Exterior shot of the new Lange Estate tasting room in the Dundee Hills show large windows and a modern deck that offers stunning views of the Valley. ##Photos by Rockne Roll
##Photo provided
Diane Shimshak pours a sample of wine at the sleek, new bar. ##Photos by Rockne Roll

New Digs in Dundee

Lange Estate opens new Dundee Hills tasting hall

By Mark Stock

After nearly a year’s worth of construction, Lange Winery’s newest addition opened its doors. The updated tasting room – fit with slanted wood beams, ample natural light, a fireplace and a retractable garage – officially welcomed to the public in late January.

Part homage to the label’s three decades of history, part necessity, the tasting room upgrade reflects a common need in Oregon wine country these days:  to accommodate larger crowds and more special events. A new kitchen suggests there will be plenty of the latter, especially in light of owner Don Lange’s philosophy on wine.

Exterior shots of the new Lange Estate tasting room in the Dundee Hills show large windows and a modern deck that offers stunning views of the Valley. ##Photos by Rockne Roll

“The only thing better than wine is wine with food,” Lange said. “And good music. And good friends.”

The musician/proprietor describes the space as having a “crisp, well-defined contemporary look with an open-beam Pacific Northwest influence.” It’s an aesthetic not uncommon to the Willamette Valley, especially over the last decade or so, one that stresses wood accents, clean design elements and an open floor plan. The real uniqueness resides just outside, atop the tasting room’s reaching outdoor deck.

“This view is uniquely spectacular as it includes the confluence of the northern end of the Willamette Valley and the Chehalem Valley,” Lange said. “On a really clear day, one can see the Washington Cascades through the Rex Hill notch.”

The deck seems to point east, zeroing in on the eye-catching topography just beyond the Valley floor. Estate vines spill into evergreens, which in turn overlook the patchwork of agriculture below. Spectacular views of the state’s highest peak offer the greatest reward.

“The geometry of the deck draws the eye toward the majesty of Mount Hood as it overlooks the Lange Estate Vineyards,” Lange said.

Perhaps the greatest feat of the new tasting room is its ability to peek out from its fairly secluded spot. The drive up to Lange can feel tunnel-like, with backcountry roads bookended by towering trees. Set in a clearing at about 750 feet in elevation, the new space offers expansive panoramas. 

Lange Estate started in 1987, when Reagan was president and U2 released Joshua Tree. Moved by what they tasted coming out of pioneering labels like Eyrie and Erath, Don and Wendy Lange joined the craze, settling in the slopes of the south Dundee Hills. It turned out to be a pretty big wine year in the Willamette Valley, with the famed Drouhin family carving out their first New World venture and Robert Parker and Michael Etzel settling on land that would become Beaux Frères that same year.

Now in its second-generation, Lange has become synonymous with Oregon Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Don and Wendy’s son, Jesse, is the current general manager and winemaker, having been involved in cellar activities since 2004.

The Lange family worked with Portland-based Holah Design + Architecture on the project, the same outfit that devised their west wine barrel room in the mid-2000s. The firm has a history of working in the Northwest craftsman style, especially with residential properties. In this sense, it’s little wonder that Lange’s new addition, while an upgrade, still comes off as intimate and homey.


Furioso Vineyards’ sharp new tasting room is set to open at the beginning of April. Owner Giorgio Furioso’s inspiration for the space was a sense of being set within the adjacent vineyard. With 14-foot glass walls surrounding the entire building, the space feels like a modernist hangar, or a vessel cutting through a sea of grapes. A barrel room will rest below the tasting room while an expansive outdoor piazza will certainly be popular come summertime. Early autumn visitors will be able to take in the hustle and bustle unfolding on the adjacent crush pad.

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable