One of the things I like about the uptick in Portland's urban wineries, is that it affords the opportunity to conveniently find out more about how the wine world actually works. There's no drive out to the country or the necessity of clearing an entire weekend involved. You can just go to happy hour like normal.

Similar to SE Wine Collective's "harvest happy hours" running through October 18, the newer Clay Pigeon Winery is opening up their wine operation to the public on Wednesday evenings for a glimpse of the harvest-season process (I have never been more aware of the wine harvest season than I have in 2013—thank you, urban winery movement): "Depending on the stage we’re at with the wine making process, you might get to see us processing grapes, starting fermentation, punching down, or pressing the wine. Your tour will also include a taste of the various stages of wine making."

The tours and tastes are free, but on a first-come sign-up basis at the winery (can I just call it "the Pigeon"? I want to.). This evening's tour is the second to last, so show up as close to six as you can for dibs. And if you've never been to Clay Pigeon, you should also prepare yourself for the "her" end of this his 'n' hers operation, which involves some serious cheese collecting, educating, tasting, and pairing. Come hungry, thirsty, and nerdy.

Future pinot
  • Clay Pigeon Winery
  • Future pinot