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.
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.
Our Domaine Pinot Noir is our finest red wine made from our best estate fruit. We vinify each organically farmed estate lot separately and then our winemakers arduously evaluate them lot by lot, and select the handful that will make about 1,000 cases of wine for the vintage.
Some wine lovers live by scores alone, some don’t have much regard for them at all, but most agree, when all the critics see it the same way, it says something undeniable about the wine – that it probably tastes pretty good.
At King Estate, the winery came before the restaurant, but we have always sought to enhance the experience of our wines with good, wholesome food. Since our inception, our culinary department has produced recipes, special dinners, and cookbooks with some of America’s greatest chefs. When we opened the restaurant in late 2005, we incorporated the organic ethic that drives our viticulture and farming. This ethic of organic production considers the impact our decisions will have on future ecological and economical harmony. It requires looking ahead and resisting the monetary benefits or “conveniences” offered by alternative approaches.
Environmentally friendly farming contributes to the quality of our food, wine, water, soil, and community. Sourcing local product supports local farms and ranches that are vital to food security. Communities everywhere are noticing these benefits and pursuing local, organic food.
The Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce has named King Estate Winery as this year’s recipient of its Business of the Year award. Along with this announcement, the chamber revealed the finalists for its seventh annual Emerald Awards. Emerald Award winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Hult Center on Tuesday, October 5, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
A selection committee of Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce members reviewed 58 nominations before announcing the Business of the Year winner and Emerald Award finalists. The committee chose 12 Emerald Award finalists across four categories: community caring, environmental values, growth and innovation. The Business of the Year award is given to one business that excels in all four categories.
“King Estate was named 2010 Business of the Year because of its focus on the triple bottom line of sustainability—financial, social and the environment,” says Dave Hauser, chamber president. “King Estate truly demonstrates an outstanding contribution to the community in each of these ways.”
Kit and Laurin from Cascades Raptor Center were out last week to release some American Kestrels. The Kestrels are placed in a nesting box, and a mesh screen is taped over the door. In order to calm down and become acclimated to their new surroundings, the Kestrels stay in the box with the screen on for 2-3 hours.
The King Estate raptor program continues to develop, with more nest boxes and releases, as well as the addition of ten new predator perches around the estate.
Food For Thought, a new radio show on Eugene station KLCC 89.7 FM airs on Sundays at noon. The hosts are Boris Wiedenfeld and Ryan Dawe-Stotz. Boris is the manager of Sundance Wine Cellars and Ryan is the “wine and food guy” at Marché Provisions (Marché founder Stephanie Pearl Kimmel was King Estate’s first culinary director). Both are active in the local food and wine community and are dedicated to shedding light on what “sustainability” means and why we should care about it. The guest host of the July 18 episode was Adam Bernstein, executive chef at Adam’s Sustainable Table who is well-known for using local and organic produce. Adam says sustainability is “about being able to create a dynamic where we are able to use renewable resources to have the smallest possible impact on our environment and the world at large, preserving as much for future generations as humanly possible.”