Ep.8 King Estate: Largest Biodynamic Vineyard in N. America Honors Diversity & Delivers Premium Wine
King Estate's sustainable ecosystem creates world-class wines with careful stewardship of the land and exemplary employee practices.
· 2016 7 Rows Pinot Noir
· 2019 Paradox Pinot Gris
· 2018 Muscat
· 2019 Four Nobles Cuvee Blanc
· 2016 Mountain Blocks Rose
Regina and I talked to the "triumvirate" viticultural team comprised of Vineyard Manager Meliton Martinez., COO/Winemaker Brent Stone, and Director of Viticulture Raymond Nuclo while hawks soared over the biodynamic vines.......
The King Estate viticultural management trio, headed by CEO and Co-founder Ed King, cultivates the largest Biodynamic vineyard in North America. Meliton "Mel" Martinez has been working at the vineyard since it's inception in 1991. He's celebrating the 30th year anniversary of the winery along with his 30th year of work shepherding the vines. When he came to the vineyard from rural Mexico, one of the first people he met and worked with on the King Estate team was the third generation family member Justin King. The family values their dedicated employees and honors the Living Wage movement.
Together, Mel and Justin oversee a special seven rows of Pinot Noir from the oldest plantings in the vineyard to produce the highly acclaimed "7 Rows Pinot Noir" from the same 7 rows each vintage.
The day we filmed the story, the Blockburger family from Arizona was visiting the estate.
Their children had just competed in the NCAA championships. One of their children had a few more races to go before potentially qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. The family needed a break from the competitive pressure, so they drove to the oasis that is King Estate and enjoyed the serene hilltop vista and the estate-grown wines.
"My husband is Caucasian and descended from Robert E. Lee's brother, and I am an African American woman, so that makes for an interesting family history that surprises some people," said Cynthia as I helped her take a selfie to encapsulate the valley view behind her.
"We felt a sense of inclusiveness and peacefulness at King Estate," she said. The feeling of connectedness to the earth was heightened by a chance meeting with Ed King walking through the same parking lot. Cynthia mentioned to Ed that one of her favorite wines was the 2019 Four Nobles Willamette Valley Cuvee blanc. Ed said he wasn't surprised because that was a direct affiliation with one of the tenets he values in the founding of the winery based on the ancient Buddhist philosophy of the "Four Noble Truths" which cultivate inner peace.
Enjoy the video for the full story below: