Kiley Evans Returns
Ledger David Cellars expands, hires the brand’s first in-house winemaker.
By Roberta Kent
As Ledger David Cellars expands, the Southern Oregon winery has hired Kiley Evans as the brand’s first in-house winemaker.
The winery’s Le Petit Tasting Room (245 Front St., Central Point) remains, but new plantings, new wines and a gravity-fed winery facility at the vineyard in Talent’s Wagner Creek watershed are planned for 2015.
When Ledger David Cellars owners David Traul and Lena Varner announced Evans as their new winemaker, it was both a reunion and a homecoming. Evans worked at Raffaldini Vineyard & Winery in North Carolina from 2011 to June of this year, but his winemaking roots are in Southern Oregon and his ties to Ledger David are strong.
Evans did custom crush wine for Ledger David from 2008 to 2011, producing the winery’s multiple award-winning 2010 Tempranillo, their first Tempranillo Reserve and a limited edition 2010 Tempranillo Port-style wine.
He worked seven years as a sommelier at a high-end Florida restaurant before entering the University of California at Davis with a double major in viticulture and enology. His first job, upon graduation in 2002, was as winemaker at Abacela in the Umpqua Valley. Evans produced a number of award-winning Tempranillo and Syrah wines for Abacela, and his 2005 Syrah Reserve received the highest score ever earned by a Southern Oregon wine; Wine Enthusiast scored the wine at 95 points.
In 2008, Evans became winemaker at Agate Ridge in Sams Valley and did custom crush for other Rogue Valley wineries, including Daisy Creek, Trium Wines and Bella Fiore, as well as Merrill Cellars in Bend and Shasta View in Montague, California.
While all Ledger David wines are estate grown, Evans is making the 2014 Ledger David wines at Folin Cellars’ facility.
“I loved Southern Oregon the first time I saw it,” says Evans. “I’m excited to be back.”
Roberta Kent is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.