After months of anticipation the day finally arrived. A couple weeks ago the agriculture students of Yamhill-Carlton high school, their teacher Nicole Eskelsen, and other community and Y-C AVA members gathered together to plant the first acre of Pinot Noir for the school’s vineyard. Ken Wright was among this group providing expertise when needed, and soaking up the joyful experience after putting in so much time and preparation to get this project up and running. Everyone is excited to watch the students in this program and the vineyard grow for years to come.
Within this last year Ken Wright has brought on two more Pinot Noir vineyards, Bryce and Tanager. The Bryce vineyard is located in the Ribbon Ridge AVA. It was planted in 1999 by Bryce and Marcia Bagnall. This is the first Ribbon Ridge AVA wine we have produced in many years. We are very excited to have established a long term lease with Marcia Bagnall for this exceptional vineyard sight. The second vineyard, Tanager, is located in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Tanager is just below our Savoya vineyard, off of Blackburn road in Yamhill. This site is owned by Ken Wright’s sister in-law, Susan, and her husband, Art Crum. KWC has entered a 30 year contract with the Crum’s and is very excited about the potential of this vineyard. On Monday, March 11th, Ken Wright, and two other KWC staff members Julianne Nelson and Asa Sarver, toured Bryce and Tanager with David Berkvam to discuss new labels for these vineyards. With two very unique sites we are excited to see what David will create. Pictures will be posted as soon they are done!
Below are pictures of David Berkvam, Ken Wright, and Susan Crum discussing the Tanager vineyard. What’s with the bird you might ask? If you recall Susan is undergoing falcon training to control pests in our vineyards during harvest.
A story that we all love to tell at Ken Wright Cellars is the history of our labels. Ken Wright has two different labels. The Tyrus Evan, TE, label comes from the combination of the middles names of Ken’s two sons.Tyrus Evan features warm climate varietal wine. All of the fruit for TE is being sourced from Oregon along the border of California or from the border of Eastern Washington. Ken and Karen went with a more western feel for this label
by using the worn leather, branding iron look.
The Ken Wright Cellars label features his cool climate varietals such as his single vineyard Pinot Noirs and two whites; Pinot Blanc, and Chardonnay. For many years Ken used a classic gold and white label.
Until one day while on a trip, he went into a store to buy a bottle of his own wine and he realized the label blended in with all of the other bottles on the wall. So Ken was then on the hunt for a new and unique look for his Pinot Noirs. Luckily on another trip Ken ran into a talented man by the name of David Berkvam. David was in the middle of a sketch, and the sketch was unlike anything Ken had seen before. After Ken expressed his interest in
developing a new label, the rest is history. David developed the new face of Ken Wright’s single vineyard Pinot Noirs. Now people have called this label many things such as; “creepy,” “gothic,” and even “strange.” The label represents the cold winter days of pruning in the vineyards and it certainly is dark and eerie. Now this unique label does exactly what it was intended to do. It makes people remember Ken Wright Cellars.
Over the years Ken Wright Cellars has continued to grow and bring on new vineyards. By 2008 the company had 10 Pinot Noir vineyards total, all of which had the same label. Often times customers who have had our wine do not realize that the small print on the bottom of the label designates what vineyard it is from. In 2009, Ken commissioned new art work from Berkvam for all 10 vineyards. Ken worked closely with Berkvam when developing the
new labels because he wanted each label to represent a different facet of the wine industry and to reflect the unique characteristics of each vineyard site. Now David Berkvam is a very talented artist and one of the unique things about his work is that much of his art is done as a wax carving. All of the Ken Wright Cellars labels were once an original wax carving, and Ken proudly owns all 10 and displays them. The originals are often put on display in the winery for open house events.
Ken Wright Cellars is always happy to host Flavors of Carlton! Thank you to all who helped make this fundraising event a huge success for the Carlton Together Cares foundation. Many people left last night with fabulous trips and prizes. The people of the Carlton community will benefit from the funds raised at this event for a whole year.
Thank you everyone for donating! See you next year!