Pinot in the City Wineries
Mingle with the stars of the Willamette Valley wine industry at Pinot in the City in New York on April 14, 2015. 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!):
Dave Paige developed his interest in wine while working at a wine shop in Ohio. He moved to California to enroll in the Viticulture and Enology program at U.C. Davis, where he earned his Fermentation Science degree in 1989. Dave’s diverse experience has included time at wineries in the Sierra Nevada foothills, the Napa Valley, Australia, and Monterey. Dave joined Adelsheim as Winemaker in September 2001, just in time for harvest. He has brought an open-minded approach and a willingness to combine new and old techniques in pursuit of classic, elegant wines. He continues to enjoy the collaborative, pioneering spirit of the Oregon wine industry.
In 1999 I was the “Wedding Guest That Didn’t Leave” and finally my hosts passed me off on a friend who was driving to Oregon. Having never visited and knowing that my cousin was living in Portland I decided to hitch a ride. I’m so glad I did. After spending the summer exploring the area I fell in love with Oregon and the winemaking community and haven’t left since. I spent 5 years in training at one of the pioneering wineries in the Willamette Valley before being hired as winemaker at Airlie Winery in 2005.
Winemaker & Founder
Alloro Vineyard is 70 acres of uniquely contoured, loess-derived, Laurelwood soil. Located on a southwest-facing slope in Oregon's Chehalem Mountains, this special place is the heart and soul of our wines and is personally cared for by founder David Nemarnik. We are an artisan, limited-production producer and are 100-percent estate. Educated at UC Davis, Burgundy trained winemaker Tom Fitzpatrick believes that a wine should be “an expression of place, at a moment in time” and should therefore capture the unique personality of a site as it is expressed in each vintage. Single vineyard, terroir-driven wines that reflect this philosophy are what you'll find at Alloro.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Younger daughter of co-founders Ted Casteel and Pat Dudley, Mimi grew up at Bethel Heights. After college she earned her MS in Forest Ecology at Oregon State and worked as a botanist and ecologist for the Forest Service, developing a strong commitment to environmentalism. When Mimi returned to Bethel Heights in 2005 she embarked on a path to become the queen of experimental vineyard design, focusing on innovations in compost, vermiculture, and sustainable farming aimed at translating the essence of our unique place into fruit and wine.
Clare Carver co-owner of big table farm. In addition to partnering with Brian to produce and market the wine Clare manages their 70 acre farm. Clare is also a painter
Todd grew up in a wine drinking family. This was primarily because Grandpa Elmer had some business in Switzerland and France, so his Dad attended high school there in the 50′s. There was always French wine in the house, and it was easy to catch the bug. Todd went to three high schools in three countries, raced skis for a year and then attended the University of Colorado at Boulder. After graduating he went to Chile to look at grad schools, decided not to go and then ended up teaching English in China for the World Health Organization. Upon returning to Colorado he ended up working for a wine distributor in Denver. In 1996 several brands in the book offered him a low paying job in the vineyard, so he loaded up his old Volvo and headed West. In the first four hours of arrival he’d landed a job at Archery Summit, found a place to live and met his bride, Caroline Biggio. In 2007, they launched Biggio Hamina Cellars which makes ultra low intervention (natural), vineyard specific wines that are a tribute to old school winemaking.
Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Chris found the Oregon wine industry through a chance meeting of Jimi Brooks in 1999. As their friendship grew, he started coming out to Willakenzie Estate to help with special events and tastings. This eventually led him to continue on with some cellar work and shortly after staying on for the 2000 Harvest. The following year Chris left to become Jimi’s assistant winemaker and help start Maysara Winery. Upon Jimi’s passing in 2004, he led the team that made the Maysara wines, and stayed involved with organizing the great people that helped continue on the Brooks label. Forging a relationship with Janie, Jimi’s sister, they decided to continue the label in the following year. Together, the two have helped the Brooks label produce great Riesling, Pinot noir, Pinot blanc, Muscat, and Gewürztraminer.
