Tower Club members are invited to join us for a members-only tasting of the summer releases.
During the growing season, our winemakers closely observe the growth in the vineyard on our organic estate and also venture beyond our own 1,033 acre property to make the rounds all over Oregon and Washington wine country. They do this throughout the summer, visiting the 40+ vineyards that grow grapes for our wines. This update for the second week of July, details their observations of our Washington state vineyards.
Ben Howe and I headed to Washington bright and early on Thursday, July 12th. This was our first trip to WA this growing season and the vines were already approaching lag phase if not in it already. They are ahead of last year and looking much better with regard to some of the disease pressure seen then. We covered the Horse Heaven Hills and Walla Walla AVAs. The fruit at Alder Ridge was already shooting down its growth for the year and getting a drink of water to help moderate the triple digit temps the area has been seeing. The Benches was also a pleasure to visit, showing a great crop, especially in the Riesling. We could see well over 240 tons off our block this year. We also discussed moving into a couple new blocks of Merlot (terraced) and Cabernet (down at the bottom of their ranch called the R’s). Then we traveled over to lovely Walla Walla to visit Heather Hill, Seven Hills, and Les Collines. All were looking top notch!
- Jeff Kandarian, Director of Winemaking
With the help of SolarCity, Lane Electric Co-op, and Advanced Energy Systems representatives, King Estate Winery officially welcomed our four acre solar array with a ceremonial ribbon cutting on Saturday, July 14th. The array is one of the largest solar arrays ever in the Pacific Northwest and certainly the largest at a winery in the region.
The four acre solar patch translates to 1-megawatt of power generation, or enough to power 100 local homes. While addressing the crowd, CEO and Founder Ed King III expressed his gratitude to everyone involved in moving the project forward and emphasized his ambitious vision of seeing the state of Oregon become the first carbon neutral state.
The project took 5 years to plan and fund, but was built in only four months. See photos of it’s construction here. The panels went online in March 2012. In the next 25 years the 4,144 panel array is projected to offset at least 38-million pounds of CO2. According to estimates provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, this amount is equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 3,381 passenger cars or 1.9 million gallons of gasoline.
The King Estate Visitor Center, which encompasses our estate restaurant and wine bar, will be closing for a private event at 2:00 pm on Friday, September 14th, 2012.
During the growing season, our winemakers closely observe the growth in the vineyard on our organic estate and also venture beyond our own 1,033 acre property to make the rounds all over Oregon and Washington wine country. They do this throughout the summer, visiting the 40+ vineyards that grow grapes for our wines. This update for the first week of July, details their observations thus far on our own organic estate.
This year is off to a great start thanks to the warm weather we had at the beginning of the growing season. We are on about the same schedule as bud break and bloom in 2008, a particularly renowned vintage. Currently we are at 354 growing degree days which is typically when we near 100% bloom, you can definitely smell the grape blossoms. Most vineyard blocks trained to a VSP (Vertical Shoot Positioned) trellis are 80-100% in bloom and the split canopy systems are between 70-90% on average. So far so good!
- Christopher Hudson, Assistant Winemaker
Join King Estate at the award-winning Restaurant thirty-two for a 7 course dinner featuring King Estate wines and Pacific Northwest cuisine.
Organic lavender is in full bloom at King Estate Winery. The brightly colored and fragrant flowers will remain purple for a few more weeks but will be peaking this weekend. Due to an exceptional harvest last year, from which we yielded over 3 gallons of essential oil, Garden Manager Jessie Russell explained that we will forgo the harvest this year and allow the lavender to bloom on. Products made from our organic estate-grown lavender, including essential oil, lotion, and gift sets, are available for sale online and at the Visitor Center. Gift sets feature lavender infused oil, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, natural soap, shower gel, and hand sanitizer, and are available for a new lower price of $12. Watch the video to take a closer look at the lavender harvest and distillation processes:
Join Southwest Regional Sales Manager Brad Martin at the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, where King Estate will be showcasing our wines alongside the worlds most prestigious wineries.
In late June we unveiled a four tap wine keg system in our visitor’s center about 20 miles southwest of Eugene, Oregon. Wine on tap is a popular new trend and King Estate is at the forefront of this innovative wine service technology. By pouring from a keg, restaurant and bar owners will be able to avoid wasting wine due to spoilage, and help the environment by cutting down on the transport and disposal of glass bottles, corks, and other packaging. The kegs are sanitized and refilled, and wine keeps in the keg for over 6 months. A keg can hold the equivalent of 26 bottles of wine, or about 130 five-ounce glasses.
Currently Available on Tap at King Estate:
2011 Acrobat Oregon Pinot Gris
2011 Acrobat Oregon Pinot Noir
2011 NxNW Horse Heaven Hills Chardonnay
2011 NxNW Horse Heaven Hills Riesling