Along the Street: Flâneur turning old warehouse into winery

Marcus Larson/News-Register ## Just southeast of Flâneur Wine’s outdoor tasting room, the winery’s new production facility is being built in a former warehouse. Flâneur will be making wines in Carlton by fall; its tasting room in the historic grain elevator has been open since 2019.
Marcus Larson/News-Register ## Just southeast of Flâneur Wine’s outdoor tasting room, the winery’s new production facility is being built in a former warehouse. Flâneur will be making wines in Carlton by fall; its tasting room in the historic grain elevator has been open since 2019.


Flâneur Wines, which already has a destination tasting room in a century-old granary in Carlton, is remodeling an old warehouse building next door to become a wine production facility.

The warehouse lies just across the old railroad bed from the tasting room. Built in 1974 by a beer distributor, it has held manufacturing and retail businesses in the past.

By fall, it will be the setting for turning pinot, chardonnay, gamay and aligote grapes into wine.

Russell Lichtenthal, director of sales and hospitality, said workers are replacing the metal sides and roof of the warehouse. Inside the large space, they will install new floors and “an intense series of drains” needed by a winery. They will build a receiving area for grapes and add a small annex for offices.

They will fill the main building with tanks, separate spaces for producing red and white wines, fermentation equipment and a small lab.

The area around the winery also will serve as overflow parking for the tasting room.

Flâneur also has a tasting room in a converted barn adjacent to its La Belle Promenade vineyard, 10 miles from Carlton in the Chehalem Mountains/Ribbon Ridge area. The site, near Bald Peak State Park, is spectacular in its own way, Lichtenthal said, with an apiary to go with panoramic views from its 800-foot elevation.

The winery was founded by Martin Doerschlag of Washington, D.C., who brewed his first vintage in 2013. He expanded from selling wine to his friends to opening the winery and offering a wine club, then tastings.

He named his new business “Flâneur,” a French word for someone who strolls through life reveling in discovering new things.

“He thought it was a beautiful concept,” Lichtenthal said. “We want people to savor the wine and their time here, put their phone away, have a conversation and enjoy the moment.”

Doerschlag hired winemaker Grant Coulter in 2016 and Lichtenthal in 2017 to manage tasting and marketing; Brooke Jefferson, director of marketing, joined the company the next year. Flâneur now has about a dozen employees at its two sites.

The Carlton tasting room occupies the remodeled Madsen Grain elevator at 168 S. Pine St., which retains many characteristics of its original use, along with modern amenities.

Reused grain elevator wood is used throughout, along with vintage marble slabs turned into counter tops, paving tiles from France on the outside patio, and pillars in the pergola made from wood reclaimed from a coffee roaster in Brooklyn, New York.

Doerschlag chose Yamhill County for his winery because it’s a great region to grow pinot and other varieties of grapes, Lichtenthal said.

Flâneur’s wines currently are made in a leased space in Carlton. Doerschlag had been making plans to build a 10,000-square-foot winery on his vineyard property, but decided it would ruin the view.

When the Carlton warehouse became available, it proved the perfect site, Lichtenthal said. Upon completion in August, Lichtenthal said, Flâneur will have a campus-like setting with the tasting room, wine sales and wine production all in one place.

Flâneur’s tasting room is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 168 S. Pine St., Carlton. Forty-five minute tastings with five wines cost $30.

Drop-ins are welcome, Lichtenthal said, but appointments are encouraged at 503-899-4120 or visit@flaneurwines.com.


Preservation honors

Johnny Edwards of McMinnville has won an Oregon Heritage Excellence Award for his work with historic cemeteries in McMinnville and Lafayette.

Edwards, who received the Sally Donovan Award for Historic Cemetery Preservation, is the caretaker of the Masonic cemeteries in both cities. His volunteer work has included writing grants for cemetery improvement projects, cutting grass and removing fallen limbs, and righting and repairing headstones toppled by age or vandalism.

Edwards is one of several Heritage Excellence winners chosen this month for their outstanding contributions to preserving Oregon heritage.

Awards recognize “action taken to preserve and share Oregon’s heritage over and above the call of duty,” according to Katie Henry, coordinator for the Oregon Heritage Commission.

Winners “serve as inspiration and models for preserving Oregon’s stories,” she said.

Awards will be presented at the virtual Oregon Heritage Summit April 29.


25 years in wine

Terry Sherwood, who founded Crush2Cellar winery supplies, recently marked 25 years of working with the Oregon wine industry.

Crush2Cellar works with wineries of all sizes to provide everything from yeast, bacteria, nutrients and tannins to cleaning and cellar supplies, tanks, fittings, valves, hoses, lab equipment and chemicals.

The Newberg shop opened in 2015. In addition to Crush2Cellar, the location also houses ETS Labs, which offers sample testing and analysis for local winery customers.

Sherwood’s work with the wine industry dates back to 1996, when he started delivering nitrogen, argon and CO2 to local wineries. He soon became well-known to winery and vineyard owners and winemakers.

He said he noticed a gap in the availability of winery supplies in the Willamette Valley, so he started supplying them. He recalled that his first customer was Michael Stevenson at Panther Creek Cellars, who needed two 4-foot shelves of fittings and valves.

Over the years, he added cellar chemicals, bottling and lab equipment, crushers and stem removers.

When Sherwood decided to open a full-service, retail winery supply shop, he was joined by his son, Tyler Sherwood, and colleague Danielle Koepke in open Crush2Cellar. His daughter, Caylee Rojas, came on board in 2018.

Sherwood received the Oregon Winegrowers Association’s Dedicated Service Member Award in 2002 and was recognized in 2014 by the Oregon Wine Walk of Fame awards on behalf of Davison Winery Supplies.

Twenty-five years after joining the wine industry, Sherwood said he remains “deeply embedded in and committed to this community ... it’s been a joy to watch the Willamette Valley wine country grow and evolve.”

For more information about Sherwood or Crush2Cellar, go to the website, www.crush2cellar.com.


French owners

The Bollinger family of France has purchased Ponzi Vineyards, one of the Willamette Valley’s oldest wineries.

It’s the first time the Bollingers, known for Champagne Bollinger, have acquired a winery outside their home country. Representatives of Societe Jacques Bollinger, the French company, said they were attracted to the Willamette Valley because its latitude and climate are similar to those of the Burgundy and Champagne regions of France.

SJB reps said they are purchasing Ponzi’s winery and hospitality facilities located north of Newberg off Highway 219 in Washington County.

The Ponzi family will continue to grow vines on 100 acres, including the original 20 acres on which they founded the business. They will sell grapes to the winery’s new owners.

Dick and Nancy Ponzi founded the winery in 1970. Their children took control of the business in the early 1990s.

Anna Maria Ponzi will continue to run the sales and marketing end of the buisness until the Bollingers name a new chief operating officer. Luisa Ponzi will continue to direct viticulture and marketing.


Park reservations

The Oregon State Parks Department is offering reservations for group camping and group day-use areas in some parks for stays beginning May 1.

Group sizes are limited to 25 visitors for each open area, because of pandemic restrictions. Masks and social distancing are required.

Some parks are not yet offering group facilities. A list of those that are open is available on the Oregon State Parks website, stateparks.oregon.gov.

Hiker/biker camping areas are also opening statewide on a first-come, first-served basis. A list of parks and open hiker/biker areas also available on the website.

Fore more information, call the Oregon State Parks Information Center at 1-800-551-6949 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

Send business news to Starla Pointer at spointer@newsregister.com.


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