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King Estate Supports Local Farmers, Creates Jobs, Pays Taxes .. Under Attack by Goal One Coalition

Wine

Ed King at King Estate

Ed King of King Estate Winery with a raptor from their raptor program. Photo by Mutineer Photog Ian Andreae

By Michael Reeder as seen in the The Register-Guard

Lane County boasts Oregon’s largest winery and the nation’s largest contiguous certified organic vineyard: King Estate Winery. Visitors from around the world visit King Estate to taste Oregon food and King Estate wine, pouring much-needed tourist dollars into the local and state economy.

However, the Goal One Coalition, a special interest group with headquarters outside Lane County, recently appealed Lane County’s decision authorizing King Estate to operate a full-service restaurant and host various special events such as weddings.

If successful, Goal One’s appeal would eliminate more than 100 restaurant and hospitality jobs, wiping out an annual payroll of $1.7 million. It would also hamstring King Estate’s efforts to sell its wine to national and international markets.

The restaurant and special events are critical components of an effective marketing platform that creates a unique experience for out-of-state visitors who often become loyal customers of King Estate wine. Reversing Lane County’s decision would put King Estate at a competitive disadvantage with California and Washington winemakers who also market their wines through restaurants and special events.

Goal One’s stated mission “is to engage Oregon citizens in the project of rising to the twin challenges of peak oil and climate change.” It is difficult to understand how it serves Goal One’s purposes to oppose a restaurant that serves locally grown, organic food and wine.

Apparently not satisfied with its appeal of Lane County’s approval of King Estate’s restaurant and special events, Goal One board member, Bob Emmons launched a vitriolic attack on King Estate’s owner Ed King in The Register-Guard’s March 20 Commentary section. For example, Emmons made the ridiculous assertion that King Estate was getting a “free ride” from Lane County. What was Emmons’ support for this unfounded statement? Emmons claimed that Lane County has not collected any land use fees from Ed King, thereby foregoing “thousand of dollars.”

Emmons unsupported comments are simply wrong. In 2009, King Estate paid Lane County the customary $2,610 filing fee for its special use permit application. Had King Estate been required to apply for a special use permit back in 1991, as seems to be Emmons’ position, the cost to apply to Lane County for the permit would not have been “thousands of dollars,” but $480.

To be sure, King Estate is not seeking to avoid paying its fair share or looking for a “free ride.” In 2010 alone, King Estate paid $122,000 in property taxes, $494,000 in state and federal excise taxes, and donated $80,000 to more than 200 charitable organizations.

Emmons goes on to suggest that the restaurant and special events, if permitted to continue, would somehow harm farmland and Oregon’s wine industry. Emmons’ comments are reflective of a myopic vision of Oregon agriculture held by a small and extreme group of ideologues bent on keeping Oregon farms stuck in 1973 (the year Oregon lawmakers adopted the statewide planning system).

To the contrary, King Estate has been a major boon to local agriculture. Prior to 1991, the King Estate property was a hay field outside of Lorane. Today, King Estate employs more than 200 people (excluding seasonal workers) with an annual payroll of about $5 million. As much as possible, King Estate purchases locally grown produce, meat and dairy products from mostly organic farms and vendors, supporting Oregon’s agricultural economy.

Neither Goal One nor the Oregon Department of Agriculture has identified a single instance where the restaurant or special events have conflicted with farming or forest practices. No neighbor has complained to either King Estate or Lane County. King Estate has received all required health and safety permits for the winery and the restaurant.

Emmons suggests that King Estate is required to seek a special use permit for the winery itself and that King Estate has knowingly evaded this alleged requirement. However, Lane County approved the winery in 1991, and has since approved additional building permits for the winery. At no time has Lane County suggested that King Estate must apply for a land use permit for the winery. Emmons’ theory rests on a tortured view of current law regarding wineries. Emmons has not pointed to any Oregon county, state agency or court that has taken such a position.

Immediately following The Register-Guard’s reporting of Goal One’s appeal, there was an outpouring of support for King Estate and outrage directed at Goal One. This is not surprising, since King Estate was named the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce 2010 Business of the Year, according to Chamber President Dave Hauser, “because of its focus on the triple bottom line of sustainability — financial, social and the environment.”

King Estate is an asset to our community that neither asks for nor receives special consideration from Lane County government. I am proud to represent King Estate, one of Lane County’s thriving, ethical and environmentally sensitive businesses and Oregon’s flagship winery.

Michael Reeder is a shareholder with the Eugene law firm Arnold Gallagher Percell Roberts & Potter, P.C.


