Pinot in the City Wineries

Mingle with the stars of the Willamette Valley wine industry at Pinot in the City in Seattle on September 11, 2014. A colorful cast of characters will showcase the best that Oregon has to offer at this one-of-a-kind tasting. Here's who you'll meet (more profiles coming soon!):

David Adelsheim (Kent Derek Studio) copyDavid Adelsheim, Adelsheim Vineyard
Co-Founder & President
David Adelsheim is President of Adelsheim Vineyard, which he founded with Ginny Adelsheim in 1971. His principal role today is strategic planning, focused on marketing and sales, financial planning, and over‐all direction of vineyard and winemaking activities. His early winemaking experience included work at the experimental winery of the Lycée Viticole in Beaune, France, and the Eyrie Vineyards in Oregon. On behalf of the Oregon wine industry, he has led work on clonal importation, wine labeling regulations, establishing statewide and regional industry organizations, and the creation of industry events, such as the International Pinot Noir Celebration and Oregon Pinot Camp. As one of the founders of the Oregon wine industry, he helped set standards of excellence for that industry. For his significant impact on the establishment and growth of the Oregon wine industry, he as been named the 2006 Oregon Vintner of the Year at the Classic Wines Auction and a 2010 Oregon History Maker by the Oregon Historical Society, as well as being honored with the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Oregon Wine Board.
Bryan Weil AlexanaBryan Weil, Alexana Winery
Originally interested in the culinary arts, Bryan began his career at culinary school in Albany, Oregon where he was encouraged to take a wine and food-pairing course during his studies. It was here that his passion for wine first took hold. At the Joel Palmer House in Dayton, Bryan became the wine steward and his appreciation and love for Oregon Pinot Noir flourished. Through his restaurant connections, Bryan began working part time at Domaine Serene. With encouragement from the winemaking staff he decided to go back to Oregon State University, and in 2008 he graduated with a degree in Enology and Viticulture. Shortly after graduation, Bryan accepted a position as Assistant Winemaker at The Hogue Cellars. In 2012, Bryan joined Alexana Winery as Associate Winemaker. Working closely with Lynn, Bryan oversees the production of Alexana's distinctive wines that speak to the diverse, premium quality of the Revana Vineyard.
Sheila Nicholas Anam CaraSheila Nicholas, Anam Cara Cellars
Originally from Lodi, California (Nick) and Scotland (Sheila) the couple met in London while Sheila was in Public Relations and Nick was the European Marketing Manager for a US-based corporation. When Nick returned stateside in 1981, they were married in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Together, they opened a small chain of family-serving pizza parlors first in Benicia, California, and then in the Napa Valley. It was when they moved to St. Helena that their immersion in the world of wine began. Sheila resumed her PR career and worked alongside many of the top names in wine, while Nick oversaw the restaurants which continued to serve the wine community. In 2001, the family came to Oregon, purchasing a rundown walnut, plum and filbert orchard which was to become the home of Nicholas Vineyard and Anam Cara Cellars wines. Nick and Sheila continue to farm the vineyard assisted occasionally by their son Mark, a post grad student at Syracuse University, and daughter Heather, a recent biochemistry graduate from Seattle University. Their two dogs, Buck and Missy welcome visitors and help keep the vineyard gopher free.
Sheila Nicholas Anam CaraAndrew Rich, Andrew Rich Wines
Owner & Winemaker
Andrew Rich is not from around here. Not originally, anyway. He grew up in the scenic Berkshire hills of Western Massachusetts, where, early on, maple syrup graced the family table more often than wine. But a fortuitous teenage encounter with a Bâtard-Montrachet, like a seed dropped by a migrating bird—if birds migrated from the great wine regions of France to the eastern United States—instilled a passion for wine that grew and flowered over the coming years. But first a detour: the liberal arts major, concentrating in French literature (France=Wine); a four-year stint in New York City at a travel and leisure magazine (“Hey, Andrew likes wine. He can edit the wine column.”); and a brief holiday gig at the famed Sherry-Lehmann (“I'm selling as fast as I can!”). Finally, in 1987 Andrew enrolled at the C.F.P.P.A. in Beaune, where he learned the fine art of pruning in the freezing rain (brandy helps) and how to perform a titration in French (think about it). The only other Americans in the program were from Oregon, and they crucially expanded his knowledge of geography. Nonetheless, due to a chronic infatuation with Rhône wines (prior to Beaune he “helped” pick grapes chez Chave), Andrew went to work as a cellar rat at Bonny Doon Vineyard, then just six years old. He stayed for six vintages before leaving for the promised land of the Willamette Valley. Andrew Rich Wines began as a trial balloon in 1995, first specializing in Columbia Valley Rhône-style wines and soon adding Pinot Noir to take advantage of the unique juxtaposition of a cool and a warm climate. The rest, as they say, is history, and as the winery anticipates its 18th harvest, it's still being written.