Winemaker, Grower & Co-owner
Dave Grooters is a hands-on kind of guy who brings a former engineer’s attention to detail to bear on everything he does, from vinification to pruning methodologies. His direct personal involvement in every aspect of Carlton Cellars is clear when you visit for a tasting. He’ll tell you the story of your glass of wine, the angle of the sun on that block of triple-7, how much fruit was dropped to achieve the concentrated flavors, and where in France the oak for the barrel came made from.
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.
Head of Brand & Business Development
From the beginning, helping hand plant his family’s estate in 2002, Samuel has been an integral driving force of Coelho Winery. Today as the head of brand and business development, Samuel has amassed an impressive business portfolio including three other wineries, an additional tasting room and commercial real estate, while always advancing Coelho to the next level of quality and production. Together with his parents, Dave and Deolinda, Coelho Winery has continued to grow and flourish in the United States and internationally. Coelho Winery’s premium wines showcase the best of what the Willamette Valley has to offer.
Winemaker Kim Coleman manages the enological duties of the winery. She has undergrad and graduate college background in food science and nutrition. She practiced chiropractic for twelve years before pursuing her dream of making wine. Kim has studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, cooking in their professional kitchens to further her knowledge of flavor evaluation and food and wine pairing.
Marketing & Sales Director
During the 7th harvest at Cooper Mountain, Bob and Corrine woke up one morning to find Barbara missing. It turns out she had not gone far, she was out in the vineyards walking down the rows munching on the harvest. Thus began her love affair with Pinot Noir. As the years passed the dedication has evolved and it has been noted that her wine education needs to be expanded past Oregon Pinot Noirs. Like that stubborn child she was way back when, she scoffs at that notion. A grad of the University of Oregon she has joined the team to support winery operations and production: sales, marketing, PR, administrative, vineyard and cellar. Her energy, personal good taste and desire to help the family winery succeed are infectious as she travels throughout the country. Currently she sits on the board for the Demeter Biodynamic Trade Association as well as the Chehalem Mountains Winegrowers Association and Oregon Pinot Camp.
Chief Operating Officer
Though Gretchen’s roots return to the pre-prohibition days of hop farming in OR, they go even further back 5 generations to her relatives who still operate vineyards in Reims, France. Agriculture & booze are certainly in her blood, as this is what she has dedicated her entire professional career to. She put herself through college working for her parents, building wineries and while completing her dual degrees in Ag-Business and Spanish, Gretchen began her winery career in the cellar. In 2003, when Joe founded the Company, he knew exactly who to call. Gretchen worked her way from Cellar Master into business operations, and now as Chief Operating Officer, she keeps all of us aligned amongst many other responsibilities.
David Millman joined DDO in 2004 after a 20-year career in the music business, working for several record companies and eventually running his own public relations and marketing firm. In addition to his duties with DDO, David has served on several boards, and has been Board President of both the International Pinot Noir Celebration and Oregon Pinot Camp. He is active in supporting the Salud Auction, and frequently serves on industry committees.
Growing up in Northern California, Ryan Harris has always been surrounded by great wine. It wasn’t until college, however, that he began to see his future in the industry. Working as a rep for a local distributor, Ryan cultivated both his palate and passion for wine. Working with and developing major labels throughout the United States, Ryan also received his WSET advanced certification and Court of Master Sommeliers, Sommelier Level 1.
Today Ryan continues this enthusiasm, bringing his expertise to Domaine Serene. Leading by example, building a strong team, and assisting his employees to reach their full potential, Ryan exemplifies Domaine Serene’s philosophy of ‘continuous improvement’.
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!
In 1991, Liz’s mother, Carolyn Chambers, acquired the family’s first winery, Hinman Vineyards (later renamed Silvan Ridge), and just two years later Liz came on board to manage the estate and vineyards. Within five years Liz helped build Silvan Ridge into one of the foremost wineries in the state, a result she credits to limiting the winery’s focus to higher quality releases. In 2005, the Chambers family acquired Panther Creek Cellars in McMinnville, and Liz forged a relationship with winemaker Michael Stevenson to develop exceptional Pinot Noir. In 2013 the Chambers family sold the Panther Creek brand. Liz Chambers personally retained ownership of the former winery and tasting room in the town’s old power station, paving the way for the first releases of her boutique label, Elizabeth Chambers Cellar.
