Partnership — Purple Cow moves in with Fox Farm, creating downtown combined tasting room

After spending months in a temporary space, Dave Ras­mussen and Briana Rogers decided it was time for a change.

“We talked about maybe future plans in Portland, opening a combined tasting room, and when we looked at this facility and where we were down there, we decided the playing in the garage wasn’t as great as coming to Carnegie Hall,” said Rasmussen, president of Purple Cow Vineyards, with the facility being Fox Farm Vineyard’s space on First Street. “So we made a move to come down here, which has been a great decision.”by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Dual business - Purple Cow Vineyards has joined forces with Fox Farm Vineyards, opening a combined tasting room in Fox Farm's space on First Street.

Surprisingly, they said the process went smoothly.

“It’s actually been a great experience; we talk about that daily,” Ras­mussen said. “It was seamless.”

David Fish, with Fox Farm, said the combined tasting room just made sense.

“Fox Farm has been in downtown Newberg for five years now and we have always featured the wines of other wineries,” Fish said. “That’s been a big part of what we’ve done, maximizing exposure for the brand Willamette, not just the brand Fox Farm.”

For both parties, they agree it was a smart decision.

“It’s a great combination, we have over 30 wines between the two of us,” Rasmussen said.

Remarkably, he said, they don’t compete with each other either.

“Our wines are soft and delicate, classic cool vine wines … (Purple Cow) brings out of the box, rich, bold, exotic, spicy wines not common here,” Fish said. “It’s something that added value to the guests, so it’s not just pinot, pinot, pinot.”

Rogers said even though there aren’t many overlaps in wine type, when there are, it’s not an issue.

“Even the same varietals are very different wine making styles,” she said.

Lauren Wylie, gallery manager at Art Elements, has been helping the new duo market the combined tasting room. She said what she’s noticed is the wealth of knowledge between the two wineries, and their willingness to share.

“What I’ve got right off the bat, regardless of whether you don’t know anything about wine or known a ton about wine, when you walk in here you can take away as much information as you want, as much as you’re willing to learn,” Wylie said. “They’re both a wealth of knowledge and both open to sharing the things they do. That’s not something you really find in wine country these days. This is more about enjoy that glass you have and what to really pair it with.”

Fish said both he and Rasmussen enjoy when people ask questions and want to know anything about the wines.

“Some people want to know everything, some people want to know the acidity, the ph, what type of oak. Some people want to know does it go with chickens, is it going to get me some sweet loving? That’s all they want to know,” he said.

Regardless of the benefits to customers, Rasmussen said it’s just been an amazing experience for them.

“It’s amazing when you get with people you can work things out with and you have commonalities,” he said.

The combined tasting room, nicknamed “Purple Fox,” is open from noon to 8 p.m. every day at 606 E. First St.

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