Jessica Endsworth Angela EstateJessica Endsworth, Angela Estate
Director of Sales, Marketing & Education
“Working on Angela Estate to establish this winery is a great adventure,” said Endsworth. “We have a stunning, stratified, established vineyard with a unique clonal selection. “We have one of the most pedigreed winemakers in Oregon doing our custom crush. Mark Gould is an exceptional vineyard manager who farms with the dogma of responsible diversity. Lastly, Antony Beck is winery savvy, generous and passionate. All of the bones for success are there. We just have to knit them together.” Endsworth has spent the last decade working in the Oregon wine and distribution trade. She has achieved her CSW and WSET Level 3 Advanced Certification. She is continuously pursuing alternative wine education options and teaches extensively. “Our fruit is our focus and our foundation,” said Endsworth. “It is the constant that shapes our style, our personality. Angela Estate has incredible potential to be a formidable Oregon winery on the world stage.”
Thomas Houseman Anne AmieThomas Houseman, Anne Amie Vineyards
After a career in modern dance, traveling the globe performing, Thomas decided to go back to school and attended CSU Fresno in the enology program. It was there he fell in love with Pinot noir. From Fresno, he began yet another journey across the globe: first to California’s Anderson Valley, then to New Zealand, and finally to Oregon. After four years at Ponzi Vineyards, Thomas was offered the opportunity to express himself at Anne Amie Vineyards. With the creativity of a former dancer, the eye of a scientist, and the zeal of a home brewer, he makes wines that feed his enthusiasm, happy he can still use words like balance, grace, power, elegance, and style. These words that once described his dancing, now describe his wines.
Maggie Harrison Antica TerraMaggie Harrison, Antica Terra
Antica Terra is an 11-acre vineyard located on a rocky hillside in the Eola-Amity Hills of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The first vines were planted here in 1989 in a clearing within the oak savannah. The geology of the site is extremely unusual. In most of the region, vineyards are planted in the relatively deep, geologically young soils left behind by either the Missoula floods or the volcanic events that formed the Cascade Range. In this place, the remains of a far older pre-historic seabed rise to the surface, leaving the vines to struggle, without topsoil, amongst a fractured mixture of sandstone sown with fossilized oyster shells. In 2005 when Maggie Harrison was asked if she would simply take a look at the vineyard and offer her opinion about the qualities of the site. She reluctantly agreed. Twenty-six seconds after arriving among the oaks, fossils, and stunted vines, she found herself hunched beneath one of the trees, phone in hand, explaining to her husband that they would be moving to Oregon.
Alfredo ApolloniAlfredo Apolloni, Apolloni Vineyards
Owner & Winemaker
Established in 1999, Apolloni Vineyards is a family-owned vineyard and winery situated at the North end of the Willamette Valley. Our location provides a superb microclimate and suitable soil for the cultivation of premium Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc grapes. We specialize in traditional Pinot Noir and stainless steel fermented white wines. Alfredo Apolloni developed his passion for winemaking as a young man, working at the family vineyard in Italy. These Italian roots have a strong influence on his winemaking style and attention to detail. The wines of Apolloni Vineyards represent the best of old world tradition, brought to the soil of Oregon. Alfredo, his wife Laurine and their three children share in this family adventure.
