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Story


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Story


Our urban winery and tasting lounge opened in SE Portland in 2011.
 

ENSO is an urban winery that hand crafts authentic old-world style wines that express both the moment they were created…as well as the moment they're enjoyed.

Many great ventures begin in garages...ours certainly did! But they seldom stay there forever. In our case, our big “garage” in the Buckman neighborhood is our forever home. Welcome to ENSO winery located at 1416 SE Stark Street. We opened our doors Memorial Day weekend of 2011 and now we’re open seven days a week!

When we began this venture called ENSO, we decided that it made the most sense to keep things small, efficient and manageable. That way, we could create fantastic wines at lower costs and give more attention to each small lot. Even as we grow, we keep our vision in mind. We keep things as small-scale as possible: Human-sized stainless steel tanks, small fermentation bins, and no-bigger-than-we-need crush equipment. This allows us to experiment, to care for each batch separately, and to create complexity in our small space.

We have chosen to source grapes from the finest vineyards up and down the west coast. Three states. All states that we have lived in. And all states that we love. Our grapes come from Washington, California, and Oregon – and we absolutely love each vineyard that we work with.

At ENSO, in addition to our wines, we keep a rotating tap of other Portland-made wines and local beers. There is plenty to taste and try in our Tasting Lounge. We have Aperitivo (aka Happy Hour) from 4-6 pm Monday-Friday where we offer all of our drinks and combo boards at a dollar off. So enjoy.

 
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Vineyards


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Vineyards


The Vineyards

Oregon + Washington + California


 

We have chosen to source grapes from the finest vineyards up and down the west coast. Three states. All states that we have lived in. And all states that we love. Our grapes come from Washington, California and Oregon – and we absolutely love each vineyard that we work with.

Alder Ridge Vineyard - Horse Heaven Hills AVA, Washington

This is where we get most of our red grapes from. These 15-year-old vines are just bursting with life! Located on the Columbia River, on the Southern border of Washington state, Alder Ridge has been regarded as one of the finest vineyard sites in the entire state.

Natural wind and air drainage protects the vines from the harsh weather conditions, both in the summer and winter. Reminiscent of the Rhone slopes, the vineyard grows some of our favorite varietals.

We pick Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Counoise, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Grenache from this vineyard. Rich earth producing world-class fruit.

 

BellaGrace Vineyard - Shenandoah Valley AVA, Amador County, California

Mourvèdre is our flagship grape. And we get old-vine stuff. The vines are still quite full of life, but they're pumping with wisdom of years passed.

This grape (which is commonly blended with Syrah and Grenache) makes a meaty, gamey wine. Dark fruit and musky spiciness make for an exquisite gastronomic experience when paired with worldly meats and cheeses.

For us though, we like to keep our Mourvèdre generally unblended.

And this vineyard is a perfect site for a varietal like Mourvèdre. At 1200 ft, good slopes and warm summers seem to bring about an almost Bandol-like wine...which is what we were going for!

 

Wheatland Vineyard - Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon

Our old backyard, we get Pinot Gris, Riesling and sometimes Pinot Noir from the vineyard attached to Arcane Cellars. Situated along the banks of the Willamette River, this macro-climate delivers the perfect amount of sun and warmth to get these varieties to ripen.

No more, no less. Which makes for remarkable wines.

 

Bieze Vineyard - Eola Hills, Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon

We make a very special wine from fruit from this vineyard. It's called The Prince and it's a co-fermentation of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay. Unlike anything you've ever tried!

 

Crowley Station Vineyard - Eola Hills, Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon

While we don't currently source from this vineyard, the fruit is exceptional and you can find their own brand of wine at FOSSIL & FAWN.

 
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Winemaker


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Winemaker


The Winemaker

Ryan Sharp

ENSO Winery began as a collaborative effort between passionate winemakers and grew into Ryan Sharp's urban winery. Ryan began as a winery grunt at Arcane Cellars on the banks of the Willamette River.

While Ryan fell more in love with winemaking, he also dreamed of leaving the valley to make wine in Portland, where he has resided since 2008.

After assisting John Grochau a few times, he fell in love with the idea of an urban winery. A place in the city, in a neighborhood, a local watering hole, a place to meet friends, and a place to produce world-class wine.

After moving to Portland from San Francisco, he transferred from UC Davis to Chemeketa to get a more focused education...one dealing more specifically with NorthWest climates and grapes. He started home winemaking several years back.

