Posts Categorized: News

Wine Cocktail: Fireside

wine cocktail

With chilly nights and winter sniffles hitting Portland, we ran straight to Brew Dr. Kombucha to create a wine cocktail that’ll cure what ails ya. With a splash of Underwood Pinot Noir and equal parts Bourbon and Booch, this homegrown remedy is best enjoyed in front of a crackling fire (if a fireplace isn’t readily available, the YouTube Yule Log will do). Recipe by Bartender Jon Davidson.

Fireside

1.5 oz Bull Run Straight Bourbon Whiskey

1.5 oz Brew Dr. Kombucha Superberry

.5 oz lemon juice

1 oz black pepper simple syrup

1 oz Underwood Pinot Noir

1 oz Vinn Strawberry Liquor

Build and serve on the rocks. Garnish with a dehydrated lemon wheel.

jon davidson lemon squeeze shake pour

Photography by David L. Reamer

10 Things I Learned Working Harvest

saraintern

Did you know that wineries produce an entire year’s wine vintage in just a two month window of grape harvesting? If mother nature doesn’t cooperate, the fruit isn’t picked at the right time, or we get off schedule, things might go awry.

Because of that, Union Wine Company (and most wineries around the world) hire Harvest Interns, the miracle workers that help ensure our harvest runs smoothly. Working directly alongside our winemakers and our production team, this year’s team of 30 Harvest Interns have watched fruit turn to wine (and everything in between).

We asked Sarah Richins, Union Wine Company Harvest Intern, to tell us all about her harvest experience. Without further ado, we’ll let Sarah take it from here.

I started at Union Wine Company last month to work my first ever harvest. We have interns from Chile, Brazil, South Africa, and even Ireland – it is amazing to hear people’s stories and what drew them to working a harvest in Oregon.

Since I started, I have gone from terrified of driving a forklift to operating all kinds of machinery like a pro, I have dug out a tank full of grapes in less than three hours, and I have newfound respect for how much work it takes to craft the perfect Pinot.

Here’s some more things I have learned while crushing the 2018 harvest.

  1. I am way stronger than I think.
  2. Forklifting is like riding a bike – you have to keep practicing, and after you haven’t been on it for a while you can pick it up again (sometimes after a few failed attempts).
  3. Getting dirty is fun, and definitely part of the process – so get ready and always bring a change of clothes.
  4. It’s always important to ask for help. You have to know what you’re doing first in order to execute it properly later.
  5. Staying up until 3AM with coworkers is OK – we all need nights out to dance away to 60s/70s funk. Plus, we work the swing shift, so 3AM is the new 10PM.
  6. Food tastes better after working a harvest. The amount of food I consume now is the same as when I was training for a marathon.
  7. There is no bond like a harvest shift bond. Nothing beats co-workers turned friends.
  8. It’s okay if you have a bad day where nothing seems to be going right – we ALL have those days. Just remember that it will get better and keep your attitude high.
  9. I am even more obsessed with wine than I was before and can’t wait to continue to learn and grow in this field.
  10. Your hands will be dyed purple forever – get used to it.

If you want to learn more about the winemaking process, or just want a killer upper body, I highly recommend working a harvest at Union Wine Co. I can guarantee you will never take happy hour for granted again.

Editor’s Note: if you are interested in working next year’s harvest, please contact ellie@unionwinecompany.com. 

 

I’ll Have What She’s Having

underwood wine coolers feast

On September 13th, 2018, we blasted back to the past for Feast Portland: 80s vs 90s. Feast Portland is one of the nation’s most beloved food & drink festivals, and is where we introduced our Underwood wine in a can back in 2013.

If you know us, you know we’re not afraid to mix our wines with other quality ingredients to create new wine drinking experiences.  We debuted our Riesling Radler wine cooler in 2017, but for Feast, we wanted to take things up a notch and and create a lineup of special wine coolers exclusive for the event.