Nate Klostermann ArgyleNate Klostermann, Argyle Winery
Nate was appointed to winemaker at Argyle Winery in March of 2013 after serving as Argyle’s enologist since 2005. While studying food science at the University of Minnesota, he developed a budding interest in wine production. After getting a taste of the industry at Falconer Vineyards along the Mississippi River in Red Wing, MN, he packed up his beat-up Acura Integra and drove west to Dundee, OR. Starting as a harvest intern and quickly promoted to enologist, Nate studied under the tutelage of the legendary, Rollin Soles. Quickly falling in love with the sparkling winemaking process, Nate embraces the year round challenges sparkling wine production entails. As he has learned from Rollin, he believes that making great sparkling wine carries over and improves the winemaking techniques for still Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling. A firm believer in ageability, Nate constructs wines that drink well when young, but also build depth and complexity with time. He has also worked in Australia at Petaluma and Knappstein wineries, developing a keen interest in Clare Valley Riesling.
SONY DSCBrian O'Donnell, Belle Pente
Owner & Winemaker
Brian O’Donnell began his winemaking career in New York City in the 6th grade when he pilfered some Concord grapes from a neighbor's arbor. After the ensuing hangover, he went into retirement for about 20 years until he started making wine for family & friends in his garage in San Jose, CA. These early efforts included Russian River Pinot Noir from a friend’s vineyard. His career path then followed the time-honored tradition from hobby to hobby-out-of-control to a commercial venture. During that time Brian attended extension classes at UC Davis, and spent the 1995 harvest in Alsace & Burgundy. Smitten with Pinot Noir, Brian and his wife Jill founded Belle Pente in 1992 with the purchase of a 70-acre farm just east of Carlton in what is now the heart of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Vineyards were planted starting in 1994, and their first commercial production of Pinot Noir was in 1996. Since the beginning, the goal has been to craft old world styled wines of impeccable balance and seductive complexity that reflect a strong sense of place. Carefully selected and well managed dry-farmed vineyards, staggered harvesting, meticulous hand sorting, small lot fermentations, 100% gravity processing, indigenous yeasts, finished wine moved directly-to-barrel (no settling), cold cellar temperatures to delay malolactic fermentation, long elevage, moderate use of new oak, and bottling without fining or filtration are among the techniques utilized to achieve this goal. Brian is active in several Oregon wine community groups and currently serves on the boards on the Yamhill-Carlton Winegrowers and the Willamette Valley Wineries Association.
Steve Girard Benton LaneSteve Girard, Benton-Lane Winery
Steve and Carol Girard founded Benton-Lane in 1988. They shared a passionate desire to produce great Pinot Noir but, after careful consideration, decided their home state California was probably not the best place in which to grow it. Instead they looked north towards Oregon where the cooler climate offered the possibility of producing Pinot Noir with better balance, structure, and more interesting flavors.
Pat Dudley Bethel HeightsPat Dudley, Bethel Heights Vineyard
President & Marketing Director
Pat Dudley is President and Marketing Director of Bethel Heights Vineyard. As one of the four founding family members who have operated Bethel Heights since 1978, Pat left behind an academic career in medieval history to focus on promoting and marketing Bethel Heights estate grown wines, deliberately building on the collaborative model that has established international recognition for the Willamette Valley as the home of New World Pinot Noir. Pat served as Executive Director of the International Pinot Noir Celebration for five years (1992-1996), then went on to become one of the founders of Oregon Pinot Camp, serving on the Board of Directors from 2000 through 2009. She has also served on the Oregon Wine Board and the Oregon State Board of Agriculture, with a particular interest in forwarding the cause of farmland preservation and sustainable agriculture in Oregon.
Morgan BroadleyMorgan Broadley, Broadley Vineyards
Owner & Winemaker
We are a family owned and operated winery and vineyard growing and making Oregon Pinot Noir. Our goal is to consistently produce dynamic and outstanding wines that are true expressions of the place where they are grown and made. We have been hand crafting wines for 28 years, and are very appreciative of what Oregon wines have to offer. We look forward to sharing our wines with you every vintage!
Harry Peterson NedryHarry Peterson-Nedry, CHEHALEM
Founding Winemaker & Managing Partner
A graduate of the University of North Carolina in Chemistry and English, he developed a passion for wine that was ultimately rooted when he purchased land for his first vineyard, Ridgecrest Vineyards, in 1980. Ridgecrest was the first vineyard development in Oregon’s Ribbon Ridge AVA. In 1990, Harry founded Chehalem and within five years expanded the winery’s estate vineyards to include Corral Creek Vineyards and Stoller Vineyards in the southern Dundee Hills, developed by his Chehalem partners Bill and Cathy Stoller. Another vineyard, Wind Ridge, has since been planted in the mid-2000s on Ribbon Ridge.  A self-professed science geek, Harry prides himself on technically characterizing the black box of grapegrowing and winemaking, then thinking outside of that box to make unique, precise wines.
