What are a few important qualities you look for when going to a winery?
Personally, the biggest thing that draws me in, as is probably for most others as well, is the vineyard and tasting room. But what makes me stay is the atmosphere and the people themselves, and that was exactly what I found when I came to Kings Raven Winery.
I had the privilege of sitting down with the winemaker himself, and it was truly like sitting with an old friend catching up on life while sipping on great wine. We talked for hours as he shared his passion and history about his winery. Darin is a very humble and genuine winemaker, and after visiting many wineries in the Oregon state, you can truly see that his love and passion are in making a quality product, and not about the points or the label someone can give him. It makes me appreciate that in winemakers so much because to him, whats important in his own beautiful wine that sets him apart form all others instead of trying to make the next best Oregon Pinot, or Cabernet. What you get from him is hard work put into each of his vines which in the end bring forth some amazing and wonderful wines. My other favorite thing about this beautiful family operated winery is that they are all about community and have fun events like wine dinners, movie nights out in the field, and yappy hour, to name a few. But before I get too ahead of myself, let me tell you a little history about this great winery.
Surrounded by dairy farms and big beautiful fields, Kings Raven sits atop a beautiful hill that is as a little piece of heaven. The winery sits on a 35 acre lot with about 12+ varietals of grapes grown on the property that make up some of the great wine I have fallen madly in love with. I love the country roads and you can take a few different ways to get there so I chose to drive the back country only to come up on the beautiful rolling hills of Oregon city wine country and be mesmerized by the views. The land is family owned and operated since 1942, celebrating over 75 years of farming on this land. Marvin Ingrum decided to move the family to the beautiful foothills back in the 40s to reconnect with the land and have a view from his childhood, having grown up in Butteville OR. Many will describe Oregon to be Gods country, and I couldn’t agree more, the green, luscious, and beautiful views are one of a kind and impossible to find in the rest of the states. Oregon grape growing can be traced as far back as the 1850s in this part of the North Willamette Valley, so it was natural for this winery to grow to be here. The winery has been up and running and growing grapes here since 1999, and Darin has focused his heart and soul on growing the most fabulous, hand crafted, natural Vintage, Estate Wines as they come.
Just to name a few, the winery grows deep, self-rooted Marchal Foch, Leon Millot, Chelois, Phenix, Pinot Noir, Chardoneys and many others. And as a lover of red, I have yet to taste anything better then a Marchal Foch and Leon Millot. These two truly stood out as some of the fines, most smooth wines I’ve ever had the pleasure of putting my lips on. In fact, having brought them home, my husband fell in love with them as well and we are so happy to finally have found a winery we want to join in the wine club with, which they offer!
If and when you are out in the beautiful North Willamette Valley, don’t forget to hop in for a tasting and to check out the property. Being the lover of nature that I am, I cannot wait to come back and sit out there and breath the fresh air and look out into the distance while sipping on some great wine.