Double Zero Wines is 100% owned and operated by Chris Hermann and Kathryn Hermann

of Carlton, Oregon, USA. After founding Double Zero Wines in 2015, the couple was married at the Carlton Winemaker’s Studio in 2018 where they produce their Willamette Valley Wines. Double Zero Wines is a 100% family-funded venture that carries forth the values of the Hermanns: hard work, authenticity, and Old World elegance.

Read more about our company history or winemaking philosophy here.

19th Century

The Hermann Family was an established European family in the mid 19th century that owned and operated many entrepreneurial pursuits,

including a spring water bottling company, a real estate company, and a consulting law firm that specialized in the fur trade.

Family member Laura Hermann (pictured here) founded and operated a linen mill during a time when women rarely operated their own ventures. She borrowed the early startup funds from her family, and she was swiftly successful, paying them back within the first few years.

After the devastation of two World Wars in Europe, the family started over when her son Richard moved to the United States as an immigrant in search of a better life.


When Richard arrived in the United States, he could not speak, read, or write English. His University degree in forest botany was not recognized. He secured a job as a tree climber and trimmer at an estate in New Jersey, where the lady of the estate recognized his talent and encouraged him to pursue his education in his new country.

Dr. Richard Hermann moved his family from the east coast to the Willamette Valley, Oregon

in 1956 after obtaining his Doctorate in Forestry at Yale. He drove his little son Chris and wife Freya across the United States with Chris’s tricycle strapped to the top of his black Buick, and settled into a new home in the university town of Corvallis, Oregon.

Chris remembers that the New York Times was mailed to their home one week after the news was printed, and his parents listened to the updates from their homeland late at night over a shortwave radio. Richard was disappointed yet surprised that there was no wine production in the Willamette Valley, because the rolling hills looked so much like his vineyard dotted homeland.

Dr. Richard Hermann (Professor Emeritus, Forest Resources) and his colleague Dr. Denis Lavender (Professor Emeritus, Forest Science) remain nearly peerless according to Oregon State University

“in the depth of their experience in their field” of Douglas-fir tree botany and global ecology. Their co-authored book, The Genus Pseudotsuga, is a compendium of their Douglas-fir research over five decades. It was published in August 2013.

Chris Hermann recalls following along with his father on weekends to visit his forest research station on Mt. Angel in Oregon.

I remember seeing the various experiments that my father was conducting to measure the optimal growing conditions and growing variables for the Douglas-fir saplings. This experience informs my current curiosity for winemaking.


Dr. Richard Hermann’s wife and Chris Hermann’s mother Freya Hermann was also a respectied scientist. She earned her U.S. pharmacy degree from OSU in 1959 and later received her Masters Degree from Ohio State University. After she joined the OSU College of Pharmacy faculty in the 1960s, she drew upon her extensive compounding skills to develop the first compounding lab for the College.

In the area of drug information, Freya was a pioneer. During a sabbatical at Ohio State University (1968-1969) she met leaders who understood the importance of pharmacists becoming experts in drug information. Upon her return to OSU, she founded the Drug Information Center, which was initially housed on the OSU campus prior to its transition to OHSU.

She also advocated for equal pay for women in academia.


Richard and Freya’s son Chris Hermann graduated from Oregon State University Law School with a keen interest in water rights and Native American rights, which led him to a brief law career in Denver Colorado before returning to the Willamette Valley in 1987.

His passion for wine, influenced by his family’s frequent travels to visit scientist colleagues in France, was reignited with he witnessed the rapid growth of family fine wine producers in the Willamette Valley.

He recounted this exciting time to the Oregon State Bar Magazine in 2001:

‘Something enormous had happened,’ Hermann remembers. ‘The pioneer wineries had gotten something tremendous going, and they were doing it in an Oregon way.’ Hermann then met John Paul from Cameron Winery and Adelsheim while their daughters attended the French-American School. Stoel Rives had become involved in representing wineries by this time too.

‘There weren’t really attorneys who were working with winery problems,” says Paul. Hermann saw the need to provide advice on specialty issues and to advise members of the growing wine industry as transactions grew more complex. In the early 1990s, Hermann guided Tualatin Vineyards to a successful merger with Willamette Valley Vineyards. He began to see winery and vineyard transactions that looked more like typical commercial transactions.

1990's - 2000's

Chris and his three daughters Sophie, Anna, and Katie started a garage winemaking project for fun. They picked Pinot Noir grapes from the Temperance Hill Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills after the vineyards crews picked their grapes for commercial wines.

The girls designed their own labels for their “Trois Fils” Pinot Noir. Some of the bottles still exist in the family collection.

While making wine in the home garage, Chris’s legal career as a wine business lawyer also began to bear fruit.

To answer many inquiries into the wine business and steer people away from common problems, Hermann wrote the first book about wine law in Oregon: ‘Legal Issues Affecting Oregon Wineries and Vineyards.’ He gave away this book for free to Oregon wineries.

Since the 1990’s, Chris has represented foreign wine producers from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Korea and South Africa, in acquiring and operating wineries and vineyards in Oregon, California and Washington.

He has particular experience with transactions involving the purchase and sale of wineries and vineyards, formation of LLCs to own and operate wineries and vineyards, preparing and prosecuting trademark applications, obtaining water rights and land use permits and approvals, advising owners on employment and termination agreements with winemakers, and drafting and negotiating grape purchase contracts, vineyard leases and custom crush, joint proprietorship, vineyard development and maintenance, and bottling and distribution agreements.


The 2010 decade a tremendous period of growth and change for the family.

Chris’s three daughters established their own successful careers in medicine, architecture, and law. They also all met and married their life partners.

Richard Hermann encouraged Chris to found Double Zero Wines with funds he had saved from his job as a public university professor. He diligently paid attention to all of the early investments in barrels and grapes while taking pride in the family reinvesting in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, a place that welcomed him so many decades ago.

Richard Hermann passed away during the harvest of 2016. In 2017, Chris named the prestige Double Zero Wines Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Eola-Amity Hills after his father, and Double Zero Wines continues to craft these wines in honor of him.

In 2018 Chris Hermann married Kathryn (Brown) Hermann at the Carlton Winemaker’s Studio.

Chris has three grandsons who enjoy walking in the vineyards with their grandpa.


Double Zero Wines sees its first commercial success as Chris and Kathryn Hermann manage the day to day winemaking operations in Willamette Valley Oregon, as well as exports, and sales channels in the international fine wine markets.

Their Grand Cru Burgundy and Grand Cru Champagne projects launch to allocation members, so great excitement.

The Hermanns are committed to upholding the traditions of the Old World while remaining inspired by the New World members of the family who risked it all to live the American dream.

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