EUGENE, Ore., Oct. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- King Estate Winery is now officially the largest Biodynamic® vineyard in the United States as certified by Demeter USA.
"Achieving Demeter certification holds us to the highest possible standard in sustainable agriculture," says Ed King, winery Co-Founder and CEO. "It is testimony to the grit and determination of King Estate's people to go beyond organic and do our part to protect the Earth for future generations."
Sustainable farming is nothing new for King Estate, the 1,033-acre vineyard and winery best known for its acclaimed Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir as well as its breathtaking setting in the Lorane Valley. The winery has been certified organic by Oregon Tilth since 2002. But Demeter certification as Biodynamic represents a major step forward in King Estate's commitment to sustainable agriculture.
"Stewardship of the land is a core value that guided our family when we established and built King Estate Winery 25 years ago and continues to this day," King says.
Biodynamic takes organic to a new, higher level. For example, while the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which operates the National Organic Program, allows individual parcels within a farm to be certified organic, Demeter requires that the entire farm be certified. Other requirements that exceed the USDA's: 10 percent of the total acreage must be set aside for biodiversity purposes, and fertilizers are generated on the farm itself with only a limited amount brought in.
King Estate applied for certification in September 2015 and was designated as "in conversion" to Biodynamic status January. After completing a full agricultural cycle following Demeter practices and passing an inspection, certification was effective Sept. 23.
Oregon is now home to more than 30 percent of the Biodynamic vineyards in the U.S. Oregon has some 17 Biodynamic vineyards ranging in size from 10 acres to King Estate, with 465 of its 1,033 acres under vine.
Named for the Greek goddess of agriculture, Demeter was formed in Europe in 1932 by noted scientist and Waldorf School founder Rudolf Steiner after farmers approached him about a decline in seed fertility, crop vitality and animal health that corresponded with the rise of industrial agriculture and factory farming. Steiner urged farmers to think of their farms not as factories but as self-sustaining living organisms. Demeter USA was established in 1985. Headquarters are in Corvallis, Ore.
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SOURCE King Estate Winery