Chad Vargas manages picking during harvest at Adelsheim Vineyard outside Newberg. ##Photo By Charles Gullung

Vargas Begins Biz

Manager leaves Adelsheim, launches NewGen

Adelsheim Vineyard, one of Oregon’s founding wineries, announced Jan. 9 that longtime vineyard manager Chad Vargas is leaving to open a new vineyard services company, NewGen Vineyard Services.

While with Adelsheim, Vargas managed the annual operations and long-term planning for the company’s 11 estate vineyards in consultation with winemaker Dave Paige and president David Adelsheim.

With a wealth of experience in vine nutrition and pest and disease management, Vargas initiated a wide range of experiments in the estate vineyards and earned the reputation as a top viticulturist in the Willamette Valley.

He’s been chairman of LIVE and has reviewed competitive grant research proposals for the Oregon Wine Board, Oregon Wine Research Institute and Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research (NCSFR) — over the past several years, Vargas has traveled to Washington, D.C. with a group of NCSFR stakeholders to lobby for increases in research funding to specialty crops for the Pacific Northwest. In 2015, he was honored with the Oregon Wine Industry’s Outstanding Industry Service Award. 

“Chad’s management of our estate vineyard program during his 10-year tenure has placed Adelsheim in the envied position of having complete control of our vineyard operations,” David Adelsheim said. “His leadership of our vineyard team, including protégé Kelli Wagner, has advanced both the quality of our wines and our company’s reputation.

“His leadership in the viticulture community has had a profound influence on the success of Oregon’s wine industry,” he continued. “As we send him on his way, we also wish him great success in his new venture.”

Vargas will continue to consult with Adelsheim while Wagner assumes the management of Adelsheim’s estate vineyards.

“Adelsheim has given me 10 great years of continuous learning opportunities to hone my knowledge of fine wine management and contribute to the state’s vital industry,” Vargas said. “I will now leverage this experience as I launch NewGen, my vineyard management company, and do so confidently knowing that Adelsheim is in capable hands with Kelli’s leadership and experience with the vineyard’s amazing crew.”

NewGen is an exclusive provider of thermal culture through a business partnership with AgroThermal Systems. Vargas founded NewGen with partners Armando Martinez and Ezequiel Salazar. 

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