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On a perfect summer evening in late July, we had the pleasure of hosting just over 300 wine club members for our annual summer BBQ. Each year we feature a fantastic menu of food and wine, and this year was no exception. Paying tribute to the different styles of BBQ across the country, we served regional specialties from the Pacific Northwest, the Carolinas, Texas and – with a nod to the King Family roots – Kansas.
Salmon with Raspberry Pinot Noir Glaze
Tri Tip with Estate BBQ Sauce
Pulled Pork with Estate BBQ Sauce
Kansas City Style BBQ Ribs
Making their second straight appearance at this event, Portland band “Five Guys Named Moe” rocked hits from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s while club members danced the night away. This 12-piece, horn-driven show band is one of our favorites for live entertainment. A good time was had by all and we expect next year to be no different. It sells out every year, so contact Elizabeth Allcott at 541-942-9874 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make advanced reservations for 2013.
Oregon Pride Seafood is a small fishery developed by owner operator Jacob Farrens of Creswell, Oregon. He and his team mostly fish in Charleston, Oregon but they travel all along the Oregon coast in search of superior seafood. While fishing for Chinook Salmon, Jacob uses the line and hook method of capture. This way, out of season fish caught by accident can be safely released. In addition to Oregon Pride Seafood’s sustainable fishing practices, it also participates in salmon research (with Project CROOS) by collecting DNA from each fish it catches and attaching a bar code that can be used to track the fish’s origins and depth of capture. This research is vital to ensure the future of salmon.
Jacob delivers Executive Chef Michael Landsberg and Sous Chef Benjamin Nadolny salmon that has often only been out of the water a few hours, ensuring that the restaurant can serve the freshest fish. King Estate supports local fisherman, free-range ranchers, and organic farmers because seasonality and sustainability are among the restaurant’s main principles.
At King Estate Winery, where we have over 475 acres of organic grapes planted, the majority of the vineyard blocks are now between 5 and 25% verasion, with some much further ahead. The following blocks are those that are farthest ahead this year: Block 4G on the south side of the property is at about 85% color, and is planted to Pinot Noir clone 113 on RG rootstock, it was green thinned today. Block 16B near the center of the property, just south of the main winery building is at 75% color. It is planted to Pinot Noir clone 115 on SO4 rootstock and will be green thinned tomorrow. Blocks 28C and 28D are in the far northeast corner of the property, both are planted to Pinot Noir clone 777 on 3309 and 101-14 rootstocks and they are both at about 80% color. It is possible that the entire site will be at 100% veraison by the middle of next week. Currently the property at King Estate has accumulated 1,350 GDD units which puts us close to where we were this time in 2010, however the outlook is much better as it appears that this September will be much dryer. During September 2010 we saw about 2.5 inches of rain during the month, currently the long term forecast for September look very promising, which bodes very well for the 2012 vintage.
King Estate Winery
BNOW 84 and BNOW 85 are sister Barn Owls that were found in Salem. Cascades Raptor Center (their rehabilitator) uses names like BNOW 84 & 85 to avoid getting too attached to the birds of prey that they release back to the wild. These two baby owls found on June 5th after they fell from their nest into a stack of hay bales at only a few days old. They were taken to Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center in Salem and then transferred to Cascades Raptor Center on June 8th. The owlets had excellent nutrition but had some developmental problems, possibly from their eggs not being turned by the parents or from being lodged in the hay bales. BNOW 84 was bow-legged and BNOW 85’s legs were sticking out and she was reluctant to bend her knees. Her wing tips were sticking out also.
After being treated at Cascades Raptor Center for over two months, the owlets were ready to be released back into the wild at King Estate. King Estate is an ideal environment for Barn Owls because there is plenty of prey, room to roam, and no harmful pesticides. King Estate has nesting boxes for owls and other birds of prey around the estate where the owls are released. Once they are placed in the boxes and settle in for a couple hours, the door is opened and they are free to fly into the night.
Below Carrie Sigloh, Operations Coordinator, and Erland an intern from Norway, release the rehabilitated sister owlets at King Estate Winery on August 27th, 2012.
