Ken Evenstad, co-founder of Domaine Serene, one of Oregon’s leading wineries, died on October 21 from pulmonary issues. He was 77 years old.
Evenstad and his wife, Grace, were among the first to make world-class wine in Oregon. In 1989, they purchased 42 acres in Dundee Hills and named their winery after their daughter. Domaine Serene produced its first wine in 1990.
The estate and Oregon’s global winemaking reputation expanded from there. Domaine Serene became a tourist attraction in the 21st century, with six vineyards and sleek Clubhouse tasting room and events space that brought visitors to the Willamette Valley.
Domaine Serene’s 1,000 acres now produce 37 wines, including its renowned Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir and Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay. It recently launched a sparkling wine program and top-rated bottle, Domaine Serene NV Evenstad Reserve Brut.
In 2015, the Evenstads purchased an esteemed Burgundy estate, Château de la Crée, which makes single-vineyard Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, white Pinot Noir and rosé.
“Owning and farming legendary vineyards in Burgundy is a dream come true for us,” he said of the opportunity to helm Château de la Crée.
Evenstad is survived by his wife, daughter, son and six grandchildren.