Domaine Serene Celebrates 30 Years of World Class Wine
Looking out across the rolling Dundee Hills, it’s easy to see how Domaine Serene lives up to its name. Perched atop a rise, surrounded by the Willamette Valley’s premier wine country, the stately Clubhouse and tasting room stands above it all like a striking, Mediterranean villa. Of course, the wines of “America’s Most Acclaimed Winery” are of similarly astounding quality.
In fact, Domaine Serene’s wines have been served four times at The White House, across administrations, and founders Grace and Ken Evenstad even received the 2018 Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor bestowed by Wine Spectator. Its 2014 Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay earned the title of “Best White Wine in the World,” while the 2010 Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir achieved the same honor for its category. The acclaim is ever-growing, and this year, while celebrating the 30th anniversary of its founding, Domaine Serene was recently nominated by Wine Enthusiast to be American Winery of the Year.
Domaine Serene’s esteem and recognition are global, and in 2015, against the grain of history, it became the first Oregon-based winery to buy in Burgundy, France. Purchasing Château de la Crée, a 15th-century Burgundy wine estate in the Côte d’Or, fulfilled a lifelong dream for the Evenstads, allowing them to develop their expertise in the legendary locale that initially sparked their wine aspirations.
From its provenance outside of Dayton, Oregon, Domaine Serene has expanded to include an urban wine lounge at the corner of Alder and SW 11th in downtown Portland. On December 5, 2019, the Evenstads will unveil a brand new Lake Oswego location.
Despite the accolades, this new venture is meant to bring the community together and open the door to outstanding wine. “We want it to be the world’s most unique, enjoyable wine experience,” says Domaine Serene President Ryan Harris. “That’s the environment we’re trying to create. It’s upscale, but also comfortable; it’s not pretentious. You can come as you are and have a glass of wine, eat, listen to live music and hang out as long as you want.”
At the center of the space, a 3,300 bottle wine tower rises to the ceiling, storing a myriad of exclusive library wines and other vintages you can sample through thoughtfully-curated flights. If you fall in love with a particular wine or need to pick up a bottle to go, a small boutique in the entrance will offer wine and other wares at winery-direct pricing.
Guests will return again and again, as each room offers its own style that evolves throughout the year. Perhaps you’re in the mood to sit outside by the fire pit, or maybe the more secluded, modern-meets-natural aesthetic of the Vineyard Room is your preference. The windows can be opened in the summer to create an alfresco ambiance. Live music from local bands and wine-inspired cuisine prepared by brilliant chefs make it an elevated, multisensory affair. “We’re different from every other restaurant. They have a big, thick wine list that they then match to food,” explains Harris. “Here, the wine itself inspires the creation of the dishes, which are going to change twice a season. A lot of rotation is based on what’s fresh and in season.”
Guests may take advantage of The Library, an area of private climate-controlled wine lockers reserved for members of the Cellar Society where the likes of Michael Jordan, Emeril Lagasse, and members of the Trail Blazers store their favorites. With a retractable glass wall, it and other sections of the wine lounge can be rented out for a variety of private events.
The culture of growth and excellence instilled at every level of Domaine Serene comes to life through its exceptional and elevated hospitality, and General Manager Josh Porter emphasizes the welcoming vibe the winery is known for. “We want this to be a neighborhood gathering place. We want this to be the local place where you come multiple times a week, where all are welcome.”