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The

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 25 years ago. 

For the past 25 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.

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1989 - An enduring legacy was born
1989

An enduring legacy was born

A passion, vision and commitment to produce the world's best Pinot Noir leads Ken and Grace Evenstad to Oregon. They purchase 42 recently logged acres atop the renowned Dundee Hills in Yamhill County, Willamette Valley, where Oregon Pinot Noir began and where its heart remains.

1990 - First Wine Crafted for Release
1990

First Wine Crafted for Release

Grace and Ken produce Domaine Serene’s first wine, the 1990 Reserve, earning 90 points from esteemed critic, Robert Parker Jr.

1994-1997 -
1994-1997

1993 - Grace and Ken plant their first vineyard
1993

Grace and Ken plant their first vineyard

After a tremendous effort clearing the boulders and stumps from the West side of the Evenstad Estate, Grace and Ken planted their first vineyard, the Mark Bradford Vineyard, named after their son, Mark Bradford Evenstad. They persevered despite warnings from the early Oregon pioneers who claimed that it wasn’t possible to ripen grapes above 600’ in elevation and that planting on the western slopes was a bad idea. Mark Bradford is now one of our very best Pinot Noir vineyards.

1994 - Our first winery
1994

Our first winery

Domaine Serene purchases an historic 1913 building in Carlton, OR and converts it to a winery.

1994-1997 - Vineyard expansion
1994-1997

Vineyard expansion

Domaine Serene purchases contiguous land to 142 acres on the Evenstad Estate.

1997 - Vineyard purchase of Côte Sud
1997

Vineyard purchase of Côte Sud

Domaine Serene purchases the neighboring South-facing vineyard, Côte Sud, which expands the Evenstad Estate to 142 acres.

1997 - 1997- Chardonnay is Born!
1997

1997- Chardonnay is Born!

Grace and Ken make their first chardonnay with the 1997 vintage coming from some of America’s oldest Dijon clone chardonnay vines planted on the Côte Sud vineyard. It was a harbinger of great things to come in Chardonnay.

1998 - Winery Hill is purchased
1998

Winery Hill is purchased

Domaine Serene purchases the first 80 acres of an eventual 180 acre hilltop property, one mile north of the Evenstad Estate. The property is named Winery Hill and is the future site of their new winery.

1998 - Grace and Ken begin to build the Domaine Serene team
1998

Grace and Ken begin to build the Domaine Serene team

Prior to 1998, Grace and Ken didn’t have any regular employees and had done parts of every winery job themselves including hand labeling and corking over 1,000 cases per year. Domaine Serene and Château de la Crée now has more than 50 full time employees split between Oregon and France.

1999 - Parkers Wine Buyers Guide
1999

Parkers Wine Buyers Guide

Renowned wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr names Domaine Serene an 'Outstanding' producer of Oregon Pinot Noir in his book, Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide.

1999 - Plans for our gravity-flow winery
1999

Plans for our gravity-flow winery

Plans for a new gravity flow winery are completed. Domaine Serene purchases 90 acres in the Eola-Hills, named Jerusalem Hill, which will be planted to Pinot Noir.

2001 - New Winery Opens
2001

New Winery Opens

Domaine Serene moves into the spectacular new winery just in time for harvest!

1999 - The Jerusalem Hill Estate is purchased and planted
1999

The Jerusalem Hill Estate is purchased and planted

Domaine Serene purchases 90 acres in the Eola-Hills, named Jerusalem Hill, which was planted to 100% Pinot Noir in 2000.

2003 - Wine & Spirits Magazine Winner
2003

Wine & Spirits Magazine Winner

Domaine Serene is named 'Estate Winery of the Year' by Wines & Spirits Magazine.

2001 -
2001

2004 - Wine Community Shocked by Blind Tasting
2004

Wine Community Shocked by Blind Tasting

Domaine Serene shocks the wine community by besting the most prestigious winery in the world, Domaine de la Romanee Conti, in a blind tasting of 3 wines from each producer in vintages 1998, 1999, and 2000. Domaine Serene places first, second and third with the 1998 and 1999 vintages, and first and second with the 2000 vintage.

2005 - Tasting Room Opens
2005

Tasting Room Opens

Domaine Serene's tasting room opens to the public.

2006 - First Release of Coeur Blanc, White Pinot Noir
2006

First Release of Coeur Blanc, White Pinot Noir

The debut release of the Coeur Blanc, vintage 2004, is introduced to sommeliers with rave reviews. It is the most unique white wine in the country.

2006 - Evenstad Reserve® named Oregon’s #­1 Pinot Noir
2006

Evenstad Reserve® named Oregon’s #­1 Pinot Noir

The Evenstad Reserve® Pinot Noir, a sommelier favorite, is named the #­1 Oregon wine in Wine & Spirits Restaurant Poll.

2008 - The Triple Crown Estate is purchased
2008

The Triple Crown Estate is purchased

Grace and Ken purchased the spectacular Triple Crown Estate and connected forest land and a rock quarry in 2008. Development began on the vineyard in 2012 with plantings completed in 2014. This estate was primarily planted to Dijon clones of Chardonnay and has already proven to deliver extraordinary quality.

