We are pleased to present to you the new labels developed by David Berkvam for our three new Pinot Noir vineyards; Bryce, Bonnie Jean, and Tanager! David, Ken, and the vineyard owners all worked together to create a label that reflects that location as much as the wine does.
For over 10 years Ken Wright has had a dream of seeing the railroad tracks that run behind the old train station/Ken Wright’s tasting room, as well as throughout Yamhill County, productive once again. He was very instrumental and creating the Friends of Yamhelas Westsider Trail group which has met once a month for over a year to help get this idea of putting in a biking/hiking trail along the old railroad. Ken and the group hope this trail will not only boost the economy of Carlton, but keep our roads safer for all.
Now it has finally happened. The Friends of Yamhelas Westsider Trail was awarded $1.4 million in grant money by the Oregon Transportation Commission. This is enough to pay the 13.5 miles of the remaining 17 miles of Union Pacific right of way it is seeking. The corridor runs from St. Joseph, just northeast of McMinnville on Highway 99W, to Washington County’s Hagg Lake, near Gaston.
It will pass right through Carlton, behind the KWC
Ken Wright has so many people to thank who were influential in making this all happen. Be sure to read the article posted March 21st in the News Register for more information. The following is a quote right out of the article from Ken Wright talking about the trail. “We are really excited and know this is going to be an asset that will be here forever,” Wright said. “There are going to be generations and generations of people who are going to have this great resource for recreation.”
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.
Tyrus Evan Label
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.
Savoya Vineyard Label
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 decided to keep the original label for the Savoya vineyard because it was his first vineyard.
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!
As we begin to finish pruning various vineyards, we then mulch up last year’s cane with a heavy flail or cane flail. This speeds up the breakdown process and helps incorporate organic matter back into the soil. It also helps clear the way (literally… due to the high volume of cane it is troublesome to operate any machinery in rows until the cane is broken down) for the next steps in our vineyards which are composting and adding other amendments such as calcium, phosphorous and potassium. Seth Miller, one of our Vineyard Managers, kindly provided some photos of this process.
The first picture is of a row with cane gathered in it.
The next two are of loading compost and an example of the spreader.
The last one is of a row that has been flailed and then given a sufficient dressing of compost. This row will next be limed and in the late spring will be disced into the soil and replanted with a cover crop.
In doing these things we are establishing a solid foundation for a healthy vineyard. Plants with good health and vigor balance are better able to resist disease and ripen fruit. There is also a correlation with nutrition levels and the ability to properly ferment after harvest in the winery. In other words, the yeast works better when the fruit is healthy.
On a crisp and foggy January morning in Yamhill and Carlton, the Ken Wright Cellars
staff is up early sporting their Carhart jackets, boots, hats, and pruning clippers. They
are gathered at the company block at the Savoya vineyard above Yamhill for the annual company pruning day. Ken Wright and the company staff realize the importance of understanding all components of the wine industry and that includes quality vineyard management. In addition to the learning component, it is also an opportunity for the company to come together and celebrate what the new year has in store for KWC!
Ken Wright Cellars is pleased to share news about the Carter Prairie Restoration Project. With the help of Federal Grant money, the support of Jack Carter, Ken Wright and Seth Mill, vineyard manager, Ken Wright Cellars will return approximately 1.5 acres of land back to native plant species. This will take a few years to establish. The first stage is to remove all the non-native grasses and weeds like Himalayan blackberry and thistle. Once this is accomplished the first round of reseeding the property will begin. We are on schedule to start this spring with the grasses, and will be followed up in the subsequent years with nectar producing tuber plants and shrubs. In the long run we hope to have an area that no longer requires regular mowing and therefore cuts the cost of fuel and time on the tractor that isn’t grape based. We also hope to ensure that native plant species remain a part of the landscape for future generations.