When not stirring up fermenting wine vats or bottling the latest vintages, you'll find him hunting down exotic wines from Bandol.

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Press


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Press


Press

Since we began IN 2010, our wines have won a number of awards and
OUR APPROACH HAS gotten A LOT OF ATTENTION, including being nameD
Willamette Week’s Bar of the Year in 2014.


Here are a few articles, interviews, and mentions…

Virgin Atlantic: The Best Oregon Wineries - 2015

Elegantly Eva: An Afternoon at ENSO Urban Winery - July 2015

IWA Wine Blog: 7 Urban Wineries Worth a Visit - Feb 2015

NY Post: Buzziest City - February 2015

NW Travel Mag: Wine Tasting Has Never Been Easier - September 2014

Delta Optimist: Portland, A Boozy Paradise - July 2014

Colleen's Kitchen: RESONATE Rosé Review - May 2014

Colleen's Kitchen: RESONATE Red Review - April 2014

Willamette Week: ENSO named 2014 Bar of the Year – April 2014

Lady LUX: 5 Urban Wineries – October 2013

Willamette Week: A Tour of Portland’s Urban Wineries – October 2013

Yahoo: Urban Wineries Slideshow – October 2013

New York Times: Bringing the Wine to Portland, Ore. – September 2013

Jaunted Write-up – August 2013

Portland Monthly: Portland Sangria Review - June 2013

American Winery Guide: Oregon’s Top Tourist & Wine Destinations – June 2013

Plum Deluxe: Best Tasting Room in Portland – ENSO – June 2013

Oregon Wine Press – COVER STORY: Urban Arrangement – July 2013

EYES & EDGE: Portland Sangria! – June 2013

One of the Five Must-try Urban Wineries – Wine Enthusiast Magazine – May 2013

Oregon Business: Ripe Time for Urban Vintners – April 2013

MIX Magazine: Wine Tasting of our Mourvèdre – March 2013

Examiner: ENSO Winery– making a splash in Portland’s wine world – March 2013

Wine Press Northwest: 2013 Oregon Winery to Watch: ENSO Winery! – March 2013

Willamette Week: 2012 Holiday Gift Guide – December 2012

NW Wine Anthem: Zen and the Art of Winemaking – December 2012

The Oregonian: Off the Beaten Path and Into the City – November 2012

PortlandBeer.org – Rise of the Urban Winery – November 2012

Oregon Wine Class: Production as Performance – October 2012

Neighborhood Notes: Wine County PDX – September 2012

NW Wine Anthem: Review of our RESONATE White #4 – September 2012

WinePress NW: ENSO Riesling Gets Top Rating – Summer 2012

Vinography: Review of our 2011 Riesling – August 2012

Oregonian – Diner 2012: Wine Bars – June 2012

OPB – Winemakers Put Down Urban Roots – June 2012

Examiner: One-Year Anniversary – April 2012

American Winery Guide: Review of ENSO – March 2012

Gal Time – Portland’s Urban Wine Trail – February 2012

Portland Tribune – Wine Bars Serve Glamor on the Side – January 2012

Food Republic – Top 10 Urban Wineries in America – January 2012

Willamette Week – Bar Review – December 2011

Portland Monthly – 50 Ways to Spoil Yourself This Season – December 2011

Blush Naked – Review of Mourvédre – November 2011

Foodie Underground – ECO Salon – October 2011

Top 5 Wine Bars to Check Out – MIX Magazine – October 2011

Garage Winemaking – Imbibe Magazine – September 2011

The Next Small Thing – Imbibe Magazine – September 2011

Travel Tips – USA Today – July 2011

Wine in the City – PDXploration – June 2011

PR 3.0 at ENSO – June 2011

Geek Out at ENSO – Oregon Wine Press – June 2011

Mention in Willamette Week – May 2011

Shout out on West Toast – May 2011

Shout out on Elevage – May 2011

Shout out on Thrillist – May 2011

Expressions of the Moment – Northwest Whites – May 2011

New Generation of Winemakers Stays in the City – The Oregonian – April 2011


And here are our press releases on PDX Food & Drink…

Aged Beyond Their Year – April 16, 2012

Winery by Day, Wine Bar by Night – October 12, 2011

PDX Wineries Unite! – June 1, 2011

Reinventing the Geek, One Glass at a Time – May 11, 2011