1 comment 04.07.2011 |

Second Glass’ Wine Riot Rocks Los Angeles

Wine

Cypher Wines at Wine Riot

On Friday, March 25, Second Glass’ Wine Riot lit up the Santa Monica scene with over 250 different wines from all over the world. From the contact high I got off at least one of the guests, Wine Riot wasn’t the only thing lighting up that weekend…

The Boston-based wine education, promotion and events company set up shop at Santa Monica Place Mall, hosting sessions Friday night and throughout the day and evening on Saturday. They poured wines from at least eight different countries, including German Riesling, Italian Prosecco, Spanish Rioja and Rosado, French wines from Loire and Languedoc, Argentinian Malbec and even selections from Portugal, South Africa and Romania. California was represented, as well, with a variety of Cabernets, Zinfandels, Pinots and Chardonnays from up and down the west coast.

Wine Riot offered free downloads of their own app to help revelers remember what they drank. To educate enthusiasts on what was going into their glass, the event hired a roving “Wine Intelligence Unit” (like Apple’s Genius Bar – just drunker), to answer questions. They hosted classes: 30-minute, informal “Crash Course” wine education seminars. And there was a DJ and tattoo and photo booths for people who were less interested in putting the learning into higher education.

App Results

Top wines as chosen by Wine Rioters on the Wine Riot app.

Second Glass Wine Riot continues their 5-city tour in Boston from April 22-23, before heading off to Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C, recruiting the nation’s thirsty youth to join the party.

Wine Riot Bathroom Sign Wine Riot Crash Courses Wine Riot Warning


Comments Off on Second Glass’ Wine Riot Rocks Los Angeles 04.06.2011 |

Culver City’s New Destination

FoodWine

Culver City is starting to feel a little bit continental.Wine Tasting - Tapas Bar

Thierry Perez, the restaurateur behind Fraiche (also in Culver City), opened his one-stop European shop, L’Epicerie Market, in December of 2010. I was recently invited to breakfast at L’Epicerie; it was a lovely escape, and I didn’t even need to bring my passport.

 

We started at the natural starting place of any proper breakfast: Coffee. My vanilla latte was ok: Delivered in a large, bistro-style mug, and decorated with a pleasing double-heart design, painted in frothy, milky strokes. The syrupy sweetness was marginally cut by the richness of strong coffee, but all-in-all it didn’t wow me. What did knock off my proverbial socks was L’Epicerie Market’s drip coffee. Obviously a source of great pride for the L’Epicerie people, they use a combination French press/drip system called a Timolino, and make every cup fresh. It’s gimmicky, but I’m a sucker for gadgets – and the coffee is good. After a diner chooses their grounds (roasted offsite, at City Bean Roasters), hot water is poured through the device, and magic is made. I tried both the Blue Bottle (medium-dark roast, low acidity) and the Guatemalan (medium roast, medium acidity) and enjoyed the nutty-sweet power of both. L’Epicerie also brews their organic teas in a Timolino, but I didn’t have an opportunity to give these a try.

 

What would a European bakery be, without a buffet of buttery pastries? L’Epicerie’s are solid. At the moment, they bake some of their pastries in-house, but order their croissants, pain et chocolat, scones, etc. from elsewhere. After a planned upcoming renovation, the kitchen (among other things), will increase in size; at that time, the rest of the baked things will be made on-site. For what it’s worth, the pastries are light, but not quite as flaky as my favorites.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Les omelets are an entirely different story. Light and springy, stuffed with fillings like smoked ham, field mushrooms, salmon or sausage. They’re served a la cart but potatoes, tomatoes or fresh fruit can be added for a nominal charge. Their crepes are fantastic; buckwheat for savory, classic for sweet. The eggs florentine is L’Epicerie’s take on the classic eggs benedict brunch staple, but substitutes a Filipino longaniza sausage instead of Canadian bacon, which – while an interesting update – was considerably too sweet for my taste.

Eggs Florentine

On the other hand, L’Epicerie’s waffles are somewhere on the opposite end of the spectrum. Not savory, but definitely not the type of cloying sugar bomb one commonly finds at their average waffle joint. L’Epicerie Market’s waffles are made with a Belgian liège batter – made by dropping sugar pellets and chunks of butter into the mixture, which caramelize during cooking. The result is a yeasty, almost nutty-flavored waffle, with a crunchy outside and an almost creamy consistency in the middle.

 

But for all of their breakfasty goodness, L’Epicerie’s true attraction might be their happy hour. Served daily, from 4 – 7pm, they offer a limited menu of $3 (yes, the number between 2 and 4…) food and beverages. Items like Tortilla de Potatas, house-cured pickles, and marinated anchovies can be enjoyed with an assortment of wines and beers (Bitburger, Spaten, Fisher Amber). For $3 each. Those looking for heartier fare can scan the tapas menu – items such as marinated octopus and Ceviche de Corvine start at $5 per plate.

 

L’Epicerie is a tasty new adventure, right in downtown Culver City. They’re open seven days a week, from 7am to 9pm. No jetlag.