Each year King Estate produces a new harvest t-shirt to commemorate the vintage.This contest is for the design of our 2012 Harvest Tee. The winning design will take home a $400 cash prize! The deadline is Friday, August 31st at 10:30 am PST. The t-shirt needs to include a King Estate logo as well as some reference to the 2012 Harvest. We are artful people; we like subtlety and mystery. Your interpretation does not need to be entirely literal or entirely abstract – we want you to have the artistic freedom to come up with something fantastic. Check out the gallery at the bottom of this page to see some of our past harvest t-shirt designs.
Over the past few years we were in touch with the organizers of the International Wine Bloggers’ Conference and the North America Wine Bloggers’ Conference, trying to persuade them to bring the latter to Oregon for the first time. When they announced that Portland had been selected as the host city for the 2012 conference, we were ecstatic. We knew that it would likely be quite some time before the conference returned to Oregon, so we made a decision to go all out, take a major contingent from our team up North to Portland and show those bloggers what we do. On the day of the event, we loaded up the vans with lots of people, wine, and all of the ingredients for a 5 course epicurean experience King Estate style. The evening was a runaway success; the hashtag #WBC12 even turned out to be the #1 trending topic worldwide on twitter for the entire duration of the dinner!
The meal we produced was the results of months of planning. We realized that it would be a challenge for many of the bloggers to make it the 2+ hours down to our estate (though some did), so we wanted to do our best to bring the estate experience to Portland. We produced a really cool video presentation to play before dinner that introduced the bloggers to the estate, to our chef, and to the proprietors of the local sustainable farms and ranches that provided many of the ingredients for the evening. We also produced video demonstrations of each and every course, and provided all the video and written recipes the microsite wbc.kingestate.com. The project was virtually a winery wide effort with creativity and work contributed from all corners.
Here’s the video we played to great response:
The meal was 5 courses each with an exquisitely matched wine pairing compliments of Executive Chef Michael Landsberg, Sous Chef Benjamin Nadolny, and the King Estate culinary team. Here are shots of the dishes we served:
As the influence of blogs and social media grow, wine bloggers play an increasingly important role in the wine industry. King Estate was not the only Oregon winery to take advantage of the chance to get to know bloggers and show off our Oregon wines. It would be safe to say that the visiting bloggers are now much more familiar with Oregon Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris across the board. There were so many great wines from so many great Oregon wineries and beyond included at the conference.
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 third week of August, details their observations thus far on our own organic estate.
This week the vineyard shows that this year’s operations are coming around nicely. Keeping up on hedging has been the most recent task with the late rains we had has given a lot of vigor that the vines put into the canopy. Leafing to increase sun contact and air current on the grape clusters is also a focus that has been tended to lately. Crop levels are about right this year without needing to adjust via thinning.
- Christopher Hudson, Assistant Winemaker
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 August, details their observations of our Washington state vineyards.
This week’s trip up to Washington showed that things are still clicking along at a good pace. Temperatures during the trip and for the month of August so far have been hot and above average. This isn’t always to the best benefit to the vines as they can shut down from too much heat, but after the last couple of cool vintages, we’ll take any additional heat units we can get. The good news is that we’re far ahead of where we were last year and only just a bit behind average.
The forecast in Washington was not only hot, but it was also smoky! I had to rub my eyes to see if the forecast I was reading on the iPhone truly said smoke! There are several fires throughout the state that are causing hazy and smoky conditions. In fact, as I was traveling from one vineyard to the next, I came across a harvested field of wheat that had caught fire.
The grapes are certainly in better condition and hopefully we won’t have any issues with the infamous “smoke taint” that has affected so many California vineyards in the past. The level of smoke was minimal and it would be a long shot to see any effects in the fruit.
The vines themselves are coming right along. We’re beginning to see verasion in many of the blocks which means that it’s near go time up in Washington. The growers have been spending their efforts in the final major passes of hand labor before it comes time to make a green pass and drop the clusters that might be lagging behind the rest of them. The finishing hand work before the green thinning is mainly aimed at opening up the canopies to enable just the right amount of sun to hit the fruit on the morning side of the rows, while trying to protect the hotter afternoon side from too much sun. It’s a fine balancing act and the best growers do it well. The goal of the upcoming green thinning is to get a uniform level of ripeness in the blocks and this is one of the best methods to do so. Being able to look at the clusters and cut off the less advanced ones is the strongest visual indicator a vineyard will have on the uniformity, so the green thin is essential to a good crop.
- Ben Howe, Winemaker