Orphaned Sister Owlets Released at King Estate Winery's Organic Property

September 03 2012

Baby Barn Owls Released at 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.

Submit Recipes to Backbone Pinot Gris Contest by September 30th

September 01 2012

Backbone Pinot Gris Recipe Contest

Submit your favorite recipes to the Backbone Pinot Gris pairing contest today!

Calling All Designers! King Estate's 2012 Harvest T-Shirt Design Contest

August 27 2012

King Estate 2012 Harvest T-Shirt Contest

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.

KE Shirt Competition Submit Button

King Estate Winery at the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference

August 26 2012

King Estate Dinner @ 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference

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:

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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.

2012 Oregon Growing Season Update for the Third Week of August

August 20 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.
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

2012 Growing Season Update for the Second Week of August

August 17 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.

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

2012 Oregon Growing Season Update for the First Week of August

August 09 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.
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 August, details their observations thus far on our own organic estate.

This weeks vineyard tour showed we are still on track. Vines have set a healthy crop load that is representative of great quality. The canopy growth has slowed and the vines are starting to show focus on the grapes. The hot dry weather has been great on the vines lately, giving full even canopies for consistent ripening later. Looks like we are starting to approach lag phase.

- Christopher Hudson, Assistant Winemaker

2012 Oregon Growing Season Update for the Third Week of July

August 05 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.
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 July, details their observations thus far on our own organic estate.

This week has shown that King Estate has been receiving ideal weather for a good growing season. Optimal temperatures have been putting the vineyard crew in full swing of training and shoot positioning. Our vineyard team has been doing an excellent job keeping up with the speed of growth in the vineyard. Across the estate we are starting to show good signs of fruit set. Our vines are looking healthy, well-kept and fruitful.

- Christopher Hudson, Assistant Winemaker

2012 Growing Season Update for the Second Week of July

July 28 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.
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

King Estate Solar Array Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

July 26 2012

King Estate Cuts the Ribbon on 1 Megawatt Solar Array near Eugene, Oregon. Biggest Solar Array in the Northwest United States.

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.