German-style urban winery opens, adds to diverse local scene

COURTESY: TEUTONIC - Teutonic Wine Company owners Barnaby and Olga Tuttle (in photo harvesting grapes) will feature their unique brand of no irrigation, low-alcohol wines with food from The Wild Hunt at their new tasting room on Southeast Powell Boulevard. Portland’s burgeoning urban wine scene will get even richer this week as Teutonic Wine Company — a Willamette Valley producer of German-style wine — opens a tasting room in Southeast Portland.

Based in Alsea since 2005, Teutonic focuses on Alsatian and Mosel-style wines that come from nonirrigated and higher-altitude vineyards.

They’re one of two dozen small wineries that belong to the Deep Roots Coalition, a group of Willamette Valley vintners that produce wine without irrigation for two reasons: as a more sustainable way to farm, and to produce a pure terroir-driven wine.

Teutonic sources grape varieties like Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Chasselas, Gewürztraminer, Silvaner, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier to make wines that are balanced and lower in alcohol.

Owners Barnaby and Olga Tuttle decided to open their new space at 3303 S.E. 20th Ave. to showcase their wines — and their style — to a diverse audience.

“For years, people have been asking us where they can come taste our wines,” Olga Tuttle says. “We’re thrilled to have a space we can call our own — one that reflects our approach to winemaking and our eclectic style.”

Starting in early April, the tasting room also will offer hearty fare and shareable plates from The Wild Hunt, a new venture created with Teutonic’s wines in mind by the owners of Viking Soul Food. Based in a vintage Airstream trailer at 4255 S.E. Belmont St., Viking Soul Food is a food cart known for its Norwegian lefse wraps.

The Wild Hunt will be housed in a converted school bus parked at the winery, with food meant to be enjoyed in the tasting room.

They’ll offer wine-friendly Scandinavian fare, such as: Smoked Steelhead Mousse with Knekkebrød and Cucumber; Roasted Whole Trout with Cranberry Pinot Noir Sauce, Leeks, Barley and Mushroom Pilaf; Seared Half Chicken with Lemon and Dill, Janssen’s Temptation, and Pickled Celery.

The tasting room will feature roll-up glass doors, a bar top made of a mosaic of birch tree sections, walls of blue-knotted pine, vintage light fixtures and a large window overlooking the winemaking space.

The tasting room seats 15, with more outdoor seating in the warmer months. It’ll be open noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Sunday, noon-10 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday. For more:

Vinyl records from the Tuttles’ collection will add some funkiness to the ambience. The owners will offer private tours and barrel tastings ($25 per person) that can be scheduled by phone.

Special events will include guest winemakers and a weekly Seafood Sundays series with guest chefs.

The idea of dry farming wine is growing in Oregon; it’s been a common practice among many wineries in France, Italy, Germany and Spain for centuries.

“The arid West and, particularly, the drought in California has made clear that irrigation is in most cases not a sustainable form of agriculture,” according to the Deep Roots Coalition, which includes the Division Winemaking Company, which also has a Southeast Portland tasting room.

“And with respect to grape vines, irrigation is unnecessary.”

The sustainability of dry farming is just one of its key principles. The Deep Roots vintners also believe that dry farming produces wine that more truly reflects its terroir, or the place from which it is produced.

“The concept of ‘place’ includes soil composition and depth, degree and direction of slope, latitude, temperature regime and precipitation,” according to the Deep Roots Coalition. “Obviously, if one introduces irrigation to the equation, the all-important parameter of precipitation is eliminated and terroir no longer applies to the resulting wine.”


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