When your house is on the same block as a winery, you might need to dodge forklifts when you walk your dog, or navigate around a sorting table when you ride your bike. Such is life in Portland, Oregon's Southeast district, home to the Southeast Wine Collective. An incubator space with seven small producers sharing equipment and know-how, it's part of Portland's growing winemaking scene—with a welcoming tasting bar for locals to sample the wines.
The couple behind Division Winemaking Company, Tom and Kate Monroe, founded the Collective in 2012. After studying with winemakers in Burgundy's Beaujolais region, they knew they wanted to start a winery in Oregon but weren't sold on country living. Today, in a warehouse surrounded by restaurants, shops and Craftsman-style houses, they turn Pinot Noir and Gamay (Beaujolais's signature grape) into outstanding wines.
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Finding enough fruit is a challenge. "There was a fair amount of Gamay planted in Oregon in the late 1970s and '80s," says Scott Frank of Bow & Arrow, a former member of the Collective. "But a lot was torn up. We have to be grape detectives to find hidden plots."