Northwest real estate prices are painfully high and rising, so many savvy winemakers combat the problem by joining forces: sharing space, pouring wines alongside one another, even taking turns with equipment. That’s good news for adventurous drinkers short on time, as they can get the experience of visiting a number of wineries without even leaving their seats. Here are four unusual wine collectives whose arrangements make them a dream come true for those who want a kaleidoscopic selection under one roof.
SE Wine Collective
A highly regarded wine club, event space and home to Oui! Wine Bar & Restaurant, the SE Wine Collective is also a shared vinification facility in one of Portland’s hippest neighborhoods. Hit Oui! for flights, bottles and even growler fills available from its dozen member-wineries plus a rotation of wines from over 50 global wineries to pair with your meal. The collective was founded by Kate Norris and Thomas Monroe, the owners and winemakers of Division Winemaking Co., producers of French-inspired beauties that often incorporate low-intervention processes, and has housed around 20 innovative wineries since its inception.
The Tasting Room – Wines of Washington
A hidden gem near one end of quaint Post Alley, this low-lit respite from the rest of bustling Pike Place Market in Seattle is a cooperative tasting room for eight Washington winemakers. The vibe is distinctly European, with rustic wood tables and a coppertop bar, and live music enlivens every Friday night. Just as importantly, informative tasting notes accompany dozens of glass pours and flights from members like Nota Bene Cellars, Wilridge Winery and the newest in the fold, Lost River Winery.
The Carlton Winemakers Studio
This eclectic collective of more than 10 Oregon winemakers in the wine village of Carlton, about an hour’s drive southwest of Portland, was built with a focus on sustainability, including natural light galore to cut down on electricity use and recycled materials like a tasting room door made from former high school bleachers. It’s all in service of gorgeous boutique wines, including Pinot Noirs from the likes of Hamacher Wines and WildAire Cellars but also plenty of rotating varietals from Lazy River Vineyard and other members.
Day Wines owner-winemaker Brianne Day founded this cooperative in Dundee, Oregon, in March 2017. Her natural wines turn in unexpected directions, like a 2016 Vicis featuring Pinot Noir co-fermented with Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc to lift the aromatics. She now shares her facility with around 10 winemakers, including Jackalope Wine Cellars and Burner Wines, whose wines rotate availability in a warm, modern tasting room with cedar walls, a broad copper bar and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking an outdoor patio with fire pit.
This article originally ran in the 2018 spring print edition of Sip Northwest. For the full story and more like it, click here.