Comments Off on Culver City’s New Destination 04.04.2011 |

We’re Living in A Fine Time for Washington Wines

Wine

Washington Wine AVA Map

OLYMPIA — When Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the United States in January, the White House rolled out only the best. It turns out the best includes Washington wine.

It seems the other Washington has learned what we have known for a long time — our wines are among the best in the world.

The fertile land already famous for our delicious apples, cherries and sweet onions has earned international acclaim for its arbors.

At that White House dinner, two Washington wines were featured: a 2005 cabernet sauvignon from Quilceda Creek Vintners and a 2008 Botrytis riesling from Poet’s Leap Winery by Long Shadow Vintners.

Poured for our state’s No. 1 trading partner, it was a fitting reminder of the relationship that our state and China share. It also signaled that Washington wines are top in their field.

While March officially marks Washington Wine Month, any time is a good time to celebrate Washington’s bounty. Wine is good for the economy, it’s good for our growers and some say it’s even good for the heart. From Walla Walla to Woodinville, from the Columbia Gorge to the San Juan Islands, the quality of Washington’s wine is off the map.

Last month, as is tradition when you are head of the National Governor’s Association, I toasted the president and the first lady on behalf of all 50 states at a White House dinner.

I sent a message in advance to the White House that if they didn’t provide a Washington wine to fill our clinking glasses, I’d bring my own and pay for corkage! We celebrated our nation with another delightful Washington wine, a 2008 DeLille Estate Chaleur Blanc.

These selections weren’t made by coincidence. Nor are they an overnight success. They are the results of decades of hard work, the fine talent of our 700 wineries and 350 dedicated grape growers, and 40,000 acres of rich Washington soil.

Thirty years ago, a group of winemakers determined that the 46th parallel could be a suitable place for wine grapes. Some people called them crazy. We now call them visionaries.

Our wine industry contributes more than $3 billion to the state economy. It employs more than 14,000 people, directly or indirectly. Our growers aren’t in it for just the passion — they feel the joy of growing something from the earth, watching it bear fruit and getting it in the bottle.

What they don’t always get to see is the joy their efforts bring to so many others: to celebrate a special occasion, meet new friends, or, in the case of the state dinner, bring nations together. It is an enviable pursuit and one of which to be proud.

Remember that Washington wines (and our other craft beverages) are not only good, they also are part of what makes our state great.

This time of year, for those of us on the west side of the mountains — it’s nice to be able to open a bottle of wine and taste a bit of Eastern Washington sunshine.

Taken from Tri-City Herald and written by Chris Gregoire, governor of Washington since 2005.


Comments Off on We’re Living in A Fine Time for Washington Wines 04.01.2011 |

This Property Is Constructed: Ray’s Restaurant and the Stark Bar

FoodWine

Ray's Prosecco

Ray Stark – Hollywood film producer, power broker and art collector – was born October 3, 1915 in Chicago, Illinois. Ray’s Restaurant and Stark Bar – the Patina Group’s new Mediterranean restaurant and bar, featuring farm-to-table ingredients and hand-crafted cocktails – was born March 5, 2011, adjacent to the new Resnick Pavilion at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The bar and restaurant – sleek, contemporary, minimalist – was designed by the long-time LACMA go-to firm, Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The decor features usable art by Eva Zeisel, Russel Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, and Herman Miller, among others. The food – seasonal, most of it from the restaurant’s wood-burning oven and grill – is designed by acclaimed chef Kris Morningstar (Mercantile, District, Casa). The cocktails are the work of Michel Dozois (Neve Ice), and sommelier Paul Sanguinetti (Fraiche) has sculpted the wine program.

Ray's Scallops Ray's Pork Belly

Ray Stark is known for a list of blockbusters including Funny Girl, The Sunshine Boys, Annie and Steel Magnolias. Ray’s restaurant is producing acclaimed dishes like their chile with chorizo, dates, goat cheese and almond sauce; and an amazing porchetta/smoked pork crackling dish that is at once rich and crispy and as comforting as a down-home Sunday supper.

Their house cocktails, bearing names like Steel Magnolias (strawberry, basil, sparkling wine), Cheap Detective (St. Germain, Cynar, Campari), Lost in Yonkers (rum, freshly squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, raspberry, cucumber) and Little Annie (gin, Cointreau, egg white, freshly squeezed lemon juice, raspberry syrup, cherry) are beginning to draw crowds.

Ray's Cheap Detective Ray's Steel Magnolias

But perhaps the biggest attraction to the destination – even more than the fact that someone is finally serving high quality cocktails on the Miracle Mile (with free parking at LACMA after 7pm!), is the feeling of eating and drinking [inside] a work of art.

Ray’s is open for dinner from 5-10PM and Stark Bar serves from 11AM-11PM. The restaurant and bar are both closed on Wednesdays.


Comments Off on This Property Is Constructed: Ray’s Restaurant and the Stark Bar 03.29.2011 |

Second Glass and Mutineer Magazine Present Wine Riot

Wine

Second Glass

Mutineer Magazine is excited to announce an ambitious partnership with Second Glass and their Wine Riot national tour. Wine Riot will visit five cities in 2011 to include Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, New York City and Washington DC. At Wine Riot, guests will have the opportunity to try 250 wines from around the world as well as eat, learn and ask questions about wine at crash course wine seminars.

Here are a few questions with Tyler Balliet, President and Founder of Second Glass about the tour and partnership with Mutineer Magazine.

Mutineer: What was your approach to Wine Riot in Boston?
Tyler Balliet: We know it’s possible to learn and have fun at the same time but at some point, wine event people forgot this. That’s what really resonates with young people in Boston. You come to a totally bitchin’ event, drink awesome wine, meet really great people and a crap-ton of fun and learn about wine! People love it in Boston so much that we’ve sold out the last two events. We have no desire to grow the capacity of the event so we plan on just making the experience better and better, for the same number of people.

Mutineer: Your thoughts on taking Wine Riot on the road to new cities?
Tyler Balliet: We built Wine Riot with the idea of taking it to other cities across the country. While we know each city and region is different, the idea of Wine Riot, having fun and simultaneously learning about wine, is universal. While not without it’s challenges, the 2011 Wine Riot US Tour is going to be f-ing amazing! We reached out to some really amazing wineries that are coming on the entire tour and we’re also working with local wineries in each region. Personally, we’re going to have a blast plus, we get to expose tens of thousands of people to awesome wine!

Mutineer: What are your thoughts on Mutineer’s involvement with Wine Riot?
Tyler Balliet: I’ve been a fan of Mutineer since issue #1! It’s a really great publication that really resonates with what we’re doing at Second Glass. Artisan, hand-made, quality beverages isn’t an industry or business, it’s an art form and a movement! We are so stoked to be partnering with Mutineer because they have the exact same view as we do! We say drink more wine and Mutineer says drink more everything!

We couldn’t agree more with Morgan’s sentiment and when I asked Mutineer Magazine’s Editor in Chief Alan Kropf for his thoughts on our involvement with Wine Riot, he quickly replied with “This is arguably the most epic millennial-driven partnership we’ve embarked on and I’m excited to see how young wine drinkers react. I’m a huge fan of Second Glass and there was no way Mutineer was going to miss out on being a part of a Wine Riot national tour. Absolutely no way.”

Mutineer Magazine is sponsoring all five events nationwide and will be on hand this Saturday and Sunday, March 25-26 in Los Angeles for the inaugural event of 2011. Look for us and copies of Mutineer Magazine are sure to be flowing as freely as the wine and good times. Mutineer will be also be giving away tickets to each event, stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter with information how to win tickets of your own.

For more information on Second Glass, Wine Riot, event dates, locations and prices, please visit the Second Glass website.


2 comments 03.22.2011 |

Irish Vineyards Slainte – Green Wine!

Wine

Irish Vineyards Slainte

For St. Patrick’s Day, there is green beer .. but is there green wine? There certainly is.

Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains, Irish Vineyards of Murphys, California has been producing their “Slainte” since 2004. Slainte is 100% Viognier but Irish uses certified food coloring in order to get the green coloring in their wine that one typically associates with beer on St. Patrick’s Day. For those hesitant to try food colored wine, they should know that the coloring does not add any flavor to the wine and it is still a great Viognier, just a bit more festive!

To stay with the St. Patrick’s Day theme, bottles are priced at $17 each and it is released in limited amounts beginning in February and it will usually sell out over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Murphys Irish Day

For those in Murphys and the Calaveras County area this weekend, I suggest stopping in Murphys for their annual Murphys Irish Day this Saturday March 19th starting at 10. Main Street will be shut down and full of food, crafts, wine, beer, etc., as the people of Murphys celebrate their Celtic heritage.

The Mutineers will be at Murphys Irish Day in full force and we hope to see you there!


Comments Off on Irish Vineyards Slainte – Green Wine! 03.18.2011 |

Bare Wood Works – Chelan, WA – Wine Barrel Furniture

Wine

Wine Barrel Wine Cooler

Wine Barrel Patio Cooler

What a better way to use “retired” barrels than to make functional furniture from them.” We agree.

Bob Buhl of Chelan, Washington has been woodworking for over 30 years and being surrounded by the beautiful vineyards of the Lake Chelan AVA he finds himself with no shortage to access of used wine barrels. Bob created Bare Wood Works and began to make creative, unique furniture using the mellowed oak from previously used wine barrels to include benches, seats, patio drink coolers, and even chandeliers. Have a design of your own? Let him know and he’ll make it. Visit his website with more information on his work and how to contact him. See the full post »


2 comments 03.14.2011 |

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