KWC Volcanic AVA Series Eola-Amity Hills

Ken Wright Cellars Volcanic AVA Series Eola-Amity Hills


  • Ken Wright’s new AVA series was created to showcase the influence volcanic and tectonic plate activity has on the Willamette Valley’s soil and mother rock.
  • Tasted side-by-side, the two wines in this series give tasters an opportunity to experience the differences you will find between sedimentary and volcanic terroir.

Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir

Elaboration: Aged for 10 months, in 100% French oak with 20% new French oak barrels.

Tasting Notes: Lush fruits of black cherry, blackberry and red plum. Rich notes of freshly turned earth, magnolia flower and sweet touches of white chocolate. Young round silky tannins provide a long finish.


2019 – 93 Wine Spectator

2021 – 95 Wine Enthusiast | 94 Decanter | 93 Wine Spectator | 93 James Suckling

2022 – 91 James Suckling


The seed for a career in wine was planted squarely in Bourbon country of Lexington, Kentucky. While waiting tables to put himself through school, Ken was exposed to fine wines from regions around the world. The passion became avocation when Ken left the Bluegrass State to attend enology and viticulture classes at UC-Davis. Eight years were spent winemaking for Ventana Vineyards, Chalone and Talbott Vineyards in Monterey County of California’s central coast.

Friends from the Willamette Valley piqued Ken’s interest in the region when they would visit, and a trip to the Dundee Hills in 1976 convinced him that this was where the finest Pinot noir in North America was being grown. In 1986, with family, belongings and 10 barrels in tow, Ken moved to McMinnville and started Panther Creek Cellars.

His concept of focusing on vineyard-designate bottling began during those years at Panther Creek and was cemented as a core philosophy in 1994 when Ken Wright Cellars was founded in historic downtown Carlton. Ken now makes a single vineyard bottling from 13 vineyard sites in the Northern Willamette Valley. Given his appreciation of sense of place, it was a given that Ken would contribute to the locations and industry near and dear to his heart. Instrumental in organizing the six new American Viticultural Area (AVA)’s in the Northern Willamette Valley that define in detail the distinct growing areas within the region, he wrote the proposition for the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and served as the association’s first President.

Print Shelf Talker
Print Review Shelf Talker (2021 – 93 Wine Spectator)
Print Review Shelf Talker (2022 – 91 Wine Spectator)