Joe DobbesJoe Dobbes, Dobbes Family Estate
Owner & Winemaker
Passionate, creative, driven to excellence in his art; Joe Dobbes is the consummate winemaker. Joe is a true Oregonian, raised in a small town in the north Willamette Valley and educated in Ashland. Yet his calling began outside Oregon, in Germany and France, where Joe spent 2 ½ years learning the art and science of winemaking. He apprenticed at Wiengut Erbhof Tesch, in the German Nahe region, and at Domaine G. Roumier and Domaine Comtes Lafon in Burgundy, France, with winemasters Christophe Roumier and Dominique Lafon. Joe returned to Oregon and immediately applied his knowledge, experience, and passion for winemaking crafting wine for Elk Cove Vineyards, Eola Hills, Hinman/Sylvan Ridge, Paschal Winery, and Willamette Valley Vineyards including Griffin Creek and Tualatin Estate. In 2002, Joe created Wine By Joe, LLC, producing the handcrafted wines of Dobbes Family Estate, Wine By Joe and Jovino Pinot Noir.
Natalie Sigafoos Dusky GooseNatalie Sigafoos, Dusky Goose
Director of Sales & Marketing
Natalie Sigafoos first became immersed in the wine world when she was living in the Ojai Valley in CA – the Santa Barbara wine scene was just breaking out while Natalie was working at local restaurants tasting and selling their wines, and she was hooked from the beginning. Over the next dozen years she worked as a restaurant sommelier, creating wine programs from New York to Napa Valley. She moved from Napa to the Willamette Valley 10 years ago and has settled into the local wine scene. Natalie has opened and run the tasting room and sales programs for three prestigious Willamette Valley wineries. Currently, in addition to managing our national sales, she is in the process of working with John Carter to design the tasting room for Dusky Goose at the Rambouillet Vineyard in the heart of the Dundee Hills. Groundbreaking has just begun, look for an opening in late summer!
Shirley Brooks Elk CoveShirley Brooks, Elk Cove Vineyards
VP of Sales & Marketing
Shirley has been working at Elk Cove since March of 2000. She travels the globe as brand ambassador for Elk Cove in markets new and old. Shirley is an active supporter of the Oregon wine industry and has served as a board member for both Oregon Pinot Camp and the Oregon Wine Board Export Committee. In her free time, you’ll find her outdoors enjoying one of Oregon’s great hiking trails or rivers. By all means, do not disparage her Detroit Red Wings!
Jessica Mozeico Et FilleJessica Mozeico, Et Fille Winery
Co-Owner & Co-Winemaker
Et Fille, which means “and daughter”, honors the hand-in-hand team of Co-Owners and Co-Winemakers Howard Mozeico and daughter Jessica Mozeico. The two founded Et Fille Wines in 2003. Jessica grew up around winemaking as Howard started making Oregon wines as a hobby when Jessica was growing up. She fell in love with wine while visiting Burgundy to celebrate her twenty first birthday with her parents because, “Who wouldn’t lose their heart to Burgundy?” asks Jessica. That trip instigated her love of Pinot Noir, though it was a passion she cultivated from the sidelines for years. Meanwhile, she pursued an undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, a MBA from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania, and a career in biotechnology marketing while living in New York and San Francisco. Finally, Jessica and Howard decided to co-found and operate Et Fille Wines together. Jessica says this is important because having two people involved in each stage of the winemaking process allows them to bring two perspectives- and two palates- to their wines. Jessica feels fortunate to create Oregon Pinot Noir to share with others, work with her dad, and be a part of the collaborative and encouraging Oregon wine community.
Willy G Freja CellarsWilly Gianopulos, Freja Cellars
Willy was raised in Woodstock, New York during the 1960s and 1970s amongst many prominent artists, musicians, poets and writers. It left an imprint of creative artistry, another key ingredient to fine winemaking. After attempting to grow wine grapes in cold Vermont he relocated his family to Oregon in 1987 and purchased land in rural Washington County hill country about an hours drive southwest of Portland. Planting the vineyard began in 1988 and the winery was constructed during the summer of 1998, just in time for the first commercial crush.
