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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.”