Wine writer Katherine Cole uncovered some lesser-known facts about Domaine Serene in her article, “10 Things Every Wine Lover Should Know About Domaine Serene.” From the winery’s risky beginnings to its current cult following, Cole uncovers the following interest-points about Dayton’s Domaine Serene.
1. It started with a risk. When owners Ken and Grace Evenstad visited the vineyard property, they couldn’t see it through the fog, but bought it anyway. They’ve continued in the tradition of bold moves by passing on drip lines and leaving self-rooted vines in the ground despite the threat of phylloxera.
2. Their wine went places. Domaine Serene’s first Pinot Noir went straight out of state in 1990, selling 95 percent in the Midwest and East Coast.
3. Consistently velvet. Oregon vintages differ year-to-year, and so did the Evenstads’ favorite wines. To achieve consistency, Domaine Serene blends sections from multiple estate vineyards, which is barrel- and bottle-aged for long periods. Winemaker Erik Kramer has also found that “barrels that have been air-dried for three years produce the smoothest wines.” (Cole, 2014)
4. Fruit is squeaky clean and harvested twice. Kramer harvests twice, plucking fruit from different sides of the trellis separately. The fruit is then run down a sorting line that removes insects and debris before making its way to the fermentation tanks.
5. First and second place winners. Domaine Serene wines took first and second place out of a blind wine tasting of six wines. The tasting took place during Oregon Pinot Camp and was subject to the judgement of 37 prominent American wine professionals.
6. Cult following. Domaine Serene’s $250 “Monogram” wine is aged 16 months in 100-percent new French oak and sells out to a loyal following despite its price.