Oregon Pride Seafood is a small fishery developed by owner operator Jacob Farrens of Creswell, Oregon. He and his team mostly fish in Charleston, Oregon but they travel all along the Oregon coast in search of superior seafood. While fishing for Chinook Salmon, Jacob uses the line and hook method of capture. This way, out of season fish caught by accident can be safely released. In addition to Oregon Pride Seafood’s sustainable fishing practices, it also participates in salmon research (with Project CROOS) by collecting DNA from each fish it catches and attaching a bar code that can be used to track the fish’s origins and depth of capture. This research is vital to ensure the future of salmon.
Jacob delivers Executive Chef Michael Landsberg and Sous Chef Benjamin Nadolny salmon that has often only been out of the water a few hours, ensuring that the restaurant can serve the freshest fish. King Estate supports local fisherman, free-range ranchers, and organic farmers because seasonality and sustainability are among the restaurant’s main principles.
At King Estate Winery, where we have over 475 acres of organic grapes planted, the majority of the vineyard blocks are now between 5 and 25% verasion, with some much further ahead. The following blocks are those that are farthest ahead this year: Block 4G on the south side of the property is at about 85% color, and is planted to Pinot Noir clone 113 on RG rootstock, it was green thinned today. Block 16B near the center of the property, just south of the main winery building is at 75% color. It is planted to Pinot Noir clone 115 on SO4 rootstock and will be green thinned tomorrow. Blocks 28C and 28D are in the far northeast corner of the property, both are planted to Pinot Noir clone 777 on 3309 and 101-14 rootstocks and they are both at about 80% color. It is possible that the entire site will be at 100% veraison by the middle of next week. Currently the property at King Estate has accumulated 1,350 GDD units which puts us close to where we were this time in 2010, however the outlook is much better as it appears that this September will be much dryer. During September 2010 we saw about 2.5 inches of rain during the month, currently the long term forecast for September look very promising, which bodes very well for the 2012 vintage.
King Estate Winery
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 third week of July, details their observations thus far on our own organic estate.
This week has shown that King Estate has been receiving ideal weather for a good growing season. Optimal temperatures have been putting the vineyard crew in full swing of training and shoot positioning. Our vineyard team has been doing an excellent job keeping up with the speed of growth in the vineyard. Across the estate we are starting to show good signs of fruit set. Our vines are looking healthy, well-kept and fruitful.
- Christopher Hudson, Assistant Winemaker
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
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
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
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.
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.
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: