Last September, King Estate vineyard workers noticed an injured Red-tailed Hawk on the estate. Volunteers from the Cascades Raptor Center quickly rescued the bird, which had an infected foot caused by a prey bite. Four months and one amputated toe later, the hawk proved that it was well enough to return home to King Estate where it and other birds of prey play a vital role providing natural pest control. Owls, hawks, and other raptors thrive on our 1,033 certified organic acres because there is no chance of poisoning through the food chain, and there is plenty of room to roam. King Estate Winery and Eugene’s Cascades Raptor Center are proud to hold a unique partnership that allows orphaned and rehabilitated birds of prey a second shot at life in the wild world.
Join us on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22nd, one week before the Eugene Marathon, for a scenic 5K run through the rolling hills of our certified organic vineyards. Fingers crossed for beautiful weather like last year, but as is the way in Oregon, this event is going on RAIN OR SHINE.
This April, at the invitation of the Four Seasons Hotel at Marunouchi, in Tokyo, Japan King Estate Executive Chef Michael Landsberg will spend a week in Tokyo preparing several special meals at this prestigious hotel. Chef Landsberg is honored to accept this invitation, and we can’t wait to see what inspiration he finds on the road to bring back to our own estate restaurant! The guest appearance will include the presentation of a number of lunches and dinners, several cooking classes, and will culminate with a delectable 5 course gala dinner.
This month, members of the Ultimate tier of the King Estate Tower Club, will receive a limited edition magnum of our Domaine Pinot Noir. The screen printed, wax sealed bottle will arrive in a unique box featuring an infographic that tells the story of the wine and the meticulous barrel selection process that ensures only the best estate organic fruit makes it into our Domaine blend. We’ve posted an animated version of this same infographic for your viewing pleasure.
Wine Spectator has given 95 or more points to only 18 Pinot Noir bottlings in Oregon’s history. Only three Oregon Pinots have ever scored better than 95, one with 96 and two with 97 points. The average price of those three Pinots was about $80. By contrast, the release price of our Roserock was $55.
Roserock Vineyard is perched on a ridge towards the southern end of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. In cooperation with our winemakers and viticulturists, Roserock grows fruit to our specifications. During the growing season, ocean breezes push through the Van Duzer Corridor in the Coastal Range maintaining a consistently cool climate that is the hallmark of all great Pinot Noir winegrowing regions. Shallow, well-drained volcanic soils of the Nekia series dominate this area. Roserock is LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) and Salmon Safe Certified. The 2008 Roserock Pinot Noir aged for 15 months in 87% new French oak barrels.
King Estate’s 3rd Annual Crab Fest consisted of 11 seatings over 4 weekends and featured unlimited Dungeness Crab and Pinot Gris. Dungeness Crab is a seafood delicacy that thrives in the ocean off the Pacific Northwest Coast. The best crab is available in the middle of winter at the peak of harvest, and is a perfect pairing with our Pinot Gris. The menu consisted of steamed Dungeness Crab, assorted flavored butters and aioli, chunky wild mushroom and yukon potato chowder, German potato salad, Russian black kale with roasted garlic, cabbage slaw, Tobi’s Famous Corn Bread, and assorted desserts from The Bakery at King Estate. Over the course of the event over 3000 pounds of Dungeness Crab was served.
Did you miss out this year? Don’t worry, we host this event every weekend of January, so keep an eye out for next year. Crab Fest sells out quickly, so join our mailing list for a reminder and other King Estate updates and event information.
2011, though challenging in many ways, appears to be a year of above average-fruit quality. The vines bore a lot of fruit, and with the late season it became worrisome that all the fruit would ripen, so measures needed to be taken. In a late year like 2010 and 2011, we really ride the razor’s edge, waiting with bated breath to see how ripe the fruit can get before the rainy season begins. In an effort to ensure that fruit fully ripens, it is often necessary to cluster thin, dropping clusters of otherwise perfect grapes in order to ensure that fewer clusters fully ripen and develop concentrated flavors. Often cluster thinning enhances the character and concentration of flavors in the remaining grapes since the vines are stressed and have less fruit to focus their energy on. In the end, the harvest at our 470 acre certified organic vineyard at King Estate can be characterized as a year of lower than typical yields but high quality. It is always a difficult decision to drop so much fruit on the ground, and it comes at a great economic expense, but it is also the only decision if you want to improve quality, harvest good fruit, and ultimately make the best wine possible in a challenging year. The goal is to overcome whatever obstacles are presented to make the best wine we can.
The King Estate solar power project has entered another phase. Bare metal racks are quickly disappearing as workers cover them with high-tech panels that will soon be able to generate energy from the sun.
Read more about the King Estate Solar Vineyard
“The 2010 Pinot Noir Signature Collection was tasted from a barrel sample. It displays a more expressive bouquet … excellent depth and concentration, ripe red and black fruit flavors, and a medium-long finish. It reflects the excellence of the 2010 vintage.” – Dr. Jay Miller, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
We are best known for our exceptional wines (obviously), but we also grow and harvest exceptional organic lavender. Garden manager Jessie Russell and her crew care for more than ¾ of an acre of lavender. Varieties include white ‘Cape Blanco,’ a small crop of ‘Provence,’ and our most prevalent variety, ‘Buena Vista.’ ’Buena Vista’ was developed by Dr. Don Roberts, a retired professor from OSU and a lavender farmer himself. It is an exceptional varietal of lavender. Roberts distills the organic King Estate lavender at Premier Botanicals in Independence, Oregon.
This year, the estate produced 3.25 gallons of essential lavender oil which we will use to make lotion, soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and of course essential oil. You can shop for our estate lavender products by clicking here or by visiting the King Estate visitor center.
Watch the video to take a closer look at the lavender harvest and distillation processes: