Ken Wright Cellars is in Carlton, Oregon. It was founded in 1994 by Ken Wright, a winemaker who began his career at wineries on California’s Central Coast. The winery focuses on the terroir of its various vineyards and makes a portfolio of Pinot Noirs. Robert M. Parker Jr. has written that “Ken Wright Cellars has long been one of the reference points for Pinot Noir fanatics…” The estate in 2003 started another label, Tyrus Evan, which produces Claret, Syrah, Malbec, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc.
Yamhill-Carlton AVA is located in Yamhill and Washington Counties, and it is entirely contained within the Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon’s most prestigious wine producing region. It has 1,200 vineyard acres and was awarded AVA status in 2004. The region grows Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Dolcetto, Muscat, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. Ken Wright Cellars, Elk Cove Vineyards and WillaKenzie Estate are among the district’s best-known producers. All focus on Pinot Noir.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.