For some fascinating perspective on Oregon’s past, present and future, we turned to Lisa Shara Hall, a wine industry writer and a senior editor for Wine Business Monthly. On Saturday, Lisa shared thoughts on the challenges that new winemakers face as they enter the business in a saturated market during an economic downturn, and also offered some concerns and hopes for the future of our region’s evolving wine scene.

Lisa Shara Hall

Lisa began her career as a food writer for the Oregonian, but she soon grew fascinated with the intellectual challenge of writing about wine. “After all, how many ways can you write about chicken?” Now she’s traveled the world exploring wine regions and brings a writer’s perspective to our project.

Lisa made the great suggestion of meeting at Boedecker Cellars, in northwest Portland, where Stuart Boedecker and his wife Athena Pappas crush Willamette Valley fruit in a gritty manufacturing district. Their urban winery is at the same time a stark contrast to the pastoral settings of many of the places we’ve visited, but once inside the lofty space it has the same magic of any winery, with stacked barrels, the hint of must in the air.

Boedecker Cellars in northwest PDX

The husband and wife duo run the business from top to bottom and both are hands-on winemakers, developing two distinct styles that they bottle separately. We were able to chat with them on camera about the benefits of making wine in an urban location, and how they took the leap from their former careers.

Stuart Boedecker and Athena Pappas