2008 - Evenstad Reserve® accolades
2008

Evenstad Reserve® accolades

The Evenstad Reserve® is named one of the top 100 wines of the year by Wine Spectator, and Oregon's #­1 Pinot Noir by the Wall Street Journal.

2011 - 97 Points from Wine Spectator
2011

97 Points from Wine Spectator

The 2008 'Grace Vineyard' Pinot Noir receives 97 points by Wine Spectator, the highest rating ever awarded to an Oregon Pinot Noir.

2011 -
2011

2013 - Domaine Serene purchases the Two Barns Vineyard
2013

Domaine Serene purchases the Two Barns Vineyard

Although Domaine Serene planted, managed and has always been the sole purchaser of the fruit from Two Barns Vineyard, Grace and Ken were able to purchase the 216-acre estate and 35-acre vineyard in 2013.

2008 -
2008

2011 - The Abbey Oaks Vineyard is Developed
2011

The Abbey Oaks Vineyard is Developed

Domaine Serene purchased land and planted the Abbey Oaks Vineyard to various clones of Pinot Noir. Located in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, the young Abbey Oaks Vineyard is already showing itself to be a lush, yet powerfully concentrated site.

2013 - Evenstad Reserve® named #­3 wine of the year by Wine Spectator
2013

Evenstad Reserve® named #­3 wine of the year by Wine Spectator

The 2010 Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir received 95 points and is ranked the #­3 wine in the world on Wine Spectator’s top wines of the year list.

2014 - 25th Anniversary and Great Wines of the World
2014

25th Anniversary and Great Wines of the World

Domaine Serene celebrates its 25th anniversary in grand fashion with an event highlighting wines from their storied past. Friends, family and many loyal customers gathered to celebrate this momentous occasion with Grace and Ken Evenstad.

2014 - Domaine Serene begins its sparkling wine program
2014

Domaine Serene begins its sparkling wine program

Beginning with the 2014 harvest, grapes for seven different sparkling wines are harvested with the goal of becoming the finest sparkling wines producer in America.

2013 -
2013

2014 - Chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Wineries of the World
2014

Chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Wineries of the World

Renowned critic James Suckling names Domaine Serene as one of the 50 Greatest Wineries in the World. Domaine Serene joins only two other wineries to represent North America in the Great Wines of the World event in Hong Kong.

2014 -
2014

2015 - Our Legacy Continues
2015

Our Legacy Continues

Domaine Serene expands to Burgundy, as the Evenstads acquire the historic Château de la Cree in the Côte d’Or. New vineyards, Clos de Serene and Triple Crown, are planted, and groundbreaking for the new Clubhouse takes place. The Clubhouse will be one of the most luxurious wine tasting facilities in the Willamette Valley.

2015 - Distillation begins for Oregon’s first Winery-produced Brandy Program
2015

Distillation begins for Oregon’s first Winery-produced Brandy Program

Distilling top quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and aging in a selection of new barrels and once-filled single vineyard Pinot Noir barrels has been yielding world-class brandy that will age for a minimum of five years in casks prior to release.

2016 - Winery Hill awarded #1 Pinot Noir in the World by Decanter
2016

Winery Hill awarded #1 Pinot Noir in the World by Decanter

The 2012 Domaine Serene Winery Hill receives 95 points and earns a Best in Show for the #1 Pinot Noir category in the 2016 Decanter World Wine awards, besting 26 premier Cru and 6 Grand Cru Burgundies.

2016 - Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay named #­2 wine of the year by Wine Spectator
2016

Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay named #­2 wine of the year by Wine Spectator

The 2014 Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay received 95 points and is ranked the #2 wine in the world on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the Year.

2017 - Domaine Serene becomes Oregon’s Most Awarded Winery by Wine Spectator
2017

Domaine Serene becomes Oregon’s Most Awarded Winery by Wine Spectator

With nearly two hundred 90+ scores from Wine Spectator alone and 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, Domaine Serene is far and away, Oregon’s most critically acclaimed winery.

2017 - Domaine Serene Wins the Coveted OSU School of Business Award
2017

Domaine Serene Wins the Coveted OSU School of Business Award

Oregon State University recognizes Domaine Serene’s advanced generational planning and innovative legacy trust with their Business Renewal Award, given to companies with an exceptional dedication to quality while planning for the future.

2017 - Jerusalem Hill awarded #1 Pinot Noir from America by Decanter
2017

Jerusalem Hill awarded #1 Pinot Noir from America by Decanter

The 2013 Domaine Serene Jerusalem Hill Pinot Noir receives 95 points and was named the #1 Pinot Noir from America in the 2017 Decanter World Wine Awards.

