Don and Wendy Lange founded their eponymous winery and estate vineyard in 1987 with the purchase of a thirty-acre parcel in Northern Willamette Valley’s prestigious Dundee Hills. Their move north from Santa Barbara was precipitated by a few inspiring bottles from two of Oregon’s most iconic producers: Eyrie and Erath. A call to Dick Erath (whose phone number was listed on the back label) convinced the Langes to embark on a scouting trip.
Starting at the southern end of the Willamette Valley, they tasted their way up, stopping only when they reached the Dundee Hills.. The couple saw a real estate sign advertising a property suitable for farmland—the property’s elevation and aspect reminded Don of the Grand Cru vineyards of Burgundy’s Côte d’Or.
After producing their inaugural vintage in 1987 from pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot gris purchased from neighboring vineyards, the Langes planted their estate vineyard in 1988.
Considered New World pioneers in the production of pinot gris, Lange Estate was the first in the United States to release a barrel-fermented style, an effort that Wine Spectator senior editor Matt Kramer hailed as a “bench-mark” bottling. Wine Enthusiast proclaimed Lange Estate to be “one of the great Pinot Noir producers in the United States”.
Their original planting has since expanded to encompass three estate vineyards totaling more than 60 acres under vine. A state-of-the-art winemaking facility and hospitality center sits at the crown of the Estate.
The Langes have always defined their winemaking along a more classical paradigm: focused wines that express nuanced fruit, structure, balance, and texture. Thirty-three years on, they continue to play an active role in the evolution of Oregon’s maturing wine industry.
“Poet-musician-turned-vintner Don Lange and his wife, Wendy 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.”
Lettie Teague, The Wall Street Journal
“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, makes some of the world’s better Burgundy-varietal wines.”
Brian J. Cantwell, The Seattle Times
“Jesse Lange at his family’s Lange Estate represents a special kind of local winemaker – home-grown, well-traveled and professionally trained. He is in his prime and is more than capable of evolving and refining his wines to even greater heights of quality and drinkability.”
Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com