Orange Line Wines Now Open in Sellwood-Westmoreland
Orange Line Wines’ selection of hundreds of distinctive labels is impressive, but owner Ester Janne Hill’s intimate knowledge of each is the real service to customers. With the new wine shop now open in Sellwood-Westmoreland, Hill, an experienced sommelier and trained chef, helps guide customers in choosing great wines for themselves and their occasions.
“It’s important to me that customers feel confident that they’re buying a wine they’ll enjoy,” says Hill.
Hill is constantly searching for wines that best represent each region of the world and each grape variety, such as a 2014 Flaneur Chardonnay from Oregon’s Ribbon Ridge, and D’Angelo Aglianico del Vulture from Italy. A significant portion of Orange Line Wines’ stock is in the $10-$25 range.
“The focus has been on building a rounded inventory of excellent wine values so that there will be great matches for everyone, whether you are an occasional wine drinker, an enthusiast or someone in between,” she explains.
Skill and knowledge shape offerings
Hill sits down with wine distributors every day to sample dozens of wines. She also travels to regional wine tastings and regularly visits wineries both local and distant. In fact, Orange Line Wines (the name refers to the light rail branch that links the neighborhood to downtown) does not carry a single bottle that Hill hasn’t tasted and found to be the best available.
“Ester has a desire to find exciting wines at a variety of prices that over-deliver,” says Ian Burrows, founder of Consolun, a Portland-based wine company. “She is both methodical and highly motivated in her search for truly compelling examples of wines from every corner of the world.”
In the shop, clear information with a personal touch
Located in a new shopfront on Milwaukie Avenue, Orange Line Wines welcomes customers with a calm, comfortable atmosphere. Bottles are stored and displayed to keep them in top condition: horizontally with corks kept wet. They are shielded from direct sun exposure, and the shop has tight temperature and humidity control as well as cool, energy-efficient LED lighting.
While Hill is always available to offer customers personal assistance and recommendations, every wine at Orange Line Wines receives a simple and consistent label. The labels include basic information (origin, variety, vintage), a few words about the wine’s character written by Hill, suggested food pairings, and a score based on her own easy-to-follow rating system.
“Wine store labels can often confuse customers and leave them feeling overwhelmed,” says Hill. “My goal is to give concise, reliable information so that customers can comfortably find wines to suit their tastes and pair with their dining plans.”
International experience in food and wine
Matching wines to various dishes is a strong suit for the Orange Line Wines owner. When Hill, a Leningrad (St. Petersburg) native and Israeli immigrant, began pursuing her career, her emphasis was on cooking. She studied at the Israel Institute of Culinary Arts, apprenticed at the innovative Catit Restaurant in Tel Aviv, then went on for additional training in Rome and Florence.
After moving to the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and business partner Andrew, Hill completed extensive studies in wine, including Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers. She also holds professional credentials from San Francisco Wine School.
“Ester passed all of our exams at high levels and just as importantly was eager to learn more,” says the school’s founder & CEO David Glancy. “Her passion for wine should translate into some fun wine discoveries for her customers.”
In San Francisco, Hill worked in wine sales, and as a sommelier and wine director.
Close to home in Portland
Hill and her family moved to the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland in the summer of 2015.
“We were attracted to Sellwood, because it has the perfect blend of city and family living that we were looking for,” says Hill. “We love that the shop is within walking distance of our home – like us, we want Orange Line Wines to be part of the neighborhood.”
Orange Line Wines is located at 6212 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland, Oregon. The shop is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call 503-863-2012 or visit orangelinewines.com
Brigit Communications Collective supported Orange Line Wines opening with a community outreach plan including public relations, advertising, brand positioning, website design and social media.