Nov 4, 2013

Posted by in Featured, In The Glass | 2 Comments

In The Glass: VIDON Vineyard Brigita Clone 777 Pinot Noir 2011

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A beautiful view of VIDON Vineyards from the tasting room and winery

A few months ago, I had the privilege of visiting some stellar wineries in Oregon’s Chehalem Mountains AVA. Thanks to Carl Giavanti, of Carl Giavanti Consulting, I was able to taste some of the best wines I’ve ever had from some of Oregon’s most revered wineries.  From the exclusive mountaintop Quailhurst Vineyards to Anam Cara’s urban tasting room, we had a whirlwind tasting tour of top-of-the-line wines, including many incredible Pinot Noirs.

Among some of my favorite Chehalem Mountains vineyards is Vidon Vineyard, “A Boutique Winery on a Petite Vineyard.”   Sitting on 20 beautiful acres in the heart of the Chehalem Mountains, the name VIDON (pronounced vee-dohn) comes from the names of the owners, Don and Vicki Hagge.   More impressive than most people I know, Don makes, bottles and labels the wine (using a bottling system he designed and built) and mows and tills the vineyard.

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The delicious 2011 Brigita Clone 777

Formerly a physicist at NASA (where he worked on the Apollo program), Don was also a successful entrepreneur in California, Idaho and Washington. Born and raised on a farm in North Dakota, Don studied Physics at University of California, Berkley, and Business at Stanford University.  While on a post-graduate assignment in France, he fell in love with Burgundian wines.  After moving to Oregon in 1996, where Don became CEO of a semiconductor business, the farming life he knew growing up, along with his love for Burgundy wine, led him to purchase the VIDON property in 1999.  He cleared the land and planted Pinot Noir clones 777, 115 and Pommard.  Over the years, Don has added several other varietals; including, Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Viognier and Tempranillo.

The winery and vineyard are vertically integrated and both are Certified Sustainable under LIVE (Low Input Vinticulture Enology) and Salmon Safe.  Don recently transitioned the winery to be private and  open by appointment to only the VIDON wine club members – I was lucky to be able to meet Don, who poured me his wines and gave me a quick tour of his boutique winery operation.  Of the six outstanding wines we sampled, I fell head over heels for the 2011 Brigita Clone 777 and took a bottle home with me.

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Wine crates with the VIDON logo and the beloved bee

Last night, I opened the glass closure on the 2011 Brigita Clone 777 and reveled in its alluring aromas and divine flavors.  Baked cherry pie, cedar and earth are highlighted by hints of alluring fresh tobacco and orange zest.  Super juicy waves of cranberry, cherry, earth and vanilla spice gives a lush mouthfeel that leads to solid acidity, smooth tannins and a lovely balanced, lingering finish – an absolute gem.  

There’s a story behind the bee that graces the VIDON labels:

The Bee on our labels and capsule came about because of an old well house on the property that contained a very large hive between its studs. After our home was built in the summer of 2003, we heard much buzzing while sitting on the deck one evening. Upon looking under the deck, we discovered that the electrician had left a hole that led to the space between floors. As they do every year, bees swarmed and set up housekeeping in our new abode. This experience resulted in many photos and a few stings and led to our use of the bee on our packaging.