My name is Michael Claypool and I am the founder and winemaker of Clay Pigeon Winery. My wife Sasha Davies and I moved to Portland four years ago specifically to be near one of my favorite wine grapes in the world: Oregon Pinot Noir. I have worked in wine sales (Astor Wines), as a sommelier (Blue Hill at Stone Barns), and as a harvest grunt at a winery in Sonoma, California (Papapietro-Perry Wines).
These experiences combined to confirm my passion for wine making and one year after we arrived in Portland (2009) I made my first vintage, one lonely barrel of Pinot Noir.
In 2011 we doubled our production: 2 barrels! I realized it was time to make the winery official and in early 2012 I did just that with a stamp of approval from the federal government.
Meanwhile my wife (cheese expert extraordinaire) has been itching to open casual eatery and retail outlet where she could share her passion for food. After looking around at available real estate we had a vision for both businesses under one roof: a winery and tasting room that also offers delicious food and a alongside a supporting cast of characters like cheese, cured meats and light fare.
Clay Pigeon Winery is a fully operational urban winery producing wines with Oregon Pinot Noir and Syrah grapes. Cyril’s is the gathering place, tasting room, and retail shop set against the backdrop of the winery. We want to provide Portlanders and visitors the opportunity in our tasting room to try our wines as well as those from other Portland wineries and even take some of those wines home along with fine cheeses, meats, and specialty items. Located in the Central Eastside neighborhood of Portland, this space will be an anchor within the neighborhood and city at large to come together, eat, and learn about great food and drink.
What’s the money for?
All funds will go towards the equipment we need to scale the winery—crusher/destemmer, wine press, tanks, oak barrels—and tasting room—refrigeration, display case, meat slicer, glasses. As well as being able to buy all the grapes needed for this coming harvest.
These funds will help us reach our goal of opening Cyril’s at Clay Pigeon in time for the launch of Sasha’s second book, The Cheesemaker’s Apprentice, and also for harvest this fall where we will churn out 500-600 cases of wine.
This increase in our production (our ultimate goal is 2500 cases) will let us sell our wines at our tasting room, to local wine shops, select restaurants and hopefully to all of you fine people.
Team on This Campaign:
Owner and Wine Maker