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Les Caves, a New Subterranean Winery Bar, Opens in Portland, Ore.

Ovum and Golden Cluster winemakers open Les Caves, a new wine bar focused on older wines, grower Champagne, and more.
by Press Release
June 15, 2017

PORTLAND, OREGON (June 15, 2017). Les Caves, a new winery bar located in a 100-year old cave below Aviary restaurant, opens today, Thursday, June 15 at 1719 NE Alberta Street.

Winemakers Ksenija Kostic House and John House of Ovum Wines, a natural wine producer focused on Oregon Riesling and Gewürztraminer, and Jeff Vejr, owner and winemaker of Golden Cluster, and former beverage manager at Holdfast Dining, have collaborated on the project.

In additions to wines from Ovum and Golden Cluster, Les Caves' wine list features older vintages by the glass, raw wines on tap, grower Champagne by the glass, an ambitious vermouth and sherry list, and mystery pours ("winemaker's pick"). Beer and cider will also be on-hand, including Ovum's collaboration with Upright Brewing Co. and the Wild Perry from Art & Science.

The full menu can be found here.

"Les Caves is a place to drink a lot of what you love while listening to Biggy, Cash, or Prince, in a laid-back cave that pulls you off Alberta and into a piece of old Portland," said co-owner John House. "It’s a home for us as winemakers to share the wines, beers, ciders, and fermented things that inspire our own process."

"It's also an opportunity to give a glimpse into the past, thanks to our cellar of wines dating back to the 1970’s, while not dropping a week’s pay on a bottle," he continued.

While wine is the focus, Les Caves offers a menu of wine-friendly fare, including local charcuterie from Olympia Provisions, Bonito del Norte tuna loin in olive oil, and a grilled cheese sandwich.

Accessed through a gate, down an alley and a flight of stairs, Les Caves is a cozy, candlelit wine bar seating 18. The minimalist concrete space is softened with votives, hanging amber bulbs and a Pendleton blanket hanging on the wall. A wooden L-shaped bar seats seven, while two quiet corners of the space, a loveseat on an elevated platform and two tables, offer additional seating. A standing bar on the western wall has a view of the stairwell mural, illustrating Oregon's wine-growing regions.

Les Caves is open Thursday through Saturday from 5 pm until late; Sunday from 12 pm until 6 pm; Monday from 5 pm until late. Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Les Caves
Opening: Thursday, June 15, 2017
Address: 1719 NE Alberta Street
Phone: (503) 206-6852
Hours: Thursday - Saturday 5 pm - late; Sunday 12 pm - 6 pm; Monday 5 pm - late.
Capacity: 18 seats, additional standing room
Wines by the glass: $8 - $15
Wines by the bottle: $30 - $160
Light fare: $3 - $15


Founded in 2011 by John House and Ksenija Kostic House, Ovum was born out of the realization that Riesling in Oregon has similar qualities one would find in world-class growing regions. The husband and wife team set out to discover if their belief was indeed a reality, which meant producing wines that drew from all regions in Oregon. With native fermentations, no subtractions or additions, except for SO2, extended lees contact for 8-9 months -- all done in neutral barrels of acacia and oak, as well as cement egg -- Ovum's low-intervention production method is a commitment to allowing the vintage and vineyard come through, for better or worse. The hope with this low-intervention approach and honest technique is to produce an old fashioned wine in the modern world.


Sourcing the majority of their grapes from the famous Charles Coury Vineyard (now known as David Hill Vineyard), Golden Cluster is a small producer of Oregon Sémillon, Gewürztraminer, Syrah, and Savagin. The legendary vineyard was planted in 1966 to an impressive selection of wine grapes and are some of the oldest plantings in the Pacific Northwest. Golden Cluster's mission is to explore lesser-known grape varieties from this vineyard, showcasing them on their own as single varietal wines.

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