Pinot in the City Wineries
Mingle with the stars of the Willamette Valley wine industry at Pinot in the City in San Francisco on August 26, 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:
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.
Director of Marketing
For more than fifteen years, Taylor has built and managed an array of luxury brands, including some of the most acclaimed fine wines in the world. Following time on the East Coast working in brand planning for advertising agencies and market research firms, in 2006 Taylor joined LVMH (Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton) in Napa Valley as Associate Marketing Manager. There she managed the Chandon sparking and still wine labels as well as Newton Vineyard, growing the brands and overseeing marketing and advertising. The following year, Taylor seized an opportunity at Francis Ford Coppola Winery & Rubicon Estate, managing their extensive portfolio of wines. For five years, she developed and launched several new brands, nearly 20 wines and was instrumental in developing annual market plans that increased profitability. In January of 2011, Taylor joined Crimson Wine Group and now holds the title of Director of Marketing. Here she has directed six brands, including Archery Summit in Willamette Valley, Oregon; Pine Ridge Vineyards in Napa, California; and Double Canyon in Horse Heaven Hills, Washington. She oversees all aspects of brand management, new product and brand launch, channel strategy, packaging development and marketing and PR programs.
Director of Sales & Marketing
Established in 1987, Argyle Winery has discovered the importance of encouraging grapevines to optimize the Willamette Valley’s limited sunlight and heat for flavor production. Argyle sustainably farms 500 acres of some of the best vineyard spots in the Dundee Hills and Eola-Amity Hills AVAs. The winery and vineyards are LIVE certified sustainable. This focus on farming vintage-driven wines from great sites is the cornerstone to Argyle’s full spectrum of prestige sparkling wines, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinot noir – ten of which have made it on to the Wine Spectator’s “Top 100 Wines” list.
Winemaker, Vineyard Manager & Managing Partner
In 1986 while on vacation, Michael Etzel came upon an 88-acre pig farm for sale located on Ribbon Ridge in the Northern Willamette Valley, Yamhill County, Oregon. After some deliberation, Michael purchased the farm with his brother-in-law, Robert Parker, Jr. Michael uprooted his young family from Colorado and moved to the farm the following summer. He began his focused pursuit as a vineyard manager by planting only Pinot Noir and slowly transforming the old pig and dairy farm into his jewel. While planting his own vineyard, Michael worked four harvests at Ponzi Winery. In 1990, Michael harvested his first crop and sold the grapes, except enough to make one barrel, to winemakers Ken Wright and Dick Ponzi. In 1991 with the addition of a third partner Robert Roy, a renovation of one of the barns led to the creation of Beaux Frères Winery. With each new vintage, Michael's efforts unveil a Pinot Noir that is the purest expression of his vineyard.
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 board on the Yamhill-Carlton Winegrowers.
When John and Karen Bergström began Bergström Wines, they wanted to start a business that would become a legacy for their children and pay tribute to John's agricultural Swedish upbringing. With these dreams in mind, the couple moved from Portland to Dundee, where they planted the Bergström Vineyard on a gentle, 13-acre, south-facing slope overlooking the wide expanses of the Willamette Valley. In 1999, Josh Bergström, the fourth of five children, returned home to Dundee from a postgraduate program in Viticulture and Enology in the Burgundy region of France. With him, he brought his fiancée Caroline, and the two were married that fall in the Bergström Vineyard. Bergström Wines was also born that fall as the young couple harvested their first vintage of Pinot Noir from high-quality fruit purchased at a neighboring winery. Currently, Josh is general manager, winemaker and vineyard manager at Bergström Wines, and Caroline manages the sales team.
Co-Owner & Business Manager
In 2004, Ellen Brittan and her winemaker husband Robert purchased what is now Brittan Vineyards in the McMinnville AVA. Before moving to Oregon in 2008, Ellen spent eleven years in the wine industry in Napa Valley as General Manager of Rudd Winery and then as Executive Director of the Rudd Group, a portfolio of luxury food and wine businesses that includes Dean & DeLuca, Rudd and Edge Hill Wineries, Distillery 209, Oakville Grocery and PRESS Restaurant. Prior to venturing into the wine business, Ellen spent 20 years in the Financial Services industry before deciding to give up the corporate world to follow her passion for food and wine. While Robert oversees the vineyards and winemaking, Ellen focuses on the sales, marketing and financial side of the family business. Ellen also serves as the Director of Wine Education at Linfield College in McMinnville. In addition, she is currently Chair of the Oregon Wine Board, President of the Oregon Winegrowers Association and serves on the board of the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC).
Geologist & Winemaker
It’s about vineyard site. That’s the belief of geologist/winemaker Mike Hallock. Carabella Vineyard produces only estate-grown wines from vines planted on a unique hillside vineyard site, which is the culmination of a 12-year search for a location combining the best criteria of top-quality Oregon and French terroir. Trained as a winemaker in Colorado (really!), Mike brought his tanks and equipment over the mountains on a flatbed truck for the first vintage in 1998. The winery is virtual (i.e. rented space), but the vineyard is very real. Pinot noir is Carabella’s primary focus, with five different clonal blocks fermented separately, then blended prior to bottling to exhibit the complex potential of the vineyard. Modest use of new French oak places the focus on the wine’s purity of fruit and elegant style.
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.
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.
Winemaker & Vineyard Manager
Originally from Philadelphia, Winemaker and Vineyard Manager Stephen Goff was exposed to fine wine while tending bar at the Palladium restaurant on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania his senior year of college. After a move to San Francisco, and much exploring of the Napa and Sonoma valleys, he quit his day job at a Bay Area book publisher and went to work harvest at Carneros Creek in 1998. Thus began a lifelong affinity for Pinot Noir and led him to the Enology and Viticulture program at Fresno State University. Coming out of Fresno in 2001, Stephen and his then fiancée Laura relocated to the Willamette Valley where he had accepted the position of Assistant Winemaker at venerable Oregon producer Beaux Frères, a position he held for 6 vintages. In 2008, he joined Joe and Vicki Stark in his current position as the winemaker and vineyard manager for Colene Clemens. Overseeing all winery and vineyard activities Stephen has been the only winemaker to date and is responsible for the planting and development of more than half of Colene Clemens 50+ planted acres. When not out at the property Stephen makes his home in Portland with his wife Laura and two children Grady and Josie.
Craig Camp began his love of Pinot noir when he began importing the Burgundy selections of Becky Wasserman in 1981. Decades of visiting Burgundy deepened his love of Pinot and