Lynne and Johanna IotaLynne Pelos & Johanna Sandberg, iOTA Cellars
From Minnesota dreams in 1998 to Oregon Wine Country reality, the Pelos Sandberg families have come a long way and learned an awful lot in 15 years. iOTA Cellars produces elegant Pinot noir from its onsite winery located at Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Estate, nestled in the Eola-Amity Hills. Our wines are hand-crafted with 100% estate grown, sustainably farmed fruit for a total production under 1500 cases.
Suzanne Larson LCCSuzanne Larson, Left Coast Cellars
Suzanne is the mother figure of Left Coast Cellars. As a college student, she was fortunate to combine her studies with life in Italy, canning tomatoes for a mean pasta sauce, gathering porcini mushrooms and bringing in and stomping grapes for that ever-memorable, unlabeled house wine. A few years later, with clothing and books to her name, three years in France firmly planted the Pinot bug in her future. While the estate of 356 acres is best known for the wine that carries her daughter's name, Cali's Cuvée, current vintage Suzanne's Estate Reserve, a barrel select, is catching up, awarded 92 points by Wine Spectator.
Mike MerrimanMike Merriman, Merriman Wines
Mike joined in the Home-Brew Revolution in his home state of Texas in 1993 and began brewing in earnest. This love of fermented beverage culminated in a trip to Corvallis, Oregon, to attend a Fermentation Science course at the University of Oregon in 1997. On a field trip to the professor’s house, Mike was introduced to home winemaking and back-yard viticulture. With his interest piqued, he joined his friend for working harvests in Oregon starting in 1998, and became hooked on the Willamette Valley wine scene. In 2006 he bought a vineyard on Cummins Road in Carlton, Oregon, under contract to Owen Roe, which allowed him to make his first four barrels of wine while selling the rest of the grapes. The Merriman Estate 2006 received a 90 from the Wine Spectator, and the decision was made to sell fewer grapes and make more wine. The majority of the grapes are still sold to Owen Roe, who make their Merriman Vineyard, Kilmore, and Sharecroppers from the grapes. Production of Merriman Estate, the second label Cummins Road, as well as a Rose of Pinot Noir has reached 2000 cases by harvest 2013.
Ben Thomas MontinoreBen Thomas, Montinore Estate
Red Winemaker
Constantly reinventing the wheel, Ben uses a 50/50 blend of ingenuity and tradition to make Montinore’s pinot noirs and Italian varietals come to life. A red wine fan since childhood, he got into winemaking by making hard cider and Bordeaux-style reds with his mother in Washington State. A true child of the Northwest, he grew up in the woods and on a commercial fishing boat. Before settling into a career in winemaking, he made his living as a carpenter, crab fisherman, bartender, journalist, cook, forestry worker and manuscript editor, not to mention his many journeys across the western states with a traveling circus.
David OReillyDavid O'Reilly, Owen Roe
The seventh of twelve children, David O’Reilly grew up in Belfast with memorable visits to his relatives in rural County Cavan. Life there was made all the more tranquil for him by the distance from sectarian strife and the introduction of fresh farm products. He quickly discovered the beauty of small scale subsistence farming where after a long day in the fields, the extended family gathered for meals that were wholly obtained from local environs. Forced out of their home during the troubles, the brood made its home in North America settling in the central coast of British Columbia. He realized a different beauty with stunning mountains, amazing fishing, and again, subsistence living. After studying classics at Thomas Aquinas College in the Central Coast of California he and his young wife Angelica searched for a way to satisfy their mutual desire to raise from the soil to the table a marketable product. They chanced upon some vineyards in California and a match was made. Not only did they start Owen Roe winery they also have been raising their family of eight children.
Derek E Patton ValleyDerek Einberger, Patton Valley Vineyard
As Winemaker and Vineyard Manager, Derek tends and shapes Patton Valley grapes from bud break to bottle. Raised in the Napa Valley, Derek felt drawn to wine making, but the road to Patton Valley took some twists and turns. He studied sculpture at the University of Redlands before moving to Portland to work in the arts. While biding time as a server at McMenamins Kennedy School, Derek took to brewing, practicing the brewer’s art and science first at McMenamins, then at the Alameda Brewhouse, and finally at Bridgeport Brewing Company. Many batches of beer later, Derek found himself slowly pulled toward wine, working harvest positions at Vietti in Northern Italy, Joseph Phelps and Twomey Cellars in California, and Domaine Serene in the Willamette Valley. These positions led to a job as Lemelson Vineyard’s Cellarmaster where he remained until 2010, when Derek joined Patton Valley. When Derek’s not making wine, he’s brewing beer, making references to The Big Lebowski, working on his house, playing with son Crosby and dog Penny, spending time outdoors, traveling, and even making sculpture once in a great while.
