Posts By: Joan



For a decade, Underwood wine has been leading a sustainable revolution, and now, we’re raising a can to our CANNIVERSARY – 10 spectacular years of wine in cans! 

Drinking Underwood isn’t just a taste sensation, it’s a celebration of wine no matter the container. It’s helping to level the playing field by removing the “rules” and the stuffiness around drinking wine — #pinkiesdown. It means 95% less energy, endless recyclability, and diverting heaps of waste from landfills. 

With each can, you’re not just enjoying fine wine, you’re toasting to a decade of making sustainability a priority, one sip at a time. 


We’re just getting started. 



2012 – On a random Sunday an email was sent from UWC founder, Ryan Harms, to his Union team.  

2013 – Celeste, a French Citroën truck was purchased and remodeled to be a portable wine bar.

2013 – Underwood Pinot Noir in a can was debuted at Feast PDX in September, a food festival in Portland, Oregon.

2014 – Underwood begins to sell Oregon Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris in big beer-sized 375ml cans! 

2015 – 1 Million Cans Sold!

2016 – Underwood Bubbles was added to the lineup.

2016 – Celeste hits the open road for the first time to share the love of canned wine at festivals and events. 

2017 – Underwood Rosé Bubbles makes it a 5-can lineup!

2018 – Union Wine Co. builds the industry’s first high-speed canning line with a canning capability of 200 cans/min. 

2019 – Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Rose are produced in single serving 250ml “slim” cans for special events.



Aluminum cans are 100% infinitely recyclable. 

Cans don’t absorb light that can damage wine. 

Cans are less expensive to produce & ship.

Cans can go anywhere. 

Cans created a new consumer experience. 



In 10 years…

Underwood has produced 41 million cans which is equivalent to 1.7 million cases of 750ml bottles. 

The smaller, lighter can allowed Underwood to ship nearly 24 million fewer pounds from the winery. 

This kept nearly 7.9 million pounds of carbon from entering the atmosphere. 







Underwood added a couple of “coolers” early on—our Riesling Radler took a fun spin on a more traditional beer radler, and our Strawberrry Cooler made with real strawberry puree was both tasty and adorable. Later, we created a low alcohol Spritz, and a White Haute Sangria in partnership with Marshall’s Haute Sauce. Our Nouveau was a hit in bottle so…a can of Nouveau seemed like a gimme.


We designed several cans that honor what we call our “Give Back” partnerships with the The Nature Conservancy, the National Park Foundation, Planned Parenthood & Wild Fang, and Keep Oregon Green. We also partnered with local Portland artist, Lisa Congdon, to design what we think of as our Pride can. 


Specially designed slim cans worked great for our partnership with the Timbers/Thorns FC organization.

Cheers to wine in cans, and the next 10 years!


Women in Wine 2024

We are proud to have a women-led winemaking team here at Union Wine, as well as a large team of women working hard behind the scenes. This month we’d like to recognize the three women behind the barrels – bringing impressive and approachable wines to tables across the nation.

Earlier this week we joined our winemaking crew to learn a little more about their experience and paths into the wine industry.

Meredith McGough: Director of Winemaking:

Meredith McGough

Her Italian mother and free-spirited father ensured that Meredith appreciated wine and travel early and often, leading her to dive headlong into a Viticulture and Enology education at UC Davis before she was of legal drinking age. The combinations of tradition and innovation, physical and mental, art and science sustain her passion for the craft of winemaking. A native Pacific Northwesterner through and through, Meredith found a home at Union Wine Co. after several years making decidedly pinkies-up wines in the Napa Valley, a few formative vintages braving the Oregon elements with a couple of our friends in the Willamette Valley wine industry, and some time harvest-hopping and adventuring in France, Australia, and New Zealand. As Director of Winemaking, Meredith works with the rest of the team to put impressive, unpretentious wine in the can or bottle.

Meredith has recently added to her full schedule and full house (which also includes a rabbit, two cats, three chickens, and a husband) with a sweet, rambunctious Cane Corso named Juno who is turning out to be an excellent running buddy. The pup is well on her way to outweighing Meredith.

