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.
Edward J. King Jr. was a true American success story. From humble beginnings on a dust bowl era wheat farm in Jetmore, Kansas he went on to become a leader in the avionics industry, and to co-found King Estate Winery with his son Ed King III and other family. His obituary is below. Friends and loved ones that would like to leave a comment for Ed Jr. and his family are encouraged to do so at the bottom of this post, below the gallery.
The King Family
Edward J. King, Jr. was born on his parents’ farm near Jetmore, Kansas on August 8, 1921. His parents were Edward and Winifred King. His family included a brother and three sisters. He attended a one room school house, often on his horse Ned.
King graduated from Hodgeman County Community High School and attended Dodge City Junior College before enrolling as an engineering student at Kansas State University. He graduated from Kansas State in 1943 and went to work as an engineer, working for several companies before founding Communications Accessories Company in 1948. In 1955, King sold the company to Collins Radio Corporation and continued to work for Collins until 1959, when he founded King Radio Corporation.
King Radio started in Ed King’s basement, and then moved into a farmhouse in a Kansas City suburb, Lenexa, Kansas. King Radio sales rose along with the growth in the general aviation market and the great success of King Radio products. Employment at King Radio rose into the thousands, and its products were widely accepted for all general aviation aircraft.
In 1985, Ed King, Jr. sold King Radio to Allied Signal/Bendix Aerospace and retired, only to join with his son, also named Ed King, and other family members, to found King Estate Winery in 1991. While Ed King, Jr. enjoyed a bountiful retirement, King Estate Winery has met with wide success, establishing the wines of Oregon across the U.S. The family’s entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to excellence are exemplified by the life of Ed King , Jr.
King is survived by his wife of 32 years, Carolyn G. King, his son Ed King (Jodee), daughter Shelley King Theis, son William King, daughter Shannon Young, son Ronald Innes (Michelle) and granddaughters, grandsons, and a great grandson. He is predeceased by his brother and sisters, his wife Mary Jo McHargue King, daughter Ann Katherine King, grandson Michael Lane Thomas.
From his high school class motto at Hodgeman County, Kansas: “Deeds, not words.” And so he lived his life.
It’s that time again. Bud break signals the beginning of the 2012 growing season at King Estate. Tiny buds first started popping up in March, and the vineyard achieved 100% bud break in early May. Last year, bud break wasn’t until mid-May, so Vineyard Manger Meliton Martinez and the vineyard crew are paying special attention to the vulnerable buds to ensure optimal growth. Secondary buds are manually removed to make sure the primary bud (which contains 2-3 grape clusters) receives most of the nutrients and energy, “we have to touch every single bud to remove them,” said Martinez. The process takes about two weeks with 60 people working all day at the task.
King Estate was invited by 16 Tons to participate in a delicious battle at their South Eugene location (Supreme Bean) on May 11th. The 5 courses of charcuterie were provided by Falling Sky Brewery, while King Estate and The Commons Brewery (from SE Portland) battled head to head to determine the best charcuterie pairing. Each course was carefully paired with a different wine and beer, and each participant was encouraged to take tasting notes and discuss which pairing they enjoyed most. Representatives from The Commons Brewery and King Estate gave educational insight into beer and winemaking as well as the delicate art of food pairing.
In April, at the invitation of the Four Seasons Hotel at Marunouchi, in Tokyo, Japan King Estate Executive Chef Michael Landsberg spent a week in Tokyo preparing several special meals at the prestigious hotel. The guest appearance included the presentation of a number of lunches and dinners, several cooking classes, and culminated with a delectable 5 course gala dinner. The following are Chef Landsberg’s reflections on the successful trip, and at the bottom a gallery of photographs.
Traveling to Japan was such a lively and exhilarating experience. The restaurant options one has to choose from are mind-blowing and seemingly endless. There is everything from ramen (Japanese noodles), to world-class sushi, to the traditional ‘one-pot’ spots. The food presentation is inviting and highly polished, whether you are ordering from a world-class establishment, a department store food court, or from a vendor in Tokyo train station. Packaging is pivotal and rote, the Japanese truly believe that food should satisfy all of the senses.
If there was ever any question about the efficacy and efficiency of sheep in vineyard management, we think this photo sums it up quite clearly. Pictured above, is a vineyard row divided by a fence at the edge of a 2 acre vineyard block in which a group of Sheep were contained. The sheep eat grasses, weeds and other vegetation, offsetting the use of tractors and other farming equipment in the vineyard. The sheep are sequestered in one several-acre area like this for a few days and then rotated to a new vineyard block, ensuring we end up with a nice neat block chewed down to an even height. On the left, we have the evidence of a job well done by our mini-lawnmower friends, and on the right, a block yet to be visited by these extremely efficient farm animals.
Over the last couple of weeks King Estate welcomed 1,500 mini lawn mowers to our 1,033 acre certified organic property. The borrowed sheep quickly eat overgrown grasses and weeds in our vineyard so we don’t have to run our mechanical lawn mowers and weeding equipment, which saves fuel, time, and money. The sheep get free organic food at our all you can eat buffet and add a certain charm to the estate. These furry visitors can only do their job in the early spring before bud break entices them to munch on vines instead of the mustard flowers and knee deep grass. This is our third year bringing in sheep to offset the use of tractors and other machinery that run on fossil fuels, 1,500 sheep is almost three times as many as we have ever had on the property at once. Check out the video above featuring Vineyard Manager Meliton Martinez and the photos below to see the first 700 sheep arrive.
King Estate stood out in the 4th Annual Register Guard Reader’s Choice Awards. We are honored to have won the reader voted contest in two categories as Eugene’s Best Local Winery and Best Wedding Venue. Make sure to check out the rest of the winners. We also pulled in second place for Eugene’s Best Outdoor Dining option, not bad considering we are 20 miles out of town!
Earlier this year we also took home “Best Winery” in the Eugene Weekly’s annual ‘Best of Eugene’. They summed it up pretty well:
King Estate, with its pristine setting in the heart of the Willamette Valley’s wine country provides the perfect spot to sample its array of masterful wine. One can sit and enjoy a glass and a gourmet meal overlooking the certified organic vineyard in a most picturesque setting. This year the vineyard celebrates its twentieth anniversary and continues to produce some of the most exceptional wines with grapes grown in its own vineyard as well as from various other Northwest regions. King Estate’s creations illustrate time and again why the Northwest is known for its wine.