Mad Violets Wine Co. is a wine collaboration started by Stirling Fox and Kelly Kidneigh to make small indigenous lots from their Buttonfield Estate Vineyard and other sites located in the Willamette Valley to share with friends and sell to fans. Their passion is to see how best they can ripen the fruit and then make these wines each year. A total labor of love and the annual cycle of nature. Enjoy!
Stirling Fox – Proprieter
Stirling Button Fox studied food and wine science at Oregon State Univeristy and began his career in the wine industry in 1988. His experience ranges from production manager at Tyee cellars, new technology specialist at OVS, vineyard manager for Willamette Valley Vineyards, and general manager for Oregon Grape Management. After 6 years with OGM Stirling started his own vineyard management company named Stirling Wine Grapes, or SWiG, which now manages vineyards across the Willamette Valley.
A man with a wife, two daughters, one large dog, four cats, and a 1965 barracuda would not be complete without a vineyard of his own. Buttonfield Estate located on the original Jacob Hart plot, has almost four planted acres of pinot noir and pinot gris and is continually growing. Stirling maintains the site year round with help from SWiG employees and his family. In the rare moments he has for himself he enjoys spending time with family, restoring the barracuda, and watching football. Go Beavs!
Kelly Kidneigh – Winemaker
Kelly also hails from OSU with a degree in fermentation science. In 1998 she began her winemaking career working for wineries such as Eyrie, Lemelson, Torii Mor, Left Coast Cellars, and a few more including some time in Burgundy. She is the sole proprietor of KK Wine Co. and has made a successful business of winemaking, consulting, and of course, crafting the Mad Violets wines. She is the master chef of the house as well as a wise and creative mentor for Stirlings' daughters.
Kelly's approach to winemaking is very Burgundian in that she prefers small lot fermentation with cool temperatures and native yeast. Although she keeps a keen watch over the fermenting fruit, she does not tamper with the process unless absolutely necessary. It is this minimalist approach coupled with healthy fruit that leads to the complex and unique Mad Violets wines.
Rebecca Pagel – “Girl Friday”
Beca joined the wine production industry in 2007 after spending a few years working as a neurochemistry research associate for OHSU. Her background in biochemistry opened the door to working in the wine lab at 12th and Maple Wine Co. where she met Kelly and they instantly became friends. In 2009 she decided that wine was not made in a lab and set out to learn as much as she could about the cellar, vineyard, and sales. After some time in Australia and a small time working for J. Christopher, Beca became part of the Mad Violets team. When she's not driving a tractor for SWiG or working in the winery with Kelly, she'll be out selling Mad Violets or helping out any way she can.
Madeleine and Violet Fox – Daughters
The namesake for Mad Violets, Madeleine and Violet are as complex and unique as the wine. They have grown up with Buttonfield vineyard and love to help out wherever they can, be it winter pruning or getting their hands stained purple in the winery. Although their paths may not land them in the wine production industry they have great appreciation for hard work, friends, family, food and wine.
Tenzing – Chief Patrol Officer
The family would not be complete without Tenzing the Tibetan Mastiff. His size is indicative of his personality and his sweet face will make intruders melt. He likes to sleep in, eat, and chase cars that pass Buttonfield Estate. Although he is only about 4 years old he has been tasked with keeping the Estate free of intruders, pests, and UPS packages… Drive on by and see if you can out run him!