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.
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
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:
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
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Try These Wines Yourself:
Through July 19th, get 6 bottles each Signature Pinot Noir and Acrobat Pinot Gris for $197, including shipping!* Regularly $246 – that’s more than 20% off.
*Ground orders to OR, WA, CA and ID are also eligible for $0 shipping. Distance & weather prevent Ground shipping to other states during the summer – please call us at 800-884-4441, ext. 102 for discounted Express. Valid online only.
During the growing season, our winemakers venture beyond the 470 acres of our organic estate vineyard 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 last week of June, details their observations of Southern Oregon vineyards.
This trip reinforced that this year is heading in a great direction! So far we are seeing a much more “normal” start than the last two vintages. Early on we were trending with the 2006 vintage in regards to heat units. It’s a pleasure to see there is real separation and marked differences between various locations, vineyards, blocks, clones, etc. This separation allows for harvest to be much more logistically sane. During the last 2 vintages everything seemed to converge, grapes all over the state ripened at the same time despite geographical differences, which compacted harvest. All of the grapes wanted to come in during 7-10 day window, which makes for some long days and nights and presents a lot of logistical challenges. Take a look at the pictures below and exhale with me as this vintage seems to be providing a much larger window for crush, and showing all the signs we like to see for great quality fruit come harvest.
- Jeff Kandarian, Director of Winemaking & Viticulture
This year’s member-only BBQ, taking place on Friday, July 27th at 6:00 PM, pays tribute to regional BBQ specialties from different parts of the country. The buffet menu features Pacific Northwest salmon, Carolina pulled pork, Texas tri-tip and, as a nod to the King family roots, Kansas City BBQ ribs.
During the growing season, our winemakers venture beyond the 470 acres of our organic estate vineyard 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.
On a recent trip the first week of June, winemakers visited our grower partners in Silverton and the Northern Willamette Valley to check in on vine growth. We work closely with vineyard managers from the start to ensure their vines yield the best possible fruit when it comes time for harvest. Getting the best wine in the bottle, and subsequently into your glass, is an effort that starts long before the first buds break on the vine.
Growth slowed down slightly with the cooler weather we had the first week of June. Things are looking very good and are still easily ahead of last year. The weather forecast for the upcoming week is looking even better. Bring on the summer sun!
- Jeff Kandarian, Director of Winemaking & Viticulture
Welcome to the second edition of People say…. We’ve rounded up links to recent articles, blog posts, and social media mentions about King Estate, as well as subjects we find interesting. Have something you think we should share? Drop us a line on Facebook, tweet us @kingestate, or just send a message using the contact form. Here are the links for this edition of People say…
King Estate Winery and Fjord Line of Norway have entered into a landmark agreement to carry a number of King Estate wines aboard the Norweigan company’s ships in both restaurants and duty free shops. The agreement will also likely lead to King Estate wines being sold in a select group of duty free shops throughout Europe. These duty free shop are operated by G Heinemann.
Ed King, King Estate CEO and Co-Founder, summed up the significance of this landmark deal with the following statement:
This signals the acceptance of Oregon wines at the highest level of global audience, a European customer that is sophisticated and demanding. Oregon has taken another step up.