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King Estate Winery on track to become nation's largest biodynamic vineyard

King Estate Winery (photo by Hannah Kintner)

EUGENE, Ore. -- King Estate Winery is on track to become the nation's largest biodynamic vineyard.

King Estate has been certified organic since 2002, but now they're taking things a step further.

Vineyard officials say biodynamic certification is the gold standard in organic agriculture.

"It can be kind of thought of as Organic Plus; it's a holistic, traditionally focused style of agriculture," says King Estate viticulturist Edward Burke.

The certification comes from a company called Demeter and requires the farm to function as a closed unit.

"(We're) really focusing on using inputs from within the farm and not bringing things in from offsite."

A few examples of biodynamic farming at King Estates:
-All 1,033 acres are fertilized with compost from the vineyard.
-Rather than using pesticides, workers use a process called de-budding to protect plants from disease.

But, why is King Estate becoming biodynamic certified?

"I think that there is a groundswell of support for organic within agriculture and within the consumer market; there's a lot of demand for it. But in addition to that, the King family has been really dedicated to a sustainable form of agriculture and really maintaining stewardship of the earth."

Currently, 16 vineyards in Oregon have biodynamic status, but King Estates will increase Oregon's biodynamic acreage by more than 50 percent.

King Estate hasn't become biodynamic certified yet, but they're officially "in conversion" to biodynamic status, which means their application has been approved and their vineyard has been inspected.

They just have to keep doing what they're doing until the process is complete later this year.

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