Celebrating Northwest corks and cuisine
Set in remote Lane County, Oregon, and surrounded by the verdant landscape of the world’s largest contiguous organic vineyard, King Estate has built its reputation on premium wines, preserving the food culture of the Northwest and dedication to sustainability.
Founded by the King family, King Estate has been known for its commitment to organic farming and sustainable practices for 22 years. The winery is certified organic by Oregon Tilth, a non-profit research and education organization, and the 1,033 acre property boasts 470 acres of organic vineyards, which are mostly dedicated to its famous Pinot Gris and Pinot Noirs. The estate also grows 30 acres of fruits, vegetables and flowers.
King Estate’s Domaine label wines are made with their organicallyfarmed grapes, while the Signature Collection blends estate fruit with some of Willamette Valley’s finest vineyards. The King Estate also produces an Acrobat label, a value brand that also includes the estate’s fruit.
Though the estate’s grapes are organically-farmed, the wines are not labeled organic because of sulfites added during production. Winemakers have been adding sulfites to wine for centuries to protect the wine from oxidation and prevent organisms from growing in the wine, allowing it to last longer and develop richer flavor. King Estate, though, says their white wines have fewer added sulfites due to naturally occurring higher acid content.
Visitors to the European-style winery, located southwest of the city of Eugene, will find more than wine to delight their palates. The menu at The Wine Bar and Restaurant features organic produce grown on the estate, along with seasonal, local and sustainably managed ingredients, to showcase their many different wines.
The 2012 King Estate Signature Pinot Gris, a special Pinot Gris dubbed Backbone, is made from a blend of five top Willamette Valley vineyards. The Backbone Pinot Gris has the distinct aromas of fresh lemon, pineapple, and passion fruit. The fruit characteristics in the nose join hints of pear and honey in the mouth, and this medium-bodied wine continues into a smooth, lingering finish. It’s the perfect wine to accompany the King Estate’s Grilled Butterfly Prawns with Shiso Leaves and Smoked Pepper Sauce.
King Estate Executive Chef Brandon Nadolny, who joined King Estate as Sous Chef in 2007 before being promoted to Executive Chef in 2012, says shiso, a member of the same family as mint and basil, can be found in the specialty herb section at supermarkets or Asian grocery stores. Nadolny says the herb presents a cooling sensation with undertones of anise, flavors that combine with the warm grilled shrimp to pair beautifully with the Pinot Gris. He adds that you can make the sauce ahead of time, making this an easy dish to serve up once the grill is hot. But Nadolny notes the dish is best served room temperature or warmer to provide the perfect pairing with the King Estate Backbone Pinot Gris.
Look for King Estate at the 29th Annual Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival March 10-15. For more information call 843-686-4944 or www.hiltonheadwineandfood.com
BUTTERFLY PRAWNS, GRILLED WITH SHISO LEAVES AND A SMOKED PEPPER SAUCE
Serves: 2 to 4 people
Cook Time: 30 mins prep
9-12 Large fresh Prawns
5-6 shiso leaves, cut half lengthwise
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 1/4 tsp. chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp. honey
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dashi
2 - 2 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil (or as needed)
Sauce: 1. In a blender combine the rice wine vinegar, chipotle peppers, dijon, egg yolk, honey, salt, and dashi. 2. Turn the blender on high and slowly pour in the oil to emulsify. The amount of oil is an approximate amount of oil needed to emulsify the sauce. Slowly add another 1/2 cup of oil if needed. When done, taste and reseason with salt if needed. Put in a squeeze bottle for later.
1. Prepare the shrimp by first removing the shell, leaving the tail still attached.
2. Make a slit down the bottom side of the shrimp as far as the tail but take care not to cut all the way through. Devein the shrimp from this side, Rinse briefly under cold water and drain.
3. Preheat a grill or broiler.
4. Take the shrimp one at a time, open the split side of the shrimp and lay half a shiso leaf on each shrimp and top with a medium size dot of sauce from the squeeze bottle.
5. Using a metal spatula, place the shrimp one at a time on a grill or broiler. Cook for about 1 minute, just until the surface of the shrimp turns opaque. Remove from the grill.
6. Take a plate and using the squirt bottle place a zigzag line on the plate. Place the prawns on the plate with the tails facing opposite each other.
7. (optional garnish) Take a whole shiso leaf, and cut the stem off. Heat a small sauté pan with about 1 tbsp. vegetable oil. When the oil is hot toss in the single leaf and cook for about 30 seconds then remove the leaf to a paper towel. Let cool and use as a garnish on the plate!