It is said that the ancient Greeks and Romans added lavender to their bathwater, both for its fragrance and therapeutic properties. This would explain the botanical name of this ancient herb, from the Latin ‘lavare,’ meaning ‘to wash.’ But lavender isn’t limited to the bath. It can be used in any room of the house and even has a home in the spice cabinet (after all, it is in the same family as mint). A bundle hung in the closet is thought to deter moths and the oil is used in aromatherapy in the treatment of headaches and to reduce tension.
In 2005, we embarked on a simple mission: produce the best food friendly Riesling possible. Our customers demanded that the Riesling remain affordable, and we wanted to meet that demand, so we set a limit of a $12 price tag.
The mission took us on a journey through some of the Northwest’s finest Riesling vineyards and finally led us to the breathtaking Wallula Vineyard in the Eastern corner of Washington State’s Horse Heaven Hills AVA. The Wallula Vineyard, which has since been redubbed The Benches, is a spectacular southward-sloping vineyard site on the banks of the Columbia River in Washington’s Wallula Gap. The terraced vineyard blocks range in elevation from 320 to 1,350 feet.
The first round of judging began at the end of March with 163 wines, and over 1,800 oysters. Over 6 days, 5 judges completed two rounds of judging, and the first phase of the Oyster Wine Competition was complete. The contenders were narrowed down to 20 wines, and King Estate had 2 wines out of the remaining 20, 2008 Acrobat Pinot Gris and 2008 Signature Pinot Gris. The wines were then prepared for the final round of tasting, a grand affair which takes place over 3 days (April 20th-22nd) and across 3 different cities (Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle). The judges consisted of some of the foremost experts in the world of wine & oysters, ranging from sommeliers to wine writers and beyond.
At the end of February we harvested some beautiful organic daffodils grown alongside our pinot gris and pinot noir vines. Employees joined in cutting flowers and bundling bouquets for the American Cancer Society, and of course they took a few home for themselves too. The flowers, along with everything other than grapes, are grown under the watchful eye of Jessie Russell our Garden Manager and resident horticulturist.
From the July & August 2009 issue of Northwest Palate, comes this six page article by Peter Szymczak about King Estate. The article focuses on some of our eco-friendly farming practices, as well as our rapidly growing culinary program. There is beautiful photography by Andrea Johnson throughout, and great Halibut recipe from our Executive Chef Michael Landsberg.