This year King Estate faced a surprising challenge to our restaurant’s operation. Many of you know first-hand that our restaurant program is built on a firm dedication to support local sustainable agriculture, and it is just one of a great many rising businesses in Oregon’s food and wine industry that promote values like organic farming, fair wages, and fostering a vibrant local economy. In many ways the misguided appeal of our restaurant permit was aimed at senselessly undercutting the rising food and wine industry in Oregon.
With your very, very important support, which came in many forms: petition signatures, letters to legislators, blog comments and more, we undertook a major initiative at the Oregon legislature to protect ourselves and like businesses across this great state. As a result, we were not only able to protect our restaurant but we changed the law for the benefit of all wineries, and even paved the way for a few others in the state to establish their own full service restaurants. It was a profound success that began with a collective effort to speak up for common sense, for the future, and for responsible job creation.
Our friend Laurin Huse, the Rehabilitation Director at Cascades Raptor Center, arrived at King Estate Winery on a breezy but sunny day with four boxes. Each box contained a rehabilitated 4-month-old barn owl that came to the Cascades Raptor Center as an orphan. Some baby birds were only days old when they arrived at the center. Once they arrived at CRC the birds were paired with an adult owl foster mom who taught them everything they needed to know to survive in the wild. When they proved they can survive in the wild by demonstrating their ability to catch live prey in a specialized hunting enclosure, these young owls got the opportunity to return to the wild.
The summer season is in full swing at King Estate. Willamette Valley summers are exceptional, and there is never a better time to visit the estate and enjoy lunch with a bottle of wine on our terraces. The spring flowers on our organic fruit trees have transformed into small apples, figs, and cherries soon to be enjoyed by visitors ordering our cheese and fruit plate.
Weddings occur most often during the summer due to the Willamette Valley’s mild weather and King Estate’s beautiful, green vines. With full time event planners on site and catering from our restaurant and bakery, a wedding at the estate is a perfect celebration.
Each year Oregon Business compiles a list of, the 100 Best Green Companies to Work for in Oregon. This year we are proud to make the list! The list recognizes Oregon companies that approach their daily work with green values. As a leader in Organic viticulture we are very proud to be recognized for our practices, and at the same time understand that there is much more we can do. We are committed to continually analyzing, evaluating, and improving our business practices to become even more environmentally friendly.
With springtime comes new growth throughout the King Estate property. Our apple and plum trees have begun to flower, and the mustard and grass in the vineyard have been growing quickly. That’s where the sheep come in. King Estate uses sheep as natural lawn mowers. They enjoy munching on fresh shoots of grass and weeds, and we enjoy the fact that we don’t have to run tractors through the vines to trim the unwanted growth. In the process, the sheep also naturally fertilize the vines and help us reduce our carbon footprint.
In September 2010, King Estate made a matching pledge to Oregon Environmental Council in an effort to raise money to support their work protecting Oregonian’s from environmental toxics. Our $10,000 challenge helped OEC raise an additional $20,000 in contributions.
These combined donations make up $30,000 that will help fund OEC’s efforts to ban BPA from children’s products and fund other initiatives. We at King Estate hope it might help the critical efforts to raise awareness of toxic chemicals in our environment, and inspire others to take action.
Click here to learn how you can support OEC.
The following interview is taken from Oregon Environmental Council’s community profiles. You can view it on OEC’s website at this link.
It’s Your Oregon: Ed King
“ ‘It’s Your Oregon’ means ‘It’s Your Responsibility,’” says Ed King, CEO and founder of King Estate Winery. Ed believes that every Oregonian has a responsibility to be a steward of Oregon’s environment.
“There have been people who have come before us who have protected our quality of life here, and there are people who will come after us,” says Ed. “Oregon belongs to each and every one of us, and we have a responsibility to protect the ecology and the environment to the best of our abilities.”