Chehalem Mountains AVA
From NASA to Oregon vineyards, this notable winery owner produces wines that are out of this world.
There are a host of celebrity winery owners in the wine industry, but few possess the resume of Vidon Vineyard’s owner Don Hagge.
Hagge is a particle physicist by occupation and spent most of his business career in the technology industry. He was a NASA scientist (Chief of the Physics Branch for Missions 7 – 13) with the Apollo Space Program in Houston and later a participant in the wild and nascent Silicon Valley until near the turn of the last century. During that period, Hagge was responsible for creating and restructuring a number of high-tech companies that centered around his realm of expertise. He even managed technology transfer and commercialization activities for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. At one point near the turn of the century, he decided it was time to pursue a dream that had pursued him for some time, that of building a winery to produce great wines.
Hagge and his wife Vicki (Vidon is a combination of the couple’s first names and is pronounced vee-don) ultimately chose the bucolic Willamette Valley of Oregon as the site for their new winery, creating their dream from scratch near the town of Newberg.
“We believe in minimal intervention in our winemaking,” stated Don Hagge. “Our intention is to capture the unique personality of the vineyard that evolves with each vintage. All fermentation is indigenous and every action during the fermentation and winemaking process is done by hand. Since the Pinot Noir grape skins are thin, fermentation will occur spontaneously with indigenous yeasts.”
Hagge also said that after the initial cold soak period (3 to 5 days) the cap is punched down by hand, twice a day in the beginning and then as needed. After fermentation is established, the wines are allowed to settle before being moved into French oak for ageing and malolactic fermentation.
With that philosophy in mind, Vidon Vineyard has rocketed to the very top of Pinot Noir producers in the entire country. Numerous awards and accolades have followed the small winery that produces around 2,000 cases each year.
Vidon Vineyard is also about the natural environment and participates in LIVE and Salmon-Safe - both internationally recognized certifications of sustainable winegrowing practices in the Pacific Northwest.
The personalized label is the work of Vicki Hagge, possessor of an Art Education degree from her native University of Wisconsin. The label prominently features a bee with an intriguing story to boot. It seems there is an old well house on the Vidon property that contained a very large hive between the studs. When constructing their new home, they discovered a large hole had been left by an electrician that led to the space between floors on their deck. When bees swarmed the hold, the new Queen bee set up housekeeping and the rest is history. The bee on the label is the Hagge’s tribute to those endearing bees.
The Pinot Noirs of Vidon Vineyard have already been recognized for their excellence and genuineness to the varietal. It is with extreme pleasure that we introduce our Pinot Noir Wine Club members to this marvelous Oregon winery and one of its prized selections. We know you will enjoy this wine to its fullest!