Joanna Engel: Associate Winemaker

An Ohio native with a background in Animal Science, Joanna earned a PhD focusing on Laying Hen Behavior and Welfare from the University of Melbourne in 2016. Realizing academia was not her future, she dropped everything with 2 weeks’ notice and drove cross-country to experience harvest in California. Following multiple harvests in New Zealand and Oregon, Joanna joined Union Wine Company as Enologist in 2020 drawn by the innovation and diversity of product produced.

When she’s not at the winery Joanna loves cooking, baking, and reading. She also has a rescue cat, Fitzwilliam Darcy, that she is slowly enticing out from under the bed!

Kolby Childers: Enologist II

Kolby grew up in Washington “wine country” with parents who worked in the industry for over 30 years, two of three brothers who spent their summers on bottling lines or in cellars and labs, and even her extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins, worked in the industry at some point. So, naturally, when she needed a job the summer after she graduated college in Monmouth, Oregon, she joined a harvest crew and loved every minute of it. Next, she traveled to New Zealand and then California to work harvest and was working in Walla Walla, WA when she saw the job opening at Union. She’d spent her off hours with friends drinking Underwood Bubbles while in CA and loved the wine and the unpretentiousness of the brand and company. She also loved Oregon and always wanted to move back. The job was a perfect fit.

Outside of the lab, Kolby is an animal lover and spends as much time as possible with her two cats and dog. She enjoys all that Oregon has to offer, just as she knew she would: hiking, trail running, backpacking and when the sun finally comes out in summer you can find her thoroughly enjoying it while listening to podcasts and audiobooks.

We asked each of the women the same 4 questions:

1. What is your favorite thing about working in the wine industry?

2. What do you think has made you successful in the wine industry?

3. What advice would you give to the next generation of women working in wine?

4. What are you drinking right now?/What’s your go-to wine?/What are you most excited about in wine right now?


1. What is your favorite thing about working in the wine industry?
How about two? Can I give you my two favorite things?
My first favorite thing about the wine industry is the community. When I have occasionally thought that I should be doing something more meaningful with my life, I remember that it is the people with whom I have connected through wine that make this work meaningful to me. The wine industry is comprised of down-to-earth people all over the world who manage to make the world feel very small in the nicest of ways. The Oregon wine industry in particular is collaborative and open to sharing learnings, be they from successes or failures, and this keeps us all engaged and ensures that our industry is stronger as a whole.
My second favorite thing is that working in wine is an excellent way to travel to some of the most stunning places on the planet. I do still sometimes miss my harvest-hopping days. If you’re going to have to be an adult and work, why not do it abroad, basically getting paid to work out, while working with a bunch of interesting people who share a love of food, wine, and adventure?

2. What do you think has made you successful in the wine industry?
First and foremost, I am very comfortable getting dirty. Whether it’s dust in my nose from walking a vineyard or driving a tractor, or grape solids coating my arm to the shoulder from clearing a clogged drain during harvest, I am really just not bothered by (and would even go so far as to say I embrace) these less than glamorous aspects of the job. I don’t take myself too seriously, which has allowed me to keep laughing even in difficult situations. And I welcome continued growth and learning, always striving to be humble, which feels like an absolute necessity in a job so reliant on nature. But perhaps even more so, I clean up and stand up with confidence in my experience and knowledge while admitting what I don’t know, and I have used humor to bridge gaps and call attention to the still-present sexism that can be found in our industry (hopefully) without making anyone feel attacked. I have also had several mentors who have provided constructive feedback and invaluable support along the way.

3. What advice would you give to the next generation of women working in wine?
Be an advocate for yourself AND for others. Though it is imperative, advocating for oneself is sometimes easier said than done. Finding someone who will have your back in a professional setting, and being willing to be that person for someone else is the biggest strength I have found in people who support diversity across this industry. Help ensure others’ voices are heard in meetings, speak up if someone’s contributions aren’t being recognized or their capabilities questioned, and you will find reciprocity. Never assume your question is dumb or that everyone else already knows the answer; if you have that question, chances are someone else does too. Or maybe no one else has asked because you’re ten steps ahead and they haven’t caught up with you yet! And most importantly, IT’S JUST WINE! We all start out in this field because we enjoy it, and remembering that is important, though sometimes difficult (because it is also a job, and jobs can be stressful).

