Vineyard Manager Chad Vargas Launches NewGen Vineyard Services in Oregon’s Willamette Valley

Newberg, Oregon – Adelsheim Vineyard, one of Oregon’s founding wineries, announces today that long-time Vineyard Manager, Chad Vargas, is leaving Adelsheim to open a new vineyard services company, NewGen Vineyard Services.

During his ten-year tenure at 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 a reputation as a top viticulturist in the Valley. He has been the chairman of LIVE and has reviewed competitive grant research proposals for the Oregon Wine Board, Oregon Wine Research Institute, and the Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research (NCSFR). For the past several years, he has traveled to D.C. with a group of stakeholders from the NCSFR 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. His leadership of our vineyard team, including protégé Kelli Wagner, has advanced both the quality of our wines and our company’s reputation. Finally, his leadership in the viticulture community has had a profound influence on the success of Oregon’s wine industry. As we send him on his way, we also wish him great success in his new venture”, says David Adelsheim.

Vargas will continue to consult with Adelsheim while Kelli Wagner takes over 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. 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,” says Vargas.

About Adelsheim Vineyard

Adelsheim Vineyard is one of Oregon’s founding wineries and is still operated by the original owner. We believe in staying true to place and honoring the natural characteristics of the land. We know that raising the bar with every growing season requires tireless attention to detail. We are industry leaders who aim to change the world’s view about the production of exceptional wines in Oregon. We champion the collaborative and pioneering spirit of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. We open our doors 360 days per year to wine lovers seeking a uniquely Oregon experience. Visit Adelsheim.com for more information.

About NextGen

NewGen Vineyard Services is a full service management company. We specialize in improving grape quality by identifying zones of vineyard variability and farming them specifically to their needs. We leverage proven vineyard technologies to their fullest including software to automate client reporting of crop development and budget performance. Additonally, NewGen is an exclusive provider of thermal culture through a business partnership with AgroThermal Systems. Chad Vargas founded NewGen with partners Armando Martinez (Martinez Vineyard Services) and Ezequiel Salazar (Ezequiel Labor Contractor) forming a powerful team of vineyard knowledge and labor resources

Chad Vargas Creates Agrothermal Systems Applications Service for the Willamette Valley

Napa, CA USA – Today Chad Vargas, President of newly created NewGen Vineyard Services in Newberg, Oregon and Marty Fischer, CEO of Agrothermal Systems of Napa, CA jointly announced their strategic partnership to expand Thermaculture use in the Northern Willamette Valley region. Vargas, in his capacity as Viticulturist and Vineyard Manager for Adelsheim Vineyard began using Agrothermal technologies in 2012 and was one of the initial development partners for this innovation. While Vargas is leaving his fulltime role he will consult for Adelsheim.  Effective January, 2017 he has formed NewGen Vineyard Services to bring the benefits of Thermaculture and other proven new technologies to area growers seeking innovative and sustainable viticulture practices and vineyard management services.

According to Fischer “We are delighted to see Chad take the lead for Agrothermal in Oregon since very few people know our technology better. Chad saw the potential benefits of in-field heat treatments in 2012 and was the first to prove its effect on wine quality improvement. Since the 2012 vintage of Pinot Noir, Agrothermal has enjoyed serving Adelsheim heat treated and control block wines to demonstrate the differences Thermaculture can make in wine flavor and aroma. Chad also pioneered the use of heat to dry off clusters after rains and to improve BRIX levels with heat.”

Vargas is a well known Viticulturist and involved with many industry groups. He has served as Chair of the Board of Directors for Low Input Viticulture and Enology (LIVE), a third party certifying group of vineyard and winery sustainability. Vargas was honored in 2015 with the Oregon Wine Industry’s Annual Outstanding Industry Service Award. He worked with Adelsheim beginning in 2006 after starting his career with Kendell Jackson and holds BS and MS degrees in Crop Science and Plant Pathology.

According to Vargas, “This just seems like a natural step for me to take at this point in my career. Bringing my Vineyard Management experience to other Oregon wine grape growers and introducing them to new technologies like Thermaculture is both exciting and challenging.” In talking about the benefits of Thermaculture, Vargas went on to say “my experience with Thermaculture has resulted in better fruit set that increases yields. Research has shown that heat treatments create abiotic stress and this leads to increased phenol and antioxidants in the wine to enhance flavor and provide greater human health benefits. At Adelsheim we have seen consistent wine characteristic differences from heat treated wines that we prefer in blind tastings over control block wines. This is really exciting technology and it will benefit growers in Oregon’s unpredictable climate.”

Vargas will also be working closely with Agrothermal Systems to pioneer the use of heat treatment for other Oregon crops for which past trials have shown grower benefits from the use of Thermaculture. These include cane berries, cherries and various trellised orchard crops. “Chad can be a big help to us beyond wine grapes. We hope to interface him with our various operations and science development efforts in both hemispheres”.  In addition to the US, Agrothermal has equipment in the EU, Mexico, New Zealand and South Africa and expects to expand to other parts of the world in 2017 and beyond.

Agrothermal Systems is based in Napa, California and is a dba of Lazo TPC Global, Inc. a California Corporation. Agrothermal pioneered the use of Thermaculture as a means to increase yields, reduce pesticide needs, manage crop damage from inclement weather events and improve crop qualities. The company holds patents on Thermal Pest Control and has patents pending on other aspects of heat treatment for agricultural crops.