On Wine


King of the Pinots!

by Fred McMillin

"Oregon's specialty is Pinot Noir, a delicate and temperamental grape considered by many to make the most sensual red wine in the world. Pinot Gris is the up-and-coming Oregon white, a delicious wine that is immensely food compatible. Oregon's cool, marginal climate is a major factor in the elegance that characterizes its top wines." Wine Bible by Karen MacNeal
"The King Estate, owned by multimillionaire Ed King, Jr., is a state-of-the-art winery located a three-hour drive south of Portland, Oregon. Started in 1992, it has already become Oregon's largest producer, primarily of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris." Wine for Dummies by McCarthy and Mulligan

King Estate
King Estate Winery


To check this out my Fort Mason class tasted a number of King Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. Sure enough, they almost always beat California winery "Pinots".

Recent highest scorers:

Pinot Gris Acrobat, 2008, $12
Pinot Noir—Signature, 2008, $27

A California wine that was competitve in its price range:

Pinot Grigio—Private, R. Mondavi, California, 2009, $9


And a Final Wine Smile

Speaking of Oregon (which contains the vaunted Willamette Valley), my mother is said to be the first woman to graduate in chemistry from the University of Willamette. I used to kid her that she got those good grades by marrying her professor—who became MY DAD!


Tastings: Edgar Vogt
Statistics: Ophie Mercado


Fred McMillin

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for over 30 years on three continents. He was voted one of the U.S.A's 22 Best wine writers by the Academy of Wine Communications. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

Copyright © 2011, Fred McMillin. All rights reserved.

Wine Archive

This page created March 2011