A refurbished relic of the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, Portland's first and only "World's Fair," the Aurora State Bank building has gone on a hundred year journey to become the landmark it is today. Transported from Portland to Aurora in 1905, its vaults have played host to robberies, Hollywood productions, and dental cleanings. Though the bank's two original vaults remain, they now house racks that Pheasant Run Winery fills with their small-batch, locally sourced wines. Winemakers harvest their grapes from local and sustainable vineyard estates in Willamette Valley, Walla Walla, and Horse Heaven Hills and ferment them into New World-style wines. They cold-soak grapes in small bins to extract more color and flavor for their signature pinot noir and blend merlot, syrah, and cabernet grapes to create a rich red with notes of blackcurrant and plum and the power to unite feuding grape vines.
This grey brick building is also home to their tasting lounge. Guests walk through the original doors and across the original lobby tiles to savor glasses at tasting tables surrounded by dark wood-trimmed windows. Visitors can also find a rotating collection of prints, paintings, ceramics, and jewelry from local artists. The winery owners also connect to the community through their donations to local charities and non-profits.
Born into a winemaking family in Hungary, Josef immigrated to the United States in the late 1950s to pursue baking. After more than a decade, however, he cooked up a new idea. Together with his wife Lilli, he purchased a scenic plot of land in the Willamette Valley and planted his first grape vines in 1978—making St. Josef's one of the earliest wineries in Oregon. Even as his ambition grew, Josef never forgot his roots; his first varietals—namely, riesling, gewürztraminer, and pinot gris—harkened back to his youth in central Europe amid the Adriatic's glistening waves of chablis.
Today, the 40-acre winery—now by a third generation of Josef's family—produces bottles of crisp whites and earthy reds, filling at least 90 percent of each batch with grapes grown on the St. Josef's vineyard. Even as Oregon's wine industry has grown over the years, Portland Monthly praises the well-aged coziness of St. Josef's, saying they've “yet to find a better sipping spot” in all of Willamette Valley.
At The Four Graces Winery, we wanted to make consistently outstanding Pinot Noirs representative of this unique terroir. We are committed to making rich, complex wines where the fruit may be elegantly expressed. The wines are hand-crafted in small lots using traditional techniques coupled with the most modern technology.
Torii Mor Winery employs sustainable farming and winemaking practices under the guidance of veteran winemaker Jacques Tardy to produce high-quality, complex wines. With this deal, fermentation fans will taste at least six wines in a Japanese-influenced tasting room set beside a 39-year-old vineyard. While Torii Mor specializes in richly aromatic pinot noirs, it also bottles berry-rich syrah, apple-infused pinot blanc and floral-tinged viognier ($22–$50 per bottle). Hailing from France's Burgundy region, where natives drink, bottle, and bathe in wine, Jacques Tardy has a degree in viticulture and enology and has been making palate-pleasing vino since 1976. In addition, Torii Mor has earned both 2010 LEED-GOLD certification and LIVE certification for its green practices, which include the use of low-emitting paints and gravity-flow winemaking.