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.
Stalwart cyclists pedal through Portland's historic streets, towing colorful chariots with up to three passengers seated snugly on their padded benches. Pdx Pedicab's drivers take participants on guided experiences of local breweries, such as Bridgeport, Tugboat, and Rogue, during jaunts through Distillery Row, the East Side, and the Pearl District. They also venture out to wine cellars during voyages throughout the southeast part of the city. They make stops at each selected establishment, where passengers sip samples and purchase additional drinks to recover from joining obligatory fire-breathing competitions. Drivers also conduct cycle-powered experiences starting from the west bank of the Willamette River to explore the city's eclectic culture and some of its stranger landmarks. Each eco-friendly, emissions-free pedicab is open-air, allowing riders to feel summer or autumnal winds in their hair during excursions.
When Lisa Stark's quest for a sensual, laid-back exercise class turned up nothing, she took matters into her own hands. To forge her ideal workout, which is a balance of sexy sizzle and athletic toning, Stark researched popular dance-fitness styles, documented choreography at local clubs, and even enlisted a former exotic dancer to teach her how to kick, saunter, and fill out tax forms in a sensual manner. The months of studying paid off?today, Lisa shares her wit, warmth, and fitness regimen with troupes of women at The Exotic You. Ladies of all fitness levels gather for classes that teach a complete routine of sensual dance moves, checking negative body-talk at the door and summoning their inner vixen out with slow leg extensions and passionate hip rolls.
Eastside Distilling's master distiller and owner Lenny Gotter began concocting recipes in 2008, quickly stocking liquor cabinets and bar shelves with the potent fruits of their collaboration. Their tasty lineup of spirits draws accolades from fans near and far, with the small-batch outfit taking home hardware including a gold medal at the 2012 MicroLiquor Spirit Awards and SIP Magazine's runner-up in the Best of Spirits section for Best Brown Liquor for their Burnside Bourbon, Portland Mercury?s 2011 Readers' Choice award for favorite distillery, and a silver medal from the 2011 World Spirits Competition for their Below Deck Coffee Rum. Within the tasting room, visitors sample elixirs such as the Portland Potato Vodka, their Below Deck rum line, Cherry Bomb Whiskey or Oregon Marionberry Whiskey.
It's hard to believe that Portland ever lacked a dearth of quality paddle outfitters, considering the many evergreen-lined rivers and nearby coastline. But back in 1986, the founders of Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe felt there were too few options serving the area, so they launched their own garage shop. Their passion for the outdoors and paddle sports steadily built the company, and today, a staff of equipment experts advises guests on kayaking, canoeing, standup-paddleboarding, and rafting supplies. Beyond selling gear from vessels to apparel, staffers lead on-the-water classes and organize group trips. The shop also outfits customers for independent exploration with a fleet of rentals.