COMMENTARY

Wine on the Go

Innovations signal bustling, exciting times

By Hilary Berg

Our society loves its conveniences. Groceries delivered to your door, meal kit subscriptions, renting movies via your TV, eyeglass frames to try on at home, coffee drive-thrus. The list goes on and on, and on.

In the wine industry, convenience translates to other amenities, such as wine clubs’ home delivery (see page 26) or canned wine — which we recently covered. Behind the scenes, one of the greatest game-changers is the mobile unit.

Editor's Note

Hilary Berg has been the editor of OWP since 2006. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s in journalism. She and her husband own a seven-acre vineyard and winery called Roots.

Owning and operating a winery can be cost-prohibitive. It takes a fair number of expensive equipment to make your favorite Pinot Blanc or Albariño (see page 14). Processing the fruit requires sorting lines and de-stemmers, presses and pumps. But, like I said, mobile companies are now here to make wine production more affordable and so much easier.

For example, Jon Casteel, the youngest of the Bethel Heights Casteel clan, saw a need and filled it, literally. With an eye on a tractor-trailer, he made an incredibly savvy business decision in 2006: He started his own mobile bottling unit. Twelve years later, he’s serviced wineries all across the Valley, and now owns an on-site bottling facility, offering even more options to his ever-growing client list.

Filtering wine. Who knew this was such a tricky task? Winemakers, raise your hands. Companies like Willamette Cross Flow offer reliable, affordable mobile filtration, alleviating headaches of cellar workers throughout the state. A service that’s a clear winner.

And now, one of the most expensive and time-consuming endeavors any winery can undertake, traditional sparkling, has been innovated into a mobile service using the latest equipment and making the highest quality bubbles on the market — if you’ve never tasted founder Andrew Davis’ sparkling, Lytle-Barnett, you are truly missing out (see page 30).

Although not on the road, other innovations are happening, too, in the vineyard, in the lab, in the distribution market (see page 40), etc.

In the end, all these modernizations lead to the same goal: Quality wine from a healthy market in which new ideas and tradition balance for a perfect delicious blend.

Now that’s something worth waiting for in the winding-around-the-parking-lot line that’s now spilling out into the street. Coffee, not so much.

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