Lynn Penner AshLynn Penner-Ash, Penner-Ash Wine Cellars
Founder & Winemaker
Lynn grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, so when it came time to choose a college she decided to explore her options on the opposite coast. The University of California at Davis provided the perfect answer and it was there that her love of winemaking was born. While at Davis, Lynn worked several vintages at Domaine Chandon and one for Chateau St. Jean. After four harvests she was hooked and she changed her major to fermentation science. A post-graduation job offer from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars sealed her fate and Lynn spent the next four years working as their enologist and off-site (Hawkcrest) winemaker. In 1988, Paul Hart, then owner of Rex Hill Vineyards, offered her the job of winemaker. Fourteen years later in 2002, Lynn left her position at Rex Hill to pursue full-time, with her husband Ron, the dream of owning a winery and vineyard. Penner-Ash Wine Cellars’ gravity flow winery has been showcased by Practical Vineyard and Winery Magazine, in addition to numerous other industry publications. Lynn and her family have traveled and tasted their way through the vineyards of Burgundy, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Germany, and Switzerland, and most recently with the thought of global climate change in mind, went trekking in search of potential vineyard sites at Base Camp on Mt Everest (18,500 ft) and Kilimanjaro (19,400 ft).
Luisa PonziLuisa Ponzi, Ponzi Vineyards
Thriving under second generation for more than two decades, Ponzi Vineyards is internationally acclaimed for producing some of the world's finest cool climate wines. One of America’s first women to be formally educated in Burgundy, Winemaker Luisa Ponzi carefully blends formal training with her lifelong experience working alongside father, Dick Ponzi, to craft wines of complexity and depth. She has been honored with numerous awards and accolades during her 20 vintages as winemaker; all contributing to Ponzi’s heightened stature in the national arena. Luisa, her husband, fellow winemaker Eric Hamacher, and their four children reside atop Chehalem Mountain with commanding views of the glorious valley.
Tom Champine Raptor RidgeTom Champine, Raptor Ridge Winery
Distribution Sales & Market Development
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Tom packed up his truck and sense of adventure and moved to Oregon in 1999. He discovered his passion for wine living in the Pacific Northwest. This enthusiasm grew from his love of entertaining and sharing meals with friends around a table. Performing distribution sales and market development for Raptor Ridge Winery, he travels the country teaching people about what makes Raptor Ridge and Oregon so extraordinary. When not on the road, he can be found exploring Portland’s exciting food and wine scene, or urban hiking with his Boston Terrier, Frances.
Sam Tannahill REX HILLSam Tannahill, REX HILL
Founder, Director of Viticulture & Winemaking
Sam graduated from Washington and Lee with an East Asian Studies degree that he uses on a daily basis in the winery. After traveling through Central Asia for a year he settled down working in the wineries and vineyards of Burgundy for two years and managed to bluff his way to a post-graduate degree in winemaking from the University de Dijon. He worked with Ted Lemon at Littorai, and then served as Winemaker at Archery Summit for seven years. In 2002, the time was ripe to strike out for further fame, glory and new horizons in the form of A to Z Wineworks with his wife, Cheryl Francis, and Bill and Deb Hatcher. A to Z quickly became Oregon’s fastest growing winery and in 2007 purchased the legacy winery, REX HILL. Sam and Cheryl own a biodynamic vineyard and also make Francis Tannahill wines. Sam served six years and two terms as the chair and president of the Oregon Wine Board and Oregon Winegrower’s Association and currently serves on the boards of the Oregon Wine Research Institute, the Willamette Valley Wineries Association and the Oregon Business Association.