4. What are you drinking right now?
I drink a lot of Vermouth & Soda or Amaro & Soda. I love the balanced bitterness and the aromatic complexity found in Vermouth & Amari, and some local and experimental producers have been fun to try. I’ve been enjoying the uptick in Oregon Gamay noir production and always order a glass of any OR Gamay on a menu. I always drink a lot of Italian red wine: I love structure and earthiness if it comes with plenty of acidity. I’m also a big fan of Sherry, which took a while to grow on me because of the negative connotations I had around my technical training to regard oxidation as a fault. But when intentional, oxidation can be delicious! And Champagne, of course! Not just for special occasions. Wow, that was more than I thought I’d come up with. I clearly like and drink a lot of wine and wine-based beverages…


1. What is your favorite thing about working in the wine industry?
Everything! It’s hard work and exhausting, especially during harvest, but it’s allowed me to not only travel to new places, but to make friends all over the world. The wine industry is truly a community, especially in Oregon, where people collaborate and communicate openly and will help each other out in a heartbeat. I also can’t help but feel really proud when I see one of our wines on a shelf or a wine list, knowing that something I had a hand in is being enjoyed by others.

2. What do you think has made you successful in the wine industry?
I work hard, but I also work efficiently. Being able to think 3 steps ahead at all times can get you really far. I have a natural curiosity that often has me wondering ‘why?’ or ‘how?’. If there’s no one to ask directly about it, I will spend hours looking online and in books to figure out the answers. I’m also willing to do jobs other people might turn their noses up at. You will still see me dealing with compost, emptying drain baskets and troubleshooting wastewater around the winery.

3. What advice would you give to the next generation of women working in wine?
Don’t give up, work hard, and speak up. This is a really competitive industry job-wise, but the more you put yourself out there, the more opportunity you’ll have. It may be cliché, but women must work so much harder to get the same jobs/pay men do…there will always be someone who thinks they deserve it more, but it’s so important to be confident in your own abilities and know you deserve the good things that come your way.

4. What are you drinking right now?
Since August, I’m really loving Gin Martinis with Blue Cheese Olives. As far as wine goes anything and everything sparkling! There are so many great sparkling wines being produced in the Valley right now using all manner of methods (force carb, pet-nat, traditional) so there’s no shortage of great local wine in my glass (or can).


1. What is your favorite thing about working in the wine industry?
The great balance between creativity and science, it’s truly one of a kind! I don’t consider myself a very artistic or creative person, I very much enjoy science and math and rules, but winemaking allows me to be creative while still enjoying the science. Also the amazing people you get to meet from around the world and the lifelong friends you make. I LOVE (and am so grateful) that I was able to travel the world and make friends and now that I’m in a full-time position, one of my goals is to make sure every intern gets that same “once-in-a-lifetime” experience that they will be talking about for years to come.

2. What do you think has made you successful in the wine industry?
My interest in continuing to learn, even after high school and college I still want to learn the how and why behind so many things in life. I’m able to continue to learn and make connections while also knowing what next steps will come and I think that has helped me move so quickly into the role I have now.
Also, my drive to prove people wrong! This is a male dominated industry and I’ve been told more than once that I won’t make it or I don’t “deserve” the position I have, whether it be because I am female or I’m much younger than others in my same role, but proving people wrong is great motivation to keep pushing myself and also prove to myself I deserve to be here just as much as anyone else.

3. What advice would you give to the next generation of women working in wine?
ALWAYS stick up for yourself and other women. You should never be afraid to speak your mind, thoughts, and opinions. Don’t be afraid to come off as “bossy” or “b*tchy”. A lot of jobs make it feel as if you must put down other women to work your way up but that is exactly the opposite, you should be working arm in arm.

4. What are you drinking right now?
With it currently being winter, anything warm! Mulled wine, hot tea, I always have coffee at my desk with me. As for wine, I will never be able to fully say goodbye to my Washington palate; I love a Malbec and Syrah. And, the Willamette Valley and Oregon make amazing sparkling wine, you can never go wrong with bubbles!