Our enologist, Jeb, was up to the challenge and may or may not have cracked a few Zima’s to inspire the brainstorming process. After some trial & error, we landed on two limited edition wine coolers: the Ecto Cooler and Wu-Tang.

menu for wine coolers wine cooler lineup

The Ecto Cooler was questionably green, but don’t let that fool you – its taste was reminiscent of Hi-C, and the Feast attendees couldn’t get enough of it. It was the first keg we emptied and quickly became the drink everyone kept coming back for. Our other special edition wine cooler, Wu-Tang, was an effervescent version of the time-honored Fuzzy Navel that tasted just like a peach ring, but better. These wine coolers were served alongside What She’s Having (our Strawberry Cooler, temporarily rebranded) and the Cosmo Cooler (our Riesling Radler). 2,700+ pours later, our kegs, and our Union Wine Co. staff bartenders, were exhausted.

wine cooler

We decked out our space with 80s and 90s ‘antiques’, or should we say, priceless relics borrowed from our Marketing Ops Manager Joan’s basement.

underwood wine

As we brainstormed what Union Wine Co. would’ve been like if it was around in the 80s or 90s, we thought: weren’t we there all along?

 

Feast Portland, thanks for letting us relive our glory days. We’re still on cloud nine, and will continue to rock our canny packs around the Industrial Chateau – why did they go out of style, again?

dacn pinot noir underwood feast photo booth

 

feast

Photography by Adam Wickham

We’ll Drink To This

 

At Union Wine Company, we’re passionate people. Passionate over the wine we make. Passionate about the place we live and work. And we care a lot about giving back to the organizations that keep our community thriving.

Last month, we presented a check for $100,000 to our local Planned Parenthood. This donation was the result of Get it Girl, our white wine blend made in collaboration with our friends at Wildfang, whose profits (all 100% of them) were given to Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette.

“This partnership was about more than making great wine. It was about using our platform to stand up for the values we believe in and make an impact for organizations that we care deeply about. It is an honor to be able to write a check of this size to such a fantastic organization. Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette is dedicated to helping people in the local community, something that we at Union Wine Company believe strongly in.”

– Ryan Harms

Union Wine Company Founder, Owner

We are pretty darn proud that our company was able to raise this amount of money for an organization doing so much for our community. It’s far and away the largest donation Union Wine Company has ever made. Even so, we wanted to do more.

After our founder, Ryan Harms, presented the check to Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, our team hunkered down in a conference room – powered by coffee, pastries (and maybe some Bubbles) – to get crafty. After all, winemakers (and those that support the winemaking process) are good with their hands. We spent the morning stuffing bags and making buttons.

Donating $100,000 and making buttons for an organization our company cares so much about? We’d say that’s a pretty great way to spend a morning.

Thank you to all who bought a can or two or three for the cause. We couldn’t have done this without you.

Still interested in getting your hands on Underwood Get it Girl? Limited quantities are still available for purchase on our online shop, with 25% off.

 

 

Photography by David L. Reamer

Make Summer Last Forever

We worked with Portland mixologist, Douglas Derrick, to create a Rosé libation to help make summer last forever.

Broad City Punch

2.5 oz Underwood Rosé

1.5 oz white grapefruit juice

1 oz Aria Gin (or London Dry Style)

1 oz chamomile syrup

2 dashes cherry-anise bitters (Peychaud’s or Creole)

Build all ingredients in a mixing tin. Shake, strain into 10 oz glass filled with ice. Garnish with a long stem mint sprig.

Bartender note: 

For the chamomile syrup, brew 2 chamomile tea bags in 8 oz hot water. Steep for 5 minutes, filter out tea and sir in 1 cup bakers sugar while hot. Let cool and refrigerate in airtight container for up to 5 days.

 

About Douglas Derrick

Southwestern by birth, Italian by heritage, and Northwestern by preference, Douglas Derrick has found his home in Portland’s thriving restaurant scene. On top of leading The Negroni Social and inspiring Negroni Week, a world-wide charity event which joins bars from all over the world to raise funds for local charities with Imbibe Magazine and Campari, Derrick creates handcrafted cocktails in the way chefs that he has worked with create menus: by using seasonal and in-house, made from scratch ingredients that change with the farms they source from. He works full time for Campari America, preaching the gospel of Negroni to bars all over the world.

 

Photography by David L. Reamer