An American Dream
Grace and Ken Evenstad first arrived and settled in the Dundee Hills in the Willamette Valley in 1989. At that time, the couple had spent over 20 years together in Minnesota building a successful business, a loving family, and a deep appreciation for the wines of Burgundy. The Evenstads had faith in Oregon early on, before there was a national market for domestic Pinot Noir. When the time came to pursue their longtime dream of growing and producing world-class Pinot Noir, they invested in a 42-acre hilltop estate that had just been logged in the beautiful Dundee Hills of Oregon. With the support of their family - and to the surprise of many of their friends in Minnesota – the Evenstads established Domaine Serene, effectively creating Oregon’s luxury wine industry. They named the winery after their daughter, Serene, and their first vineyard on the estate was named after their son, Mark Bradford Evenstad.
Today, Domaine Serene produces wines from six individual vineyard estates, planted exclusively to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Each estate offers a diversity of soils, clones, rootstocks, microclimates, slopes and elevations that add distinguishing complexity and elegance to the wines.
In 2001, the Evenstads completed construction of their current state-of-the-art, five-level, gravity flow Pinot Noir winery. This past Spring, they completed a new white winery dedicated to the production of Chardonnay and Sparkling wine, the first of its kind in Oregon. Domaine Serene will debut their new Sparkling Wine later this year. The wineries, located on the prestigious Winery Hill Estate, were built as a statement to the quality of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that can be produced from the world-class Dundee Hills AVA.
Since the first vintage in 1990, Domaine Serene has produced award-winning wines, including Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir, recognized as the World’s #3 Wine of 2013 by Wine Spectator Magazine. In addition, the 2012 Winery Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir was named the Top Pinot Noir in the World by Decanter magazine in 2016 and the 2014 Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay received 95 points and was ranked the #2 wine in the world on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the Year. This made Domaine Serene the only winery in the world to receive a Top 3 rating in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the Year for both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In 2017, the 2013 Jerusalem Hill Pinot Noir was awarded the Top American Pinot Noir at the Decanter World Wine Awards. Through the continuous pursuit of quality and innovation, Domaine Serene has garnered global recognition as an iconic quality leader of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
In April 2015, the Evenstads expanded upon their original vision of producing world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay by purchasing Château de la Crée, a Burgundy wine estate in the Côte d’Or. Burgundy vintners have been buying vineyards in Oregon for years, but now the Evenstads have flipped the trend. “Owning and farming legendary vineyards in Burgundy is a dream come true for us,” says Ken Evenstad. “We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make our own wines from famous vineyards like Morgeot in Chassagne-Montrachet, Clos des Angles in Volnay, and La Garenne in Puligny-Montrachet where world-class wines have been made for centuries.” This latest endeavor brings Grace and Ken a new opportunity to further develop their expertise with their favorite varietals and to “discover” a new terroir from the place that inspired their winemaking pursuit over 30 years ago.
For the past 30 years, Domaine Serene, under the guidance of the Evenstads, has been focused on excellence in a never-ending quest to produce world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Their mission is to produce outstanding quality through continuous improvement and a commitment to extremely high internal standards. Domaine Serene’s wines represent the achievement that is possible in Oregon, one of the finest regions in the world for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.