Eastmoreland’s Most Prominent Winemaker

BEST WINEMAKER

When not spinning hot, new club mixes at Portland-area benefit galas, former Mayor “DJ Sam” Adams brewed his own beer. There’s perhaps some symbolism in the fact that currentMayor Charlie Hales, a University of Virginia alum who enjoys tooling down the Pacific coastline on his sailboat, makes his own wine. In his Eastmoreland basement.

The city’s most prominent home vintner has been winemaking since 2009—mostly pinot noir, with the occasional pinot gris. Hales and 15 pals, mostly veterans of the regional planning agency Metro, travel to Banks each year to pick grapes and turn them into mash. Hales makes about 200 bottles a year, which he labels “Amuse.” “They do the first fermentation in one guy’s garage,” says mayoral spokesman Dana Haynes, “and the second in the Hales’ basement.” Then they drink it.

How’s the product? The red’s a bit fruit-forward, but the mayor succeeds very well in making a half-sweet white. Hales says the 2012 vintage is solid, “but I’m not giving up my day job.” AARON MESH.

Courtesy of Willamette Week this morning.