Since founding King Estate Winery 27 years ago, the King family has worked hard to bring the best that Oregon and the Pacific Northwest have to offer to wine lovers across the country. Perhaps no single event did more to boost the company’s growth than the launch of Acrobat – a great wine at a great price that became the fastest-growing brand in Oregon history. In April 2018 Acrobat was sold to Foley Family Wines, a decision carefully made to allow King Estate to once again focus exclusively on smaller-production wines. The sale marks a new chapter in the history of the company, and it provides a rare moment to assess where we’ve been and where we are going. Ed King, our Co-Founder and CEO, shared some thoughts with the King Estate family about our new direction and we wanted to share them with you as well.
We didn’t set out to make 160,000 cases when Acrobat was first introduced. In fact, the first vintage was a modest 16,000 cases. There was no way to anticipate the reaction and acceptance of Acrobat in the broad market.
As the brand became more popular, we found ourselves with two powerful national brands, both built on the foundation of delicious Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. As Acrobat grew, so did the commitment of our company’s time and resources.
Reflection on the part of the King family led to the realization that we want to reaffirm our fundamental family brand, and that King Estate needs to be the centerpiece of our future. We believe that our customers are best served if we are not trying to get bigger every year; it was a decision about where we wanted to go in the world. Our focus will be on cultivating small brands that will be meaningful in the wine world, to us and to our winemakers.
King Estate is a family winery and our heart is unwaveringly committed to the King Estate brand. We will continue to innovate and bring new wines to market, but as a smaller production winery, crafting world-class wines that represent our unique place on the planet.
So what does this future look like? You will see some new wines bearing the King Estate label, including Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé and single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington State. Our first Biodynamic wine, the 2016 King Estate Domaine Pinot Gris, received rave reviews, and more Biodynamic wines will be released as we produce more select bottlings from our own vineyard. Smaller-lot or single-block wines will showcase the estate’s place in the southern Willamette Valley as well as the careful tending of our vineyard team and blending of our winemakers. As grateful as we are for our past achievements, we are even more grateful for what lies ahead. We invite you to be part of our journey.