Boedecker Cellar’s Beginning
Many years ago, while Stewart and Athena were dating, they fell in love, and not just with one another, but with the elegant, nuances of Pinot Noir. When they married, they brought their true loves together and opened Boedecker Cellars in 2003.
After crafting wines at Oregon’s first shared-use winery in Carlton, Oregon, they were able to build their own sustainable urban winery in a refurbished warehouse in the heart of Northwest Portland – just a stone’s throw from downtown and less than an hour from their prized vineyards. Dedicated to fine details in winemaking, when you visit Boedecker Cellars Winery and Tasting Room you will likely encounter Stewart and Athena in the cellar tending their award-winning wines.
“Husband-and-wife team Stewart Boedecker and Athena Pappas from Oregon’s Willamette Valley agree that Pinot is the perfect grape. But when it comes to style, they go in different directions. Join the fun as they talk winemaking – and relationships.”
Stewart is a lover of the classic Oregon Pinot Noir, aromatically brilliant, full of red fruit flavors, subtle notes of bramble and olive wood, complex and focused with structure to age indefinitely. His fascination with and passion for Oregon Pinot Noir began when in 1992 Stewart made wine while at Cornell University. In Oregon, he later volunteered in exchange for knowledge at several well-established Oregon wineries, enrolled in wine-making classes at UC Davis and Chemeketa CC and eventually founded Boedecker Cellars with Athena in 2003. While Stewart still works at his day job, his passion for Pinot remains as solid as the day he first began.
Athena loves the depth and intensity that interplay with the complexity and transparency in Pinot Noir. She too studied wine-making at UC Davis and Chemeketa CC although mostly she loves to climb the barrels, stir the wines, and drive the forklift. A native Portlander with a Greek heritage; to say wine-making is her passion falls short; today wine-making is her identity.
Tradition and Science
Guided by both tradition and science, we practice natural, traditional methods; minimal intervention is the word, hands off combined with attention to detail is our way. Everything we do is literally by hand, from harvesting, sorting, stirring and filling barrels. Lab analysis is done by nose; smell. Fermenting with native yeasts from the vineyard highlights the characteristics of each vineyard, bringing every aspect of terroir into the cellar.
Over the years we have grown a community of dedicated people – a little crazy but full of passion. While Stewart and Athena make the wine, they cannot do it themselves. If titles could be used, Stewart would be our Enologist, Winemaker and Vineyard Manager, and Athena would be titled Winemaker and GM. Our Cellar Master does a bit of everything and during the heart of harvest, friends, family and some terrific community members participate in the passion and joy (and hard work!) of making Pinot.