Ardor is a natural wine bar in Portland, Oregon. While we move into our new home in SE Portland, we will be available by appointment at our temporary home inside of the Portland Wine Storage Building located at 306 SE Ash St, Portland, OR 97214
Ardor Natural Wines builds community around small-production natural wines. We appreciate character-driven wines that focus on terroir and receive minimal intervention from the winemaker. There are many emerging and longstanding natural wine projects in Oregon and internationally that deserve the attention and representation of a dedicated wine bar and tasting room.
We pour unique wines from all over the world. The selection is constantly changing based on the wines available to us that we are vibing with. Our selections are produced and imported in very limited quantities so frequent changes to our list should be anticipated.
Our wines run the spectrum from inexpensive vin de soif to hard to find boutique producers. Ardor aims to remove the pretense often associated with wine — it is a delicious beverage. Wine began as, and should continue to be, an accessible drink for all people.
Courtesy of Jenny & François Selections
What we call natural wines are wines made with the least possible use of chemicals, additives and overly technological procedures. This includes chemicals in the field, such as pesticides, as well as things like sulfur or any of the almost 200 allowed additives that are legally permitted in wine. It includes many technological manipulations of wine that we think erase the individuality of the product and the place it comes from — the terroir. Our definition of natural wine is very similar to the German purity laws of beer making, which say that beer can be made only of water, barley, and hops. Purely natural wine, to us, is made of grape juice and little else.
There are a lot of ways one can get to a wine we would consider natural. They include organic and biodynamic grape growing. But grape growing is just that: what is done in the fields. For a wine to really be natural for us, the same philosophies must continue into the winery up until bottling occurs.
It must also be vinified as naturally as possible. This means that after it has been cultivated organically or biodynamically, there must be a minimal use of additives and technological manipulations. Examples of additives include sugar, acidifiers, and powdered tannins. Manipulations can include the use of spinning cones to remove alcohol, micro-oxygenation to accelerate aging, and the use of laboratory cultivated yeast.
*The key aspects of what we consider to be a natural wine are:
This style of winemaking for us represents an excellent way to express terroir. We do not eschew modernity, but we favor techniques that help to express a sense of place, rather than new-fangled modern ones that tend to homogenize wine styles and erase individuality.
*For the pedants out there, it should be noted that all of these aspects are ideals. We accept that some may be on the path to these ideals and not quite there yet. We work with their wines because they share the spirit of these ideas and a desire to get as close to them as they possibly can. The road to healthy organic soils and wines is not always quick and easy path.