(Photo Above: Sarah Worley)
Compared to poetry and praised in verse, the world’s love affair with wine has lasted throughout the centuries. In Bend, Oregon – the nation’s Best Beer City – it’s easy to drown in the lure of breweries. Yet there is comfort to be found in an old flame. A delicious bottle of red, white or bubbly is as close as your favorite brewery. All you have to do is stop and smell the wine.
No one knows this better than Sarah Worley, owner of The Good Drop Wine Shoppe. After taking over for former owner Dennis Murphy last September, Worley has brought her passion for wine, infused with values from her time spent living in France, to downtown Bend.
“Over there (Europe) wine is about enjoying each other and taking your time. That’s what I want my wine shop to be about. It’s about introducing people to different wines… letting them enjoy life; enjoy wine.”
Nestled comfortably between the local shops stretching down Minnesota Avenue, Good Drop may be one of Bend’s best kept secrets in wine. The shop is home to the town’s most unique selection of wine, ranging in price from $12-$2,000 bottles. Displayed near the counter are three bottles of limited production Silver Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon. They are on the higher end of the price spectrum: $2,200 for each five liter bottle.
Also in the spotlight is Walla Walla’s Caprio Cellars wine. Good Drop is Bend’s official tasting room for Caprio Cellars, whose wine is often included in the selection of daily pours.
“We have it all,” says Worley. “There’s a wine – at every price point – for everybody.”
By the glass, or by the bottle, Worley’s shop gives people the opportunity to taste a variety of wines in a cozy setting. The shop seats four to six people; perfect for an intimate gathering of friends, a romantic date night or a private event.
Customers have the option of ordering food from The Good Drop’s neighbor, Barrio, and having it delivered. Another neighbor, Dudley’s Bookstore, will soon offer a selection of Good Drop’s wines by the glass. Since adopting Good Drop as her own, first time business owner, Worley, has received continuous support from the community. Worley says she and her family were drawn to Bend’s values – reminiscent of European culture – which inspired their move from Portland two years ago. A former high school teacher, Worley has since graduated from tangents to tannins.
“For me it’s about letting people learn about wine, and helping them explore the different ones,” she says of her new business.
Bendites can expect to see a few changes to Good Drop in the coming months. Currently the shop’s sole employee, Worley will be gearing up for a busy summer by hiring some helping hands. Extended summer hours, wine tasting tents at local festivals and a women’s wine club – or “book club” as Worley calls it, tentatively – are expected additions. Worley also plans to close the shop in February to undergo a remodeling project that will equip the store with Bend’s first wine growler fill station.
Whether you have a passion for Pinot Noir, a romance with Riesling or have yet to find your dream wine, there’s something for everyone at The Good Drop Wine Shoppe.
“Good company, good wine, good welcome
Can make good people.”
141 Minnesota Avenue Bend