Justin Vajgert ROCOJustin Vajgert, ROCO Winery
National Sales
While Justin studied enology and viticulture for several years, he has found himself at home in sales and marketing. He spent six years with Reininger Winery in Washington where he moved into National Sales and also served a a Consulting sales Rep for Vin De Garde Wines. We're also told that he has and “encyclopedic” memory for fine wines from around the world. It's fun to challenge that myth and see where it takes you. Today you'll find Justin visiting one of of ROCO's 33 national markets sharing ROCO with thousands.
Scott Paul WrightScott Paul Wright, Scott Paul Wines
Scott Paul Wright is the former Managing Director of Domaine Drouhin Oregon, which he joined after a thirty-year career in the radio and record industries. At one time, he was the most-listened-to radio personality in America, known as Shadow Steele or Shadow Stevens. Scott and his wife Martha founded Scott Paul Wines in 1999. A native of Chicago, Scott is a soccer fanatic and supports Arsenal in the English Premier League. He’s also the US importer for 30 of the top wineries in Burgundy and Champagne, and spends several weeks each year in France working directly with his producers.
Byron Dooley SofHByron Dooley, Seven of Hearts/Luminous Hills
Byron fell in love with wine in college at Oregon State University, continued to explore wine throughout a career in technology, and followed a winding road back to Oregon to make the kinds of wines he loves. He has traveled around the world exploring wines from different regions, and sees it as more of a passion than a job. His enthusiasm, dedication, meticulousness, devotion to wine, and integrity in the winemaking process are only a few of the qualities that make Byron an excellent winemaker.
Dick SheaDick Shea, Shea Wine Cellars
Shea Wine Cellars is the winemaking effort of grape growers Dick & Deirdre Shea. After ten years of selling all our grapes production we decided to create our own expression of Shea Vineyard terroir. We now use 25% of Shea Vineyard's production for our own effort and sell the remaining grapes to some of the finest Pinot noir producers in Oregon and California. At Shea Wine Cellars, it is our intention to continue to make small quantities of world class Pinot noir and Chardonnay.
Alison Sokol BlosserAlison Sokol Blosser, Sokol Blosser Winery
Co-President & Second-Generation Winegrower
Alison Sokol Blosser, daughter of Susan Sokol Blosser and Bill Blosser, remembers being small enough to climb into the press to help her father clean it during harvest. She decided that while the actual winemaking wasn’t her thing, the family vineyard and winery were in her blood. After getting her MBA at the University of Washington and spending three years working in public relations and marketing communications with startups and consumer branding giants, such as Nike and Nordstrom, she came home to Sokol Blosser in 2004 as Director of Marketing. Now a Co-President, Alison works with Alex to plan the strategic future of the business and also oversees marketing, sales, and administrative functions, including accounting, finance and human resources. Alison is involved in the Oregon wine industry as a board member of Oregon Pinot Camp, founding board member of the Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association, as well as a member of Women for Winesense. Alison has a son, Dario, and a standard poodle, Twix. She recently married Javier Zamora, Assistant General Counsel for NIKE, which is based in Beaverton, Oregon.
Florent Van DuzerFlorent Merlier, Van Duzer Vineyards
As head of Van Duzer's winemaking program, Florent-Pierre “Flo” Merlier embraces cool climate wines that are elegant, vibrant and expressive. To achieve the desired refinement, Merlier has driven the focus on small lot processes, and sorting and gentle handling. A native of Burgundy, France, the physics and chemistry undergraduate was captivated by winemaking when he helped a good friend operate a 40 acre family domaine in Burgundy. He subsequently altered his career path from cinema to wine and in the process met his wife, Krista, an Oregonian, interning at the same winery. Merlier capped his study at the University of Dijon with a Diploma of Viticulture before relocating to the U.S. in 2009.
Dave Petterson Vista HillsDave Petterson, Vista Hills Vineyard
Dave moved to Oregon in ’92 for graduate school in cartography at Portland State. He fell into wine years later, after his folks-in-law purchased Panther Creek. The 2000 harvest proved to be the first of many for Dave, testing his forklift, welding, electrical and engineering skills while outfitting him with the enological experience to eventually take the helm at Vista Hills Vineyard. Here, he employs a minimalistic cellar approach, allowing the wine to reveal itself as opposed to being overly manipulated. “The great strength of Oregon Pinot Noir is in its unique ability to express vintage and vineyard,” Petterson often says. He adheres to this philosophy today, thirteen vintages later.