Pheasant Run Wine

Historic Tasting Room

Taste great wines in the restored vaults of a historic bank building.

interior1_400The Pheasant Run Tasting Room is housed in the Historic Aurora Bank Building. It was originally built for the 1905 Portland World’s Fair – also known as the Lewis & Clark Exposition; which was held in what is now the NW industrial area. The Portland World’s Fair was a world class event to show off the economic boom of the Pacific Northwest; you could even take a zeppelin from downtown to visit the exhibits! The bank was an auxiliary building that was dismantled and transported after the fair to its current site in Aurora and rebuilt on the spot. It opened to great fanfare in late 1905.

Located in the heart of Oregon’s first historic district; the bank has been lovingly restored and contains many of the original fixtures including doors, flooring and windows. The classic bank vaults are still operable and of course are used to store our valuable wines. The building served as the town bank through the depression and for a few years afterward. Since that time the bank has been a watch shop, jewelry & antique store, art gallery and even used in the movie “Bandits” starring Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thorton & Cate Blanchette.

Looking to have an event in a fun, unique location for 15 to 50 people? You can host an event in the historic building by contacting us here.

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Let Pheasant Run be yours for a day

banner4If you are looking for a truly special experience, our historic venue along with our friendly and flexible hospitality ensures your next event will be unforgettable.

Come enjoy our wines in one of the vaults of an historic landmark building- and take over the entire Aurora State Bank. The building was originally built in Portland at the turn of the century for the 1905 World’s Fair- also known as the Lewis and Clark Exhibition. It was moved & rebuilt in Aurora after the fair- complete with the original floors, vaults and bars on the windows.

Along with the historical atmosphere, you’ll enjoy our beautiful Pheasant Run wines. Featuring Big Bold Red wines from Walla Walla & beyond! Like ‘Bank Robber Red’ our criminally good blend of Cabernet and Merlot. Along with wines made from our family vineyards in the Willamette Valley since 1985 including our award winning ‘Hot Rocks’ Pinot Noir.

Make the event yours for the evening. Check out our “Special Pricing” to add wine to your evening. We’re very flexible on catering- bring your own or have us help arrange it locally…

Great for groups of 15-50 people….

  • Inside room seats 30+ with room for 50.
  • plus the vaults…
  • Outside deck and backyard winegarden seats 50+ with room for more!
  • Flexible catering options
  • Use our preferred caterers or provide your own.
  • Comes with licensed bartender

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Bank Robber Redvault5

From the infamy of the building and the great stories it holds we’ve crafted our Flagship Wine- Bank Robber Red. It is a criminally good blend of Cabernet & Merlot from Walla Walla with a dash of Grenache’. Rich, deep and smooth it is a wine you will remember.

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Is there really an Aurora Bank Robber Story… Actually there are many!

Who could the real Banker Robber be?

  • Emma, who stole nearly $300,000 in today’s currency and worked at the bank for 4 days to win back her husband? “I knew that if I could get a big amount of money my divorced husband would marry me again. I had determined to see him and arrange for our remarriage even before I took the money”.
  • The man who stole $1500, but left $20,000 for the police to share.
    (The police chief claimed it was all a ‘communist plot’ to build rumors against him).
  • The couple who got caught one day after tying a teller up in the safe deposit boxes.
    (Headline- “Co-ed cashier saves town’s money”).
  • The owners/managers who loaned money on bogus mortgages and were indicted for fraud-not once but twice! (The court case was delayed during the trial so the judge and jury could attend the opening day of baseball season).

When we were first renovating the building one of our neighbors and longtime local resident told us an interesting story. Early in the 20th century and prior to federal bank laws, banks kept your cash money with not a lot of guarantees. The Aurora State Bank was no exception. The bank manager was the person responsible for bringing the money out during the day and locking the money safely in the vault each evening. “One day the bank manager of the Aurora State Bank left town with the bundle of money and much of the town lost its savings. A short time later it was WWI and one of the local residents was now in the infantry and marching through a small town in Austria. There on the side of the road was the man who had absconded with the town’s (and his) money! Because he was in formation he didn’t break ranks, but he told his children he regretted not going after the ‘robber’ until the day he died…”

Are the stories true? Yes! the Aurora State Bank did lose all of its money and yes a manager (or two) were convicted of crimes and sent to jail. We are still doing research so we can get the ‘rest of the story’… soon to be a major motion picture.

About the Portland World’s fair

The famous event was Portland’s first and only world’s fair and ran from June 1 through October 15, 1905. During those four and a half months, 1.5 million visitors passed through the gates to the 400-acre fairgrounds on the northwest edge of town. More than 400,000 were from outside the Pacific Northwest, a huge number of tourists for a city of perhaps 120,000 people. For more information and some amazing pictures look here:

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