You don't have to be a rocket scientist to make good wine...
If you’re a fan of boutique wineries that produce distinct, site-specific wines, look up Vidon. The wines are great, and Don is a charming fellow.Gabe Sasso - Snooth
The Name VIDON (Vee-Dohn) Comes From Vicki And Don, Founders Of VIDON Vineyard.
Don’s vision for VIDON was shaped by two life experiences – having been born and raised on a farm in North Dakota and living in France while doing post-graduate physics research. As a result, he loves farming and Burgundy wines. This led to his plan to develop a small vineyard with a winery that produced premium Estate Pinot Noir wines. He feels there’s real pleasure in developing new skills and creating something from scratch and he believes that “it’s the journey, not the destination” that is most satisfying. Don is currently our national sales and marketing department, but still loves his tractor and does all mowing and tilling in the vineyard. Chad Vargas of NewGen Vineyard Services manages the daily vineyard operations. The vineyard and winery are certified through LIVE and Salmon-Safe. We care about the natural environment, our workers and the community and show this through our participation in LIVE – an internationally recognized certification of sustainable winegrowing practices in the Pacific Northwest.
Our boutique winery on the vineyard practices minimal intervention in winemaking. Our intent is to capture the unique personality of the vineyard that evolves each vintage. Thus, all fermentations are indigenous. The grapes are picked by hand and delivered in small bins to the winery on the vineyard. The fruit is generally very clean when it arrives but it is hand-sorted again before passing into the de-stemmer and 1.5 ton fermentation tanks. After an initial “cold soak” (below 60 degrees) for 3 to 5 days to extract color and flavor from Pinot Noir’s small, thin-skinned grapes, fermentation is allowed to occur spontaneously with indigenous yeasts. Once fermentation is established, the cap is punched down by hand, usually twice each day in the beginning and as needed thereafter. After fermentation is complete (usually 7 to 10 days), the red wines are pressed and allowed to settle for a few days before being moved into French oak barrels and then into the barrel room for aging and malolactic fermentation.
At Vidon Vineyard, all of our current production is Our production this year was over 2,000 cases from 14 acres of vines. Although the focus is on premium Pinot Noirs we also make Tempranillo, Syrah, Chardonnay and Viognier.
Why The Bee?
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 the new Queen set up housekeeping in our new abode. This experience resulted in many photos and a few stings, leading us to make the bee the mascot of the vineyard.
Donald E. Hagge, PhD - Proprietor, Farmer and Physicist
A particle physicist by training, Don spent most of his career in the technology industry, first as a NASA scientist with the Apollo Space Program and then in the nascent Silicon Valley. His final technology job brought him to Oregon, where, as a retirement project, he decided to combine his boyhood experiences on the family farm with a love of wine that first took root as a postdoctoral researcher in France. He and Vicki purchased an unimproved piece of Chehalem Mountains hillside in 1999 and began what is now VIDON Vineyard.
Chief of the Physics Branch for the Apollo Space Program in Houston for missions 7-13.
Founded a company that revolutionized the data acquisition, analyses and control of laboratory analytical instruments for medical, pharmaceutical, food processing and chemical applications. Consummated a merger with an instrument manufacturer.
Restructured a company to provide telecommunications management products and services. Created and implemented a strategy for the integration of telephony and computer applications on IBM AS/400 computers.
Converted an R&D company into an environmental and medical instrument manufacturer. Established key strategic partnerships, secured research contracts and venture capital financing.
Managed technology transfer and commercialization activities for the U. S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Engineering Laboratory.
Vicki Lewis – Proprietor
With 2 PhD’s in the winery/tasting room, there’s no need to be seeking the limelight — there’s no limelight left! Vicki stays involved behind the scenes in the operations of Vidon with events, barrel sampling, bottling and harvest/crush. During the early phases of developing the property to farm grapes, Vicki came up with the name for the vineyard and the concept of using the bees of the Vidon property as a logo for the labels.
After moving to Oregon from Wisconsin in 1975, Vicki’s love for the beautiful northwest has been lasting and it makes sense that she and Don met skiing the beautiful Mt. Bachelor in 1999. Her business background was in procurement and contracts and spanned 35 years in public and private sectors, including Chemeketa Community College, Mentor Graphics, Enron Broadband, Mitsubishi Silicon American (SUMCO USA) and finally, Nike, Inc, before finally “retiring” in 2011 to take care of the household, gardens, pets, chickens — and Don!
Vicki’s real love is art and has a degree in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. She still does painting, drawing (primarily the figure) and some collage. You’ll usually see Vicki feeding chickens or gardening or in the tasting room for open-house and event weekends.
David Bellows, PhD - Winemaker
David actually found science through wine. He began his career working for famed New York City restaurateur Joseph Baum at Aurora Grille, where he managed the beverage program. After a series of similar restaurant positions, he decided to look into winemaking as a career and enrolled in the biochemistry program at the University of Arizona. He felt immediately at home, but found himself seduced away from wine by the shiny toys in the research labs, ultimately culminating in a PhD in Molecular Biology from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Deciding to “dance with who brung him” he chose the wine yeast, saccharomyces cerevisiae as his model organism for his postdoctoral studies at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada. From there, he started his own research laboratory using yeast to study cellular detoxification at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. It took almost 20 years of international research, teaching, and grant writing to bring him back to his original goal: making wine. After a brief stopover at the Australian Wine Research Institute in Adelaide, he and his wife repatriated to the United States in 2011 where he began working harvests in the Willamette Valley and hasn’t looked back since – though he does continue to teach a few wine-related science courses at Chemeketa Community College Wine Studies Program.