King Estate Winery
Our first stop on Saturday afternoon was King Estate Winery, about 20 miles SW of Eugene. One of the first wineries to locate in this part of the Willamette Valley. Early on they gained respect and a following in the wine community.
You might notice in the photo to the left a windmill. As you approach the winery through the vineyards there are many windmills placed throughout. This was the only vineyard that I saw this, on this trip. The windmills are used to stir the air at times when the night time temperature is dropping too low. By moving the air they can often keep the grapes from freezing and gain a bit more time before harvesting.
Their facility, sitting on top of a hill overlooking the valley and their vineyards is huge and fairly new. And so I was surprised that we were led in through the winery to get to the tasting room which they were in process of enlarging. (I’m thinking who planned this place anyway? You wouldn’t think they’d need to remodel already!)
The tasting room was crowded (with only 8 – 12 people) and so there wasn’t really opportunity to talk to the tasting room staff. Here’s what we tasted:
King Estate 2002 Pinot Gris: As we entered the winery we were handed a glass of this wine. We then made our way through the rows of steel tanks to get to the actual tasting room. This was a very pleasant wine with less citrus than many of the others I’ve sampled on this trip. I think it leaned more towards apple. Very fresh tasting.
Lorane Valley 2003(?) Pinot Noir: Lorane Valley is the second label of King Estate. I’m not positive on this vintage but about 95% sure I’m right. This wine was fairly light structured. I thought it was okay and being a very young release it might need a little time to develop but I’m not sure that’s going to help this wine much.
King Estate 2002 Pinot Noir: This was a very nice wine. Lots of cherry and berry with some spice. It felt good in the mouth and had a nice finish. However, I thought it should be priced just under $20 instead of just over.
My family also tried one of their Cabernet Sauvignon but since I was being a good driver I passed on that taste.
You can see a webcam view from the front of the winery here.
Next stop: Château Lorane