Owner & Winemaker
Adam Campbell is the son of Elk Cove founders Pat and Joe Campbell and grew up on the property. Like all the Campbell kids, he spent his summers in the vineyard and on the bottling line, but Adam developed a special connection to the vineyards. In 1995 he joined forces with his folks to make Elk Cove’s wines and in 1999 he became head winemaker. Living his whole life among the vines, Adam has a tremendous respect for the land on which the grapes were grown.
Gary is winemaker for Erath Winery, one of Oregon’s pioneering Pinot noir producers and the first winery in the Dundee Hills. Gary’s interest in wine evolved in the mid 1980’s while working as a clinical pharmacist. Selling his motorcycle to buy home winemaking equipment, a new career was born. In 1988 he moved to the Willamette Valley where he started making wine commercially at various wineries, including Bethel Heights, Witness Tree and Benton-Lane. Joining Erath in 2003, Gary is committed to creating high quality wines by carefully balancing tradition with the latest winemaking technology, melding artistry with science. Respectful of the delicacy of Pinot noir, he avoids over-extraction and is judicious about barrel selection, thus showcasing the wine’s soft, fruit forward characteristics. Gary’s winemaking philosophy is “commitment to making the best Pinot Noir this region has to offer – it’s time-honored, authentic and uniquely Oregon.”
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.
President & Founder
Howard has been in the wine business since 1975 and in that time he has moved gradually but steadily from retail sales to ownership of a successful winery and vineyards in the heart of the celebrated wine country of Oregon.
As head coach of the small but exceptionally hardworking team that produces, promotes and distributes Firesteed wines, Howard is in charge of the big picture. He guides and shapes the company vision by defining our mission and making sure that our key employees have the tools that they need to do their jobs.
John grew up in Portland, and watched his backyard evolve into a world-class wine area. After years of selling wine at some of Portland’s finest restaurants, including a 13-year stint at Higgins, it was John’s desire to learn the craft behind the wines we loved, and to try and approach the process of making wine with the same blend of curiosity, respect and excitement that we feel when drinking it.
As a sixteen-year veteran of the Oregon wine industry, winemaker Drew Voit is intimately familiar with exceptional vineyard sites. While serving as the Associate Winemaker at Domaine Serene Winery, and then as Winemaker for Shea Wine Cellars, he worked with some of the best vineyards in the Willamette Valley. Harper Voit is the logical progression of that work: seeking out great sites, excellent fruit, and long-term relationships with growers. Drew also consults for a number of wineries in the Willamette Valley and operates a custom winemaking operation for small ultra-pemium brands.
Since 1999 at J.K. Carriere, owner/winemaker Jim Prosser has been recognized as a winemaker who builds precise wines that evolve and reveal great complexity, at the highest end of the acid spectrum. His absolute belief is that wine is made in the vineyard, a vineyard is potential, and it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t execute. Jim is the guy farming the estate (organic), whose hands are in the winemaking (natural), and walking some of Oregon’s finest vineyards from which he’s sourced fruit for more than a decade (Temperance Hill, Shea, Gemini, Anderson Family), thereby ensuring that potential. In 2009 Jim built a new winery on a hill. There you’ll find a barn of this century, with caves dug into the red cobble, flanked by vineyard, surrounded by forest, with a view that looks towards the Cascade Range. Jim’s boots are still on the ground, telling stories in bottle, that you’ll be able to remember years from now, by pulling a cork.
General Manager & Winemaker
Jesse is a second generation winemaker and winegrower working at his family’s twenty-eight (!) year old, 60-acre estate in the heart of the Dundee Hills. Jesse had his start in viticulture by assisting his parents, Don and Wendy, in planting (read: pounded posts and weeding) the original 8 acres of Lange Estate in 1988. Jesse's formal enology and viticulture training occurred at New Zealand's Lincoln University while on student exchange from Oregon State in 1999. Jesse also spent two years under winemaker Bruce McGuire at Santa Barbara winery. Jesse joined the winemaking team at Lange Estate in 2004, continuing the family legacy. His duties at the winery include winemaking, vineyard oversight, distribution, and general management.
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.
Tres started working for Lemelson in the fall of 2011 as a harvest intern. He came on board as our Assistant Winemaker in June 2012.
