AWG Correspondent

Rob Boss

Teutonic Wine Company Photos

Teutonic Wine Company Review

Regions: Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon

Reviewed: May 25, 2016 by Rob Boss
Published: July 17, 2016

(Photos by Jai Soots)

Although Burgundy might hail as the holy grail of Pinot Noir, there are other places in the Old World that have been producing wine from the grape for almost as long. And while the majority of Oregon wine producers emulate the Burgundian style, Barnaby Tuttle of Teutonic Wine Company swings toward Alsace. As a result, Teutonic’s wine offers a unique and fascinating study of winemaking and all its passion.

Three things ring with amusement when visiting Teutonic’s Southeast Portland tasting room: One is that they answer the phone, “Teutonic Wine Factory.” The second is that they refer to the tasting room as the Teutonic Tavern, and, of course, the irreverence doesn’t stop there. This sort of “function follows form” flair might be red flags for some establishments we’ve been to, but at Teutonic Wine Factory, nothing could be further from the truth.

Third, they play records in the tasting room—real, honest to goodness LPs. Other tasting rooms do that, too, of course (like Vista Hills). But Teutonic’s music system has all the nostalgic flair of my favorite college dorm room memories. (You can read the details here). And they were playing Miles Davis. Talk about a deck stacked in their favor. Yet none of that matters unless the wine is good, which it is, and refreshingly different from everything else that’s going on in the majority of Willamette Valley wineries.

Assistant winemaker Alex Neely pointed out that all of Teutonic’s whites have residual sugar; lush, ripe fruit flavors lead the way here. He started the flight with Teutonic’s 2015 White Wine, which has taken the name Pig & Swords from its label. The blend of Pinot Noir, Muller Thurgau, and Sylvaner greeted my nose with an orange blossom note, followed by lychee nuts, lemon zest and tangerine flavors. A tart acidity beckons for fresh, summer food.

Speaking of food: Wild Hunt food cart is parked right in front of the winery. What they call “Viking soul food” pairs well with Teutonic’s Alsatian-style wines, and suddenly the tasting room becomes a great dinner destination after the winery work is done (Wednesday through Saturday). For those who love Sunday Brunch (I love Sunday Brunch), Teutonic offers “Seafood Sundays” through the summer.

Most of Teutonic’s wines are single-vineyard and the 2014 Pinot Gris comes from one of my favorites, Maresh Vineyard in Dundee. The apple and pear notes on the nose were mouthwatering, followed by granny smith, star fruit, and green fruit flavors. The 2015 Rose hails from Laurel Vineyard, notably the highest vineyard elevation in the valley. The vines are an Alsatian Pinot Noir clone—which begs more research on my part, having experience only with the likes of Dijon and Pommard clones in Oregon. The wine’s bright acidity and strawberry flavors will pair with any summer dish, from berry salads to grilled meats, but it’s also a lovely cocktail wine to share with friends.

Even more intriguing was the 2013 Alsea Vineyard Pinot Noir. Alsea is located on the far side of the coastal range. That makes it technically not Willamette Valley, and it’s completely different from anything else in the region. The pretty, light ruby color was enticing, and I found the dry, dusty fruit flavors fascinating.

That put the cap on a really great tasting. These guys hit all the right notes: a beautiful urban tasting room with a fun and energetic atmosphere, great wine and food, an interesting perspective of the wine world—while they’re playing records. Things could get better, just not in my world. When visiting Portland, Teutonic Wine Company should be at the top of your list. Count on a great time. They’ll make sure of it.

Address & Contact Information: 3303 SE 20th Ave. Portland, Oregon 97202. Telephone: 503-235-5053, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Mon-Thurs 12:00-9:00, Fri-Sat 12:00-10:00, Sun 1:00-7:00.

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