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An Astronomically Fun Chat About Space and Wine With a Winemaker and Former Physicist

Vidon Vineyards Wine Grapes
Vidon Vineyard

Which new bourbon are we pumped about? What does it take to be a master journeyman? Where are we excited to travel to next? Each week, The Manual Podcast invites an expert, artisan, or craftsman for a roundtable discussion on what’s new, exciting, and unique in their trade.

For this week’s episode of The Manual Podcast, the gang’s all here as Nicole, Sam, and Greg sit down with Don Hagge, the owner of Vidon Vineyard — and a former physicist for NASA.

After serving in South Korea, Hagge said he found himself at the University of California, Berkeley studying physics. From there, he did post-grad work in France before being hired to work at NASA. (No big deal, right?) While at NASA, Hagge worked on Apollo missions 1-13.

As if that wasn’t enough of a career, Hagge then moved into tech in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. When it came time to retire, the wish to farm — he grew up on a wheat farm — came back to him and, after time spent around Napa and France, he decided he wanted to grow grapes and make wine. From there, Vidon Vineyard was born.

At Vidon, Hagge makes the customary Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, but he also grows and uses a number of other varietals. During the podcast, Hagge also touches on how Oregon wines have grown, what his favorite type of wine to drink is, and if aliens are really out there. The truth is out there, and we set out to find out (at least about Pinot Noir).

Like space? Like wine? Do you wish you could drink wine in space? Who doesn’t, but we still want to hear from you. If you ever have a question or comment for The Manual Podcast folks, give us a shout at — we’re always around! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you can join the discussion.

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