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History

Oregon Pinot heavyweight Ken Wright founded Panther Creek Cellars in 1986, establishing his reputation for making big, fruity, collector-worthy, Pinot noirs. He garnered significant accolades for his signature blends as well as single vineyard designate wines from Shea Vineyard, Temperance Hill, and Freedom Hill Vineyard.

In ‘89 Wright moved Panther Creek into McMinnville's Power Station, and in 1994 Mark Vlossak of St. Innocent took over as consulting winemaker, cementing the brand’s award-winning style. After Vlossak's run, winemaker Michael Stevenson and assistant winemaker Bill Hanson took the wines in a more natural, nuanced direction.

Then, in late spring of 2013, the winery was acquired by Bacchus Capital Management, a private equity fund investing in the wine industry, and Tony Rynders of Domaine Serene fame took over as consulting winemaker.

1986

Panther Creek Cellars founded by the acclaimed Oregon Pinot winemaker Ken Wright.

1989

Panther Creek Cellars moves into McMinnville's historic Power Station.

1994

Wright sells Panther Creek to Ron and Linda Kaplan and opens up Ken Wright Cellars in Carlton. The Kaplans hired Mark Vlossak of St. Innocent, solidifying the Panther Creek award-winning style. Michael Stevenson, serving as cellar master, crafts his first Panther Creek wine.

Panther Creek Cellars 1994 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir received 94 points from Wine Spectator, which was the highest scoring Oregon wine until just a few years ago. This was a milestone for Panther Creek, Shea Vineyard and the entire Oregon wine industry.

1996

Stevenson is promoted to Winemaker and takes the wines in a more natural, nuanced direction.

2005

Panther Creek transitioned to the Chambers family.

2013

Panther Creek was acquired by the private equity firm Bacchus Capital Management. Tony Rynders, renowned winemaker of Domaine Serene, became Panther’s Consulting Winemaker.

2014

Panther Creek moves to new tasting room in Dundee, Oregon.

2016 

Panther Creek Cellars celebrates its 30th anniversary.