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Wabash College Magazine and an Oregon Winery

A common thread through my blogging about the trip to the Northwest was Brian Doyle’s great 2006 book, “The Grail: A Year Ambling & Shambling Through an Oregon Vineyard in Pursuit of the Best Pinot Noir Wine in the Whole Wild World.”

Doyle wrote “A Man’s Life” for this issue of Wabash Magazine and his aforementioned book was about Lange Winery in the Dundee Hills. I read the book on my way out to visit alums last summer and that paved the way to ask Doyle to write for the magazine.

The book was a year-in-the-life sort of thing about Lange Winery. The circle was completed April 9 for me when I spent part of the morning with Jesse Lange.

“Brian had been coming out to some of our wine club events here at the winery,” Lange explained. “We got to talking like any other conversation and he mentioned he was the editor of the University Of Portland Magazine. He wanted to do an article on wine coming from a neophyte’s perspective.”

Lange said the two quickly realized after a tour and interview that it was going to take more than one visit. “We just continued to go after a few more visits, a couple more tours, and through different parts of the growing season.

 “We decided to get together every month and do a vineyard tour and a winery tour to see a glimpse of the life cycle of a winery and a vineyard/farm. The Grail was a combination of all that.”

While Doyle’s book did pretty well for a niche publication, Lange saw an immediate impact in his tasting room. “We get people who come from all over the country and say, “hey, I read the book or my friend gave it to me.” They come to the winery to taste the wine see the (family’s) dogs, see the farm and vineyard. It’s been pretty fun. It’s nice to be the beneficiary of something like that but also fun to see people’s enthusiasm for the book.”

Lange thinks the book succeeded because it was written not as a technical book, but “it allows people to feel unencumbered and not be afraid of wine.”

To this day, Lange will meet people in his tasting room who mention the book. Lange is General Manager and Winemaker for the winery. His parents Don and Wendy founded the winery in 1987

Lange Winery is a boutique winery in the Dundee Hills of the Willamette Valley known for its outstanding Pinot Noir. It has been praised in Wine Spectator and other industry press. The wines just recently became available in Indiana at Cork and Cracker in Indianapolis, Vine and Table in Carmel, Vintage Spirits in Noblesville, The Corks in Columbus, and served in restaurants including The Saratoga in Terre Haute, Petersons, The Meridian, and Eddie Merlot’s in Indianapolis among others in the state.