The Legacy Continued…
Second-generation winemaker Jesse Lange was struck by the physical, mental and artistic challenges that winegrowing and winemaking embodies. Having started out pounding posts as a kid in their early estate vineyard, he continued on to practice at Santa Barbara Winery before attending Oregon State University where a student exchange scholarship propelled him to New Zealand’s Lincoln University for a formal education in viticulture and enology.
“That technical approach solidified what my father was pretty much self-taught,” said Jesse. “It helped shape my classical and responsible scientific approach to winemaking. I left New Zealand and thought, ‘O.K., this is going to be my life’s work.”
By 2001, Jesse had completed his studies and was back in the Dundee Hills feeling emboldened and inspired. According to Wendy, with Jesse coming on board, he was able to immerse himself in everything. “We didn’t want to pressure him. We wanted him to figure out what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it all!” she said.
While taking on winemaking, winegrowing and hospitality responsibilities, Jesse jumped in to serve on several boards that his family had been involved with since many of them began, eventually taking on presidential and leadership roles with Oregon Pinot Camp, Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association and the Willamette Valley Wineries Association.
“My parents have given everything to do this place,” said Jesse. “We definitely started with that underdog mentality and that has driven us to craft world-class wine.”
Today, an industry that once totaled 30 bonded wineries when the Langes arrived is now rounding out at more than 700 (including virtual wineries). The Langes’ legacy continues as one of a family-owned and managed winery and vineyard operation that focuses on terroir through small lot, artisanal winemaking philosophies – setting the standard for truly handcrafted wines.