2017 - The Clubhouse at Domaine Serene Opens May 2017
2017

The Clubhouse at Domaine Serene Opens May 2017

The Clubhouse is a gift to the winery’s cherished members, the wine community, and was conceived to celebrate the burgeoning Evenstad Family’s wine legacy for future generations to come. It’s thoughtful design, architecture and old-world construction techniques offer future generations of wine lovers the same sense of place and history found in the most significant and storied regions of Burgundy.

2018 - The Clubhouse at Domaine Serene wins the coveted Build America award
2018

The Clubhouse at Domaine Serene wins the coveted Build America award

Domaine Serene and Clubhouse Builder, Schommer & Sons wins America’s top award in the world of building and architecture for the design and construction quality of The Clubhouse at Domaine Serene.

2018 - The Evenstad Estates Irrevocable Legacy Trust Established
2018

The Evenstad Estates Irrevocable Legacy Trust Established

Grace and Ken create the Evenstad Estates family trust, preserving the Domaine Serene assets and brand forever. This initiative ensures that the winery and its assets can never be sold and will continue to strive to make the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the world for generations to come.

2018 - New Vineyard Plantings in Oregon
2018

New Vineyard Plantings in Oregon

Grace and Mark Bradford vineyards expand the Evenstad Estate along with expansions on the Winery Hill vineyard promise to be some of our finest vineyards in the future.

2018 - Domaine Serene’s new White Winery is Completed and Opens in time for Harvest
2018

Domaine Serene’s new White Winery is Completed and Opens in time for Harvest

The first ever dedicated white winery in Oregon history was built on The Winery Hill estate to exclusively craft sparkling wine and Chardonnay.

2018 - The Evenstad Center for Wine Education at Linfield College is Established
2018

The Evenstad Center for Wine Education at Linfield College is Established

Grace and Ken Evenstad donate $6MM to Linfield College to establish and forever endow the Evenstad Center for Wine Education, creating the world’s first-ever multi-disciplinary undergraduate wine studies program. They also have endowed the Evenstad Chair for Wine Studies and the Evenstad Wine Fermentation Laboratory.

2018 - The Domaine Serene Wine Lounge at Sentinel Hotel Opens in Portland
2018

The Domaine Serene Wine Lounge at Sentinel Hotel Opens in Portland

The Domaine Serene Wine Lounge opens in downtown Portland is a one of a kind luxury wine bar and lounge, featuring the award-winning wines of Domaine Serene, Maison Evenstad and Château de la Crée along with chef-driven small bites and live music and events.

2018 - Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Served at the White House for the Fourth Time
2018

Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Served at the White House for the Fourth Time

Selected by The White House Sommelier to represent America’s finest, the 2015 Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay was selected for President Trump’s first state dinner, honoring French President, Emmanuel Macron. This was the 4th time that Evenstad Reserve has been served at The White House, including a state dinner for the President of China and for the Governor’s Ball in 2017.

 


The History of Wooly

& the Geology that Created our Vineyard Diversity

Around 14,000 years ago, near the end of the last Ice Age, North America experienced the largest known flood of freshwater. Glacial Lake Missoula was a massive lake in western Montana formed by a glacier that dammed the Clark Fork River. The lake was about 2,000 feet deep and more than 2,000 miles long. It held more water than Lake Erie and Lake Ontario combined. When enough water had built up behind the ice dam, the pressure from the water broke through the ice all at once causing the massive flooding.

The floods were unlike anything seen in modern history. If you took the flow of all the rivers in the world right now, the amount of water per hour shooting out from Glacial Lake Missoula is estimated to have been 10 times as much as all of them combined. Flood water raced across the landscape at 65 miles per hour, sweeping away hundreds of feet of soil and cutting deep canyons in the earth. The lake was drained in about two days. Amazingly, the glacier continued to form again and again. At least 13 and perhaps up to 70 floods occurred. These floods carved out the Columbia River Gorge and deposited vast amounts of soils, rocks and boulders not native to this area.

The valley visible from the Tasting Room at Domaine Serene flooded to depths of almost 400 feet, and deposited the various soil types that ultimately created the agricultural richness of the Willamette Valley.

Local artist, Dixie Jewett, read about the ice age and the extinction of the Woolly Mammoth during the time of the Missoula floods due to the cold temperatures not suitable for its survival. As the Ice Age was ending, and with the ice dams breaking and the Willamette Valley flooding, Dixie imagined a frozen Woolly Mammoth washing in with all the silt and boulders from Montana. It took Dixie about a year to create Woolly, bending and welding all the parts herself. Grace drove by Woolly for many years as he stood on his “ice chunks” in a field near Lafayette, OR on Highway 18 at McMinnville’s Erratic Tree Farm.  Grace found him irresistible and purchased him in 2013. Dixie personally loaded Wooly on a flatbed truck and drove to Domaine Serene. At the age of 72, Dixie has had no formal training as an artist. She made Woolly after taking a weekly (6 weeks only) course in welding at the local high school. She is amazing!

Woolly’s body is constructed entirely of steel while his eyes and tusks are made of bronze; he weighs approximately 7,400 pounds. ‘Woolly’ serves as a unique reminder of the Willamette Valley’s dramatic geological history.