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Boedecker Cellars – an Urban Portland Winery

How close to the vineyard does a winery need to be to make great wine? Not close. In fact, Boedecker Cellars makes a strong case for the Urban Winery. There are even a few 100 point scoring wines* made 250 miles from where the grapes grow.
In Oregon, the trend has increased with Portland wineries. The wineries in Portland are actually only about 30 miles from vineyards. Pinot noir is king here. In the video we visit one of the Portland wineries, Boedecker Cellars, to check out the wine scene.

Which exit to wine “country”? photo by jeffjones


The Story Has Only Just Begun For Portland Wineries

As a traveler in Oregon, it’s hard to get over no sales tax and gas attendants. Once you do, you realize that Portland, Oregon is one of the best places on earth to pig out on cheap food and drink heavily.

To make things more interesting, Portland has a high number of strip clubs and food trucks. Despite the lean towards low-brow culture, Portland does have a fine dining scene worth reckoning. The food-lovers are desperately thirsting for better local wines.

Boedecker Cellars Video Featurette

A List of Portland Wineries

Urban wineries located within Portland. If we’re missing one, please leave a comment below to update the Portland Winery listing.

  • Hip Chicks do Wine (est. 1999) Tasting room address: 4510 SE 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97202
  • Grochau Cellars (est. 2002) Tasting room address: 2621 NW 30th Avenue, Portland, OR 97210 (in same location as Boedecker Cellars)
  • Boedecker Cellars (est. 2003) Tasting room address: 2621 NW 30th Avenue, Portland, OR 97210 (in same location as Grochau)
  • Seven Bridges (est. 2008) Tasting room address: 2303 N Harding Avenue, Portland, OR
  • Jan-Marc Wine Cellars (est. 2009) No tasting room.
  • Vincent Wine Company (est. 2009) No tasting room.
  • Alchemy Wine Productions (opened in 2010)Tasting room address: 3315 SE 19th Ave, Suite F, Portland, OR 97202
  • Enso Winery (est. 2010) Tasting room address: 1416 SE Stark Street, Portland, OR 97214
  • Helioterra (est. 2010) Tasting room address: Southeast Wine Collective 2425 SE 25th Place, Portland, OR 97202
  • Division Winemaking Co. (est. 2011) Tasting room address: Southeast Wine Collective 2425 SE 25th Place, Portland, OR 97202


Boedecker Cellars Obsesses Over Oregon Pinot Noir

two styles of Oregon pinot noir?
I used to be a wine snob. I had little faith in urban wineries. When I first tried Pinot Noir from Boedecker Cellars I was impressed by the quality and reasonable price. Little did I know the winery was located in a grungy industrial district of Northwest Portland. Turns out the winemakers, Athena and Stewart, were major geeks in their past professions and that a little ‘geekiness’ goes a long way if you want to make great wine.

Suffering From Split Personalities

Boedecker Cellars appears to be suffering from split personalities. While they have a focus on pinot noir, they make two very different styles. The pinot noir called “Athena” tends to be more muscular, fruity and bold. Opulent. Whereas the pinot noir “Stewart” leans toward being higher acidity, lighter and more delicate. Elegant. What’s cool is, when you try them both, you learn something about yourself. Picking a favorite of the two wines helps define what kind of palate preference you have. Can you guess what my favorite is?

Music by Mikeatgl, Anyways

Boedecker Cellars, Portland, OR
Were you just drinking wine one day and said ‘I get it!’? We were both working in cubicle land and it was fun, I liked what I was doing. But it lacked that sensory experience. I still get that mouthwatering sensation, but with more dark cherry fruit, raspberry fruit and vanilla. Same wine, same vintage, two distinctly different styles of wine. It’s the same wine, same vintage, different vineyards. So, some vineyards ripen a couple days earlier, which is one thing that applies to the Stewart, Pinot Noir. The clones have a little more acidity, a classic clone which is very bright and light. And what happened with the Athena is more in the shade, a cherry grove, they ripen a little later, their clones are like the dijon clones, they tend to have more of the plum and dark cherry flavor. There are bacteria, little microorganisms living in the wine, and the wine itself, its chemistry is so fragile, especially Pinot Noir. Ok, so I’m Athena, one of the winemakers and owners of Boedecker Cellars, the other, oh shoot. Ok! I’m Athena and I’m Athena and I, oh shit!

About Madeline Puckette

James Beard Award-winning author and Wine Communicator of the Year. I co-founded Wine Folly to help people learn about wine. @WineFolly

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