We recently spoke with wine writer Katherine Cole to help us frame some of the larger themes in our current documentary project. She took some time away from her current book project to meet us at the Southeast Wine Collective, an urban winery that fosters some up-and-coming winemakers in an urban space that borders the lively restaurant scene on Division street in the Southeast Portland neighborhood.

Katherine Cole in the cellar at the Southeast Wine Collective

Katherine’s voice combines the authority of an expert with the passionate of a true aficionado…on camera she shares that same spark that many of the winemakers we’ve talked to who’ve jumped into this business.

Tom Monroe is one of those who took a leap of faith. Along with his wife, Kate, he founded The Southeast Wine Collective as a home for not only their own Division Winemaking Company, but a number of other incipient brands, winemakers who might lack the capital necessary to plant their own wine estates in Yamhill County, but who’ve got no shortage of enthusiasm and commitment. A few of them were hanging out in the tasting room while we talked with Tom about leaving behind his career in the financial industry in New York, heading for some manual labor gigs in the Loire Valley before deciding to settle in Portland to launch a vision for an urban winery he first conceived in graduate school.

Thomas Monroe behind the bar at the Southeast Wine Collective

We find fascinating wine people at every turn, and it’s tempting to keep on shooting, but we’ll soon be settling into the editing phase of the project.