A Step by Step Guide to Surviving Election Day

Election supplies

The day is finally upon us! Are you excited? Nervous? Stressed? Completely over it and checked out? We’re right there with you. One thing we can all agree on is that stress levels are at an all time high, but we believe the key to getting through the madness is to slow down and stock up on all of your tried and true creature comforts.  And we’re here to help. So here’s the plan:

STEP 1: Stock up on the essentials! What are your go-to comfort foods? Make a list of the things that make you feel the coziest and head to the store. Here’s what’s on our list:

a. Underwood Canned Wine (duh)

b. Frozen Pizza

c. Brownies + Chocolate + Frosting (go big or go home!)

d. Cookie Dough

e. Tissues…maybe we will cry tears of joy? Either way be prepared!

f. Bedtime Necessities

g. Coffee

h. Advil

i. Underwood Bubbles

j. Juice

2)  Prepare: Get comfy and don’t forget your mental health

a. Download your favorite meditation or relaxation app in-case you need to take a little break…or a few.

b. Put on your pj’s, it’s going to be a long night

3)  Here we go!

a. Pop open that can, or cans, or bottles.

b. Get to work on that pizza. Make sure to have a side of treats close by. We give you full permission to eat the whole pizza. Stress eating is normal and natural, we won’t judge.

c. Don’t forget that outside exists! Go for a walk, play with your pup, or just get some fresh air. It’s 100% ok to leave the house in PJ’s and sneakers. Maybe the only good thing to happen in 2020?

4)  Re-coop

a. Make yourself a cup of sleepy time tea

b. Draw yourself a bath, light some candles, set out the crystals

c. Grab an eye mask and some earplugs

d. Put on some soothing tunes and doze off

5)  Good morning! Congratulations! You made it! Celebrate with an extra cup of coffee, or a mimosa if you are waking up to good news! You deserve it.

Pro tip: brownies are an acceptable breakfast choice today.



Chefs at Home Series: Taco Tuesday with Jason French & Viola

Chef, consultant (and all-around great dude) Jason French has been a bastion of the Portland restaurant world for nearly twenty years. He ran the kitchen at Paley’s Place and helped open Clark Lewis before heading out on his own to open Ned Ludd and then Elder Hall. Thirteen years later, he can still be found where he is most comfortable…in his kitchen.

When Jason cooks at home, he often employs the help of his daughter Viola. Nearly thirteen herself, she has definitely followed in her father’s footsteps, honing her own kitchen skills. We asked Jason if we could hang out and get a (literal) taste of what kind of cooking he and his daughter collaborate on. He immediately suggested Taco Tuesday, a great way to spice up an otherwise bland day.

Jason chose to make Roasted Chicken, Squash, and Tomatillo Tacos with Refried Beans and Viola’s signature Guacamole.

For the tacos:
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 cup whole tomatillos, husked
1 medium summer squash, trimmed and cubed (seasonally, acorn or butternut squash may be substituted)
1 C chicken stock
1 T cumin seed, ground
2 T chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 475 degrees. Peel the husks from your tomatillos.

Cut your squash into large chunks.

Cut the chicken thighs in half, place all the ingredients into a large bowl, and season well.

Separate out in a single layer of a sheet pan and put into the oven. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked and the squash is golden brown.

Cut up the chicken and half of the squash. Put into a heavy-bottomed pot.

Put the roasted tomatillos, remaining squash, and the chicken stock into a large blender. Pulse until chunky and add to the pot.

Keep warm on the stove while you prepare the rest of the food.

While her dad is taking care of all that, Viola is in charge of the guacamole.

For the Guacamole:
1 large ripe avocado
1 T fresh lime juice
2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and scoop all the flesh into a bowl. Add the other ingredients and mix well. Adjust seasoning as needed.

And of course, get the chefs final approval…

Set the guacamole aside and make the refried beans. In a pinch, there is no shame in using canned refried beans, but if you have the time, and an extra set of hands to help, homemade is always best.

