In Portland, there’s no shortage of former somms and wine geeks who have decided to “go pro” and start little urban wineries all over town. John Grochau, and his Grochau Cellars, is one of the very best.
This lifelong cyclist first encountered wine riding bikes for a French team all over France in his early 20s, and upon returning to Portland, worked in the legendary and influential Higgins restaurant as a server for over 14 years. After apprenticing with Doug Tunnell at Brick House, he started Grochau Cellars with next to nothing in 2002. This is a true “Bootstrap” operation.
John seeks to make wines that “are balanced, textured and expressive of place.” Situated on volcanic soils planted with 28 acres of grapes in the Eola-Amity AVA, Björnson Vineyard is certified Salmon-Safe and sustainable by L.I.V.E. (Low Input Viticulture and Enology). We loved this wine’s gracious, lithe, sappy cherry lozenges, red berries, and cola. Frankly it was tough to spit out!