It was a coincidence that Erath, the winery known as one of the Willamette Valley’s first pinot noir producers, closed its Dundee Hills tasting room right before Gov. Kate Brown shut down the state’s restaurants and bars: the lease was up, and the team was eyeing a location in the Portland area. The timing ended up working out well: Erath worked on renovations at a Pearl District warehouse while restaurants stayed shuttered. But starting Thursday, Portlanders can drink Willamette Valley pinots in the winery’s new Pearl District tasting room.
The colorful space combines geometric design touches with exposed brick and unfinished wood, with pops of cerulean, turquoise, and brassy golds. Over the tasting room’s bar, a custom light fixture spells out “Dundee” in curly letters, a nod to its origins. During the age of social distancing, the bar is out for casual tasting, but the tasting room will offer reservations for parties under six with strict safety protocols and health measures: tasting spaces will be sanitized between customers, and staff receive temperature checks before each shift.
Those who do come in to taste will have an option of flights, with cheese pairings for each wine sourced from local cheesemakers: For instance, the winery pairs its lightly oaked Le Choix Chardonnay with Portland Creamery chevre and pear-hazelnut pate. “We’d love to develop and grow that program, even if we get to the point where we can bring in a cheese cart and start meet-the-maker events, address the local maker community on that level,” says senior guest services manager Jennifer Willis. Flights will also change option, along with the wines’ food pairings. Customers can also fill growlers with pinot gris or noir, and, of course, take home bottles.
The winery is now taking reservations for its opening day, September 10, by calling (503) 538-3318 or by visiting the website. Erath’s tasting room is located at 1439 NW Marshall Street.
• Erath [Official]
• Historic Erath Winery is closing its Dundee tasting room [O]