Unique Portland: The creation of the Urban Winery and Restaurant: Cyril’s at Clay Pigeon

As part of my Unique Portland series on things that make Portland strange, different, and wonderful, I had the chance to sit down with Sasha and Michael of Cyril’s at Clay Pigeon Winery for an interview about how to bring two passions together into one location. Learn here all about Sasha and Michael and their adventures in creating a successful Portland Urban Winery and Restaurant: Cyril’s at Clay Pigeon.

Sasha, a self-proclaimed cheese BFF (best friend forever), and Michael, a wine connoisseur and now winemaker, have created a great place. Clay Pigeon, an urban winery run by Michael in Southeast Portland, specializes in Pinot Noir and Syrah wine from this great state of Oregon. Cyril’s, run by Sasha, is the restaurant, wine bar and tasting room.

Michael started Clay Pigeon originally in their basement in Portland; when they found the right space, they moved the winery to where it is today on Oak Street, on the other side of the wall from Cyril’s.

Michael and Sasha have even created a great video themselves about their passion:

The Fixe Lunch Special

The Fixe lunch of your dreams! Eggplant Involtini with a glass of Bourougne Chardonnay.

 

Make sure to check out Cyril’s Fixe lunch menu, which is priced at $14-$18 for a three course European-style lunch. You choose whether you’d prefer a glass of wine with your meal or whether perhaps you’d rather have a sweet finish with a delectable dessert. Check back every week as the menu changes.

This is comfort food to the extreme. You can’t help but leave here with a full belly and a content heart.  Cyril’s is open Monday through Friday for lunch, and it is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.Clay Pigeon Winery Syrah 2012

Because we live in this phenomenal foodie town, there is a time, once a month. when over 30 top-notch restaurants offer varying three-course meals throughout Portland for a mere $29 per person. Cyril’s is also a part of this great culinary event.

While you are at Cyril’s, I would highly recommend tasting their Sunshine Salad and cheese boards and enjoy a glass of Michael’s very own Clay Pigeon 2012 Syrah.  At this link you will also get a chance to view the bottling of this beautiful Rogue Valley Syrah.

 

Cyril's Dining Room

Where you can kick back and relax: Cyril’s Dining Room

 

Where to find Cyril’s at Clay Pigeon Winery:

815 SE Oak St (@Sandy), Portland, Oregon

Phone: 503.206.8117
Hours of Operation:
M: 11.30-4P
T-TH: 11.30-9P
F: 11.30-10P
S: 4P-10P
SUN: CLOSED

For more information: visit Sasha and Michael at www.claypigeonwinery.com/ and www.cyrilspdx.com.

Follow Sasha and her passion for food on Twitter @CyrilsPDX

Follow Michael and his adventures in wine on Twitter @ClayPigeonWine

Cheers!

 

About the author: April Yap-Hennig

April Yap-Hennig is a wine lover and marketer with 12 years of experience in International Marketing and Communication in Europe and the United States, and life experience also in the Caribbean and South America. She holds a Masters in Viticulture and Enology from the University of La Rioja, Spain, an MBA from Purdue University, and B.A. from University of Utah. She is also a Certified Wine Sommelier from the International Wine Guild in Colorado. April was born in Utah, raised in the Dominican Republic and Ecuador and has lived and worked in The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Spain. Her love of wine started when she studied in La Rioja, Spain during her undergraduate studies. This is where she fell in love with the country, the region, the people, the culture, and finally the wine. Thus changing her life and eventually her career.  She is now the co-founder and owner of Epicurean Media, a beverage and food artisan public relations and marketing consultancy as well as writes for the Sacred Drop Channel at www.sacreddrop.com. She is forging a new future in Oregon with her husband and their hilarious French bulldog, Guapo.

Check out her websites www.about.me/aprilyaphennig and www.epicureanmedia.com.

Washington #Merlot being processed at Hawks View

A quick video of the Washington Merlot we processed on Monday, October 1st at Hawks View Cellars. We processed 22,000 lbs or 11 tons of grapes this day. What you see here are the grapes coming in, which have been hand picked. We then hand process them by removing any leaves or bad grapes- such as dried grapes of grapes that are not in good shape- then it is destemmed with the machine. The grapes are separated from the stem and the stem leaves from the top part and the grapes, the size of blueberries leave through the side shoot.

Photo: 11 tons of dime-sized Washington Merlot passed through these hands today! I'm exhausted!

The merlot we processed was smaller than a dime!

The wine harvest has begun in Rioja Alta

In this video, you can see at a winery located in Rioja Alta, how they have started the harvest of the white grapes and doing an analysis of the grape must to check the sugar and therefore the alcohol content of the soon to be wine.  The sugar content is measured using a handheld refractometer.  When held to the light, you can see the approximate Brix of sugar that will give a predictive amount of Alcohol once this must has undergone fermentation. This is also judged and monitored by the Consejo Regulador in order to qualify each and every batch that comes into the winery. They are there measuring the amount of grapes in kilos per hectare and then qualifying it based on the Brix level.

The grapes that mature fastest tend to be the white grapes and therefore, the harvest generally begins with the white grapes and within a few days, the red grapes depending on their maturity and location will be picked next.

These grapes will be pressed first, the first pressing, a light pressing that will release the first juice will be set aside to be made into a higher quality wine and the second pressing will be used for the the next best wine.  This is common practice in most all wineries.