There’s plenty of promise in the southern end of the Willamette Valley, and Stephen Hagen’s Antiquum Farm may be the best evidence of that. His tireless, closed loop viticultural philosophy is turning heads toward rural Junction City as a place to showcase Pinot Noir’s ability to produce both power and grace. Hagen, who grew up in the unspoiled terrain near his current vineyards, is methodical and industrious. He built his own house, is steadfastly tied to his exhausting agricultural approach and shares the many duties of busy farm life with his wife and two kids — and it’s paying off.
Often labeled “grazing-based viticulture,” Hagen’s farming mentality is one rooted in ancient tradition. He counts on rotational grazing to carry nutrients from a family of cover crops to his vineyard. Sharply trained sheep do most of this, with trusty horses on hand to tow equipment along with geese and chickens. No outside inputs are needed, and his vineyard is entirely self-sustaining.
Hagen’s holistic farm puts the idea of terroir on a pedestal. His vibrant wines are rarely bashful — full of depth and personality. A term Hagen often associates with Antiquum Farm wines is “exotic.” Typical of that description is Hagen’s Passiflora Pinot Noir 2016 a heady combination of rich, mouth-filling flavors of dark raspberries, bittersweet dark chocolate and Valencia oranges. The Juel Pinot Noir 2016 is a bit leaner but still manages to pack a lot of cedar and blackberries into every sip. The Daisy Pinot Gris 2017 (Everyday wine), named in honor of Hagen’s daughter, is full of sass, with tangy acidity and a complex combination of green tea, lime peel, tropical fruit and a mineral component that is reminiscent of a wet sidewalk after a hard summer rain.
FERTILIZERS compost, manure
PLANT PROTECTION copper and sulfur
WEED CONTROL mechanical, mowing
YEASTS spontaneous fermentation
GRAPES 100% estate-grown