also houses five grand auditorium theaters, each equipped with 50-foot, 2048p screens. The venue's three living-room theaters accommodate patrons aged 21 and older with footrests, pillows, and waiters on hand. Along with grand auditoriums and living-room theaters, the Beaverton location houses two grand XL theaters with massive 62-foot and 70-foot screens. Films unreel onto super-high-definition, 30-foot screens in the exclusive parlor-room theaters.
Visitors to each Cinetopia can order restaurant service in select screening rooms. They can also customize their popcorn at a gourmet-butter bar, and enjoy preshow live music performed 20 minutes before weekend evening shows, typically by pianists, violinists, and horror-movie villains trying to rebrand their image. Cinetopia also carries a host of other classic comfort food and beverages, such as pastries, made-from-scratch pizzas, and more than 50 wines.