Open last month, Domain Serene's Clubhouse is not just another tasting room. Modeled after the owners' sprawling Burgundy home, the 30,000-square-foot estate in Dayton is actually 12 tasting rooms in one. And owners Grace and Ken Evenstad, who purchased their 42-acre vineyard in 1989, expect it to be the center of the award-winning winery's growing operations for generations to come.
“It was built to be durable,” explains project designer Stephen Lapp of Waterleaf Architecture, “which is why we used only high quality material, including stucco on the exterior, which was applied directly to the concrete masonry structure, copper for the detailing, and clay tiles for the roof.”
In 2015, the Evenstads purchased a 15th-century estate in Santenary, Burgundy, called Château de la Crée, which provided the design inspiration for their Willamette Valley estate. The "grand room" offers public wine tastings, with private tastings in a members-only lounge, and food and wine pairings in another lounge. An underground "cave" system, with a wealth of nooks for sipping, mimics the subterranean vaults of a French estate; meanwhile, a sweeping patio wraps around the building and provides views of the Coast Range. The Clubhouse also features a full commercial kitchen able to feed more than 300 guests.
“The goal when we approach winery design is to always imagine and understand the ideas that the winemakers and owners try to express through their wine," says Lapp. "Through that understanding, we try to then see how that can be expressed in the architecture."
The Clubhouse is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m, and offers casual drop-in tasting as well as a private tasting in one of the winery's "caves." If you can, try the 2014 Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay, named by Wine Spectator the number 2 wine of 2016.