From chef to winemaker: Rueben Lange
Willamette valley, Oregon
I first met Rueben when he bellied up to a bar I was working at in Minneapolis. I mentioned I had cool wines open and he responded with, "Whad'dyah got?" I served him cloudy orange wine, concrete-aged Sémillon, Pipeños, and a laundry list of other wines new to Minneapolis at the time. I saw more and more of Rueben till he asked me where would be in his best interest to work harvest. Now, our fair city sees less of this guy than ever before because... Rueben has the bug. Hard. He's worked five harvests in New Zealand, Oregon, Cali, and Australia and busily explores viticulture during the off-season from coast to coast. He even finds MN viticulture enthralling which means, there's still hope for us here. When I tasted his first effort, I was floored. Rueben likes to create and his inaugural bottling, a natural pet nat, is as innocent and honest as any I've ever tasted.