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.
Owner & Winegrower
Rudy first learned winemaking from his Grandfather Carlo Marchesi, a native of the Oltrapo Pavese region of northern Italy. After graduate school in Sonoma County he worked a small vineyard in Nevada County, California. Originally from New Jersey, he moved back to the Delaware Valley region, planted a vineyard in 1978, and established one of the state’s first farm wineries, Alba Vineyard, in 1982; Rudy was a leader in that industry for over a decade. He has studied with the Institute of Masters of Wine, London, where he was the first American Rosemont Scholar, and graduated from the Biodynamic training course at the Pfeiffer Center at Sunbridge College, Chestnut Ridge NY. Rudy began working in the Willamette Valley in 1998, and purchased Montinore Estate in 2005.
Owner & Winemaker
Despite having a successful career with Citicorp Investment Services, André Hueston Mack decided to leave his “desk job” to pursue his passion for wine. While working as a sommelier in Texas, Mack was awarded the prestigious title of Best Young Sommelier in America by the highly regarded Chaine des Rotisseurs. This recognition propelled him into the opportunity to work as a sommelier at Thomas Keller’s world-renowned The French Laundry in Yountville, California. Mack went on to accept the position of Head Sommelier at Keller’s equally famed Per Se in New York City. Winemaking has always been a dream of his and came to fruition when he set up shop under the moniker of Mouton Noir Wines. Throughout his career Mack has forged unique relationships with luminary growers and winemakers from around the planet. It is with this prestigious group that Mack currently creates his wines.
Winemaker at Ponzi Vineyards since 1993, Luisa's winemaking experience is drawn from her lifelong work with her father and her studies in Europe. She has worked with top wine producers in Italy and France, and was awarded the certificate Brevet Professionnel d'Oenologie et Viticulture from the CFPPA de Beaune, France. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Portland State University. She and her husband, Eric Hamacher, are partners in Hamacher Wines and The Carlton Winemakers’ Studio.
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.
Owner & Winemaker
Texan, Rollin Soles has been producing fine wines and garnering high praise and fond attention from wine critics and enthusiasts for more than 20 years. Rollin received a Bachelor's Degree in Microbiology from Texas A&M and a Masters of Science in Enology and Viticulture at the University of California at Davis. During his early winemaking years Rollin honed his knowledge and skills at some of the worlds' finest wineries in California, Switzerland, and Australia. He went on to create Argyle Winery in '87 and quickly gained a dedicated following.
Melissa was raised in the Willamette Valley. After completing her Bachelor of Science degree, Melissa studied winemaking and fermentation science at OSU. She joined Stoller in 2003 after working as a harvest hand at several local wineries, as well as a production winemaker at Cooper Mountain for three harvests. Melissa enjoys the creative and natural process of winemaking and appreciates that Oregon's wine industry is constantly evolving, pushing her to learn more about her craft.
Owner & Winemaker
My name is Ryan Harms, and I founded Union Wine Company. I moved to Oregon in 2001 and embraced wholeheartedly the region’s unique spirit and passion for craftsmanship, finally deciding in 2005 to satisfy that entrepreneurial bug that had been nagging me to start something that I could be proud of.
A love of the land drew Carl Thoma to establish Van Duzer Vineyards on its panoramic knoll in the Willamette Valley. He became intrigued by the fledgling California wine industry during graduate school days. Thoma began building a portfolio of premier California vineyards during the 1990s and gradually settled on the Willamette Valley as the site for a family estate winery. Thoma is a firm believer in the capability of Oregon’s cool-weather vineyards to produce evocative wines on par with the Pinot Noirs produced at premier vineyards elsewhere in the world.
Steven is the winemaker and vineyard manager at Witness Tree Vineyard. Steven moved from Minnesota to Oregon with his family in April of 1995 to pursue his dream of making world-class wine. One taste of the Witness Tree wines will confirm that his dream has been realized. The 100-acre Witness Tree estate, which the Westbys call home, has 52 acres under vine, producing Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot blanc, and Dolcetto. In addition to his duties at Witness Tree, Steven and his wife Sonja produce wine under their Elemental Cellars label.