For the Refried Beans:
1 T olive oil or lard + 3 T more for frying
1 small onion, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1 T fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
2 C cooked pinto, black or red kidney beans, drained
1 C chicken stock
Salt and pepper

To make the beans, heat 1 T of oil and slowly cook the onions and garlic until just starting to color. Add the beans, oregano, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the chicken stock. Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Put everything in a food processor and blend until smooth.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, add the remaining oil until hot, add the beans and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the beans achieve the desired consistency, continually scraping all the “crusty goodness” off the bottom as it cooks. Adjust seasoning and set aside.

Once everything is ready, finish up your Fixins.

(Feel free to add/subtract whatever makes you happy)
corn tortillas, hard or soft, served warm with dinner
fresh limes, quartered
grated cheddar or Mexican style cheeses like Cotija
scallions, thinly sliced
French radishes, thinly sliced
pickled jalapenos, canned are supreme
fresh cilantro leaves

Finally, heat your tortillas over an open flame (or on an electric burner) and keep warm.

With perfect timing, Jason’s girlfriend Carrie happened to come home just as the last tortillas were being cooked. A bottle of Underwood Pinot Gris was opened and the French Family dinner was a complete success.

We want to thank Jason and his family for sharing their Taco Tuesday with us. If you are somehow unacquainted with Jason’s work, you can check out his restaurant, Ned Ludd, and his event space Elder Hall. In his spare time, Jason also works as a personal coach and consultant.

Finally, from everyone here in the Union Family, we hope you are staying safe. And please get out there and VOTE!

Photography and Text by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer)
Recipes by Jason French. (@jasonffrench)
Guacamole by Viola.

Records & Rosé Cocktails: Adding a little Summer to your Autumn

Now that the weather (at least in the Portland area) has officially packed away all of its tank tops and cut-off shorts in favor of some corduroys and light flannels, I think we can all agree, if not rejoice, that the summer is finally over and autumn has arrived. That, of course, is no reason for distress—fall in the Pacific Northwest can be beautiful, calm, and mild. But it can also get really nasty, really quick, so keep those raincoats at the ready.
At this time of year, it is very common to slip your remaining bottles of Rosé to the bottom of the wine rack and forget all about them for several months. But here at Union, we say a hearty and heartfelt “Nay!” to such thoughts. Rosé can definitely be enjoyed all year round, and especially in the lighter days of early Autumn. You just need the right situation and the right cocktail to highlight not just the wine, but the weather as well. Obviously, while the sun is still shining, “gather ye Rosebuds while ye may…”  but if the clouds roll in and it seems like a day to enjoy the great indoors, we have a plan ready for you.  (Hint, hint…)

Nothing goes better with a tasty Rosé cocktail than digging deep into the ol’ vinyl stacks and finding a few records that still keep the summertime vibe rolling. We’ll be suggesting a few records before this post is complete (we’re sure you have your personal favorites too), but for now, let’s get to the cocktail.
The Great Indoors
1.5 oz Gin (dealer’s choice, tho we prefer Beefeater)
1 oz Lillet Blanc
2 oz fresh-squeezed ruby-red grapefruit juice
Rosemary sprigs for garnish and a touch of the Autumnal
*Makes 1 cocktail

Fill a glass with ice. Juice the grapefruit. Measure all ingredients into the glass. Stir well and garnish with a sprig of Rosemary.

Pick a few choice records and enjoy. We know that everyone has their favorite tunes when playing DJ, but we wanted to suggest a few that inspired us while we were creating this cocktail.
First up, the sentinel Andrew Bird Album, The Mysterious Production of Eggs, which although it is currently celebrating its 15 year anniversary, is as fresh and upbeat as ever.

Originating in Dallas Texas, the Old 97s have been going strong for nearly 30 years. Their newest albums are as melodic and clever as anything they have ever put out, but this classic, Hitchhike to Rhome definitely put them on the map, so to speak.

Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t highlight Portland’s very own Blitzen Trapper, and their 2008 classic, Furr.

So, from everyone here in the Union Family, we hope you are socializing safely and washing those hands!
And please, please, please
And, of course, keep those #pinkiesdown.

Photography, Cocktail & Text by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer)