April 26, 2021 Posted in History, Staff

30th Anniversary Spotlight on Mark Dorman

“There’s no sense doing average work when you can do something cool.” In one sentence, Mark Dorman summarizes why he, Ed King and King Estate Winery have had such a successful working relationship dating back to the construction of the winery itself.

Ed King is known as an innovator who isn’t afraid to think outside the box. He found the perfect partner to build his new winery when he chose Dorman Construction from a field of more experienced contractors back in 1991.

Mark and his brother, Steve, had been in business together just 18 months when Ed interviewed them for the job of building King Estate Winery. Although their company was new, the brothers had a quarter of a century of experience between them and their father was a well known local carpenter.

The winery was one of the area’s biggest construction projects at that time. Mark’s proudest achievement in the winery’s construction is the Barrel Room. Figuring out how to design the forms for the curved, concrete roof was a challenge he eagerly undertook. “It was the largest suspended concrete pour in Oregon at the time,” Mark recalls with a smile. “It took two and a half months to form it up in advance of the pour, which took place in one day in March 1992.” The project was highly unusual in construction and won an award in concrete excellence. (See the photo of Mark working on the trusses; he is in the red hard hat.)

Construction King Estate

Many of the construction projects on the estate bear Mark’s fingerprints, literally, including the Restaurant, the warehouse in Cottage Grove, the maintenance and bakery buildings, the cottage and more.

It wasn’t until 2014 that Mark came on staff full time as Director of New Construction. On a property the size of King Estate there is always something that needs to be tended to: from drilling wells and remodeling the kitchen to routine painting and repairs – even to building a chicken house for the estate’s newest residents.

It’s fair to say that Mark Dorman knows every inch of the estate. And as much as he loves problem solving and tackling new challenges, Mark says the best part of the job and 30 years of King Estate is the wine itself. Beyond the awards, accolades and business achievements, Mark looks forward to going to work at one of the most beautiful places in the state.

“It’s shocking to me that this Oregon winery in this little valley turned out to be a world-class place,” he says. “It makes you want to always make the right decision and do what’s good for the company. It’s pretty cool to be a part of it. I think about that every day.

“It’s heaven.”