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ESTABLISHED 1987

The start of the Langes life and legacy in the Oregon wine industry is one for the storybooks – a classic tale of a family-owned and managed winery and vineyard helping the Willamette Valley come of age and compete in the world’s wine scene.

In 1986, while working in the Santa Barbara wine industry, Don and Wendy Lange were disillusioned by the practice of growing Pinot noir next to Zinfandel and Cabernet. They began questioning where the best place was to grow their favorite varietals. After a few inspiring bottles from Eyrie and Erath, all it took was a quick call to Dick Erath (whose phone number was listed on the back label) and the Langes were on their way up to the “frozen north” to scout out land and create their estate in the Dundee Hills.

By 1987, their first vintage of Oregon wine was underway and a vineyard was being planted. To round out their estate, the Langes opened up their home for direct sales. One decade turned into another while Don and Wendy continued to blaze the Oregon wine trail through gains in distribution and increases in production. Their strategic growth included acquiring new vineyard land, building a lab and second barrel room, as well as administrative offices and a space for elevated tasting experiences.












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.

“We’re gratified that we were able to be a part of creating an industry in Oregon. We never doubted that this was the place to do what we are doing.” – DON LANGE

The Langes never strayed from ambitions to define their Oregon wine along a more classical paradigm: focused wines that achieve nuances of fruit but also have structure, balance and texture. Over the years, they embraced the evolution of the Willamette Valley’s wine scene by continuing to perfect their craft while finding time to invent new offerings – such as their Rosé of Pinot Noir and their first vintage of méthode champenoise sparkling wine, the 2015 Mia Mousseux Brut Rosé.

The destination winery that came into being in 1987 has grown with its neighbors to become a part of what Wine Enthusiast deemed “Wine Region of the Year” in 2016. In Lange Estate’s future, customers will continue to experience extraordinary wines, hospitality and stewardship of the earth.

lange estate winery and vineyards rooted in oregon's dundee hills since 1987 pinot noir pinot gris chardonnay sparkling wine
Besides stellar pinot noirs, Lange Estate also makes wonderful chardonnay and pinot gris wines. Most recently, they’ve begun producing bubbly. Named for Don’s wife, Wendy Mia, their sparkling Mia Mousseux brut rose is delightful.”
Paul Abercrombie, Chicago Tribune
“Poet-musician-turned-vintner Don Lange and his wife, Wendy (who also runs a shop and eatery in downtown Dundee), founded their winery in 1987. The Langes, along with Don’s son, Jesse, operate one of the most welcoming tasting rooms in Dundee, featuring a quartet of Shetland Sheepdogs and views of the valley worthy of its “buena vista” address.”
“Don and Wendy Lange came to the Dundee Hills in 1987 to start one of Oregon’s early-day wineries. She had worked in tasting rooms in Southern California, and Don was an accomplished folk singer and songwriter. Now their winery atop a 750-foot hill, at the end of a gravel road, makes some of the world’s better Burdundy-varietal wines.”
Brian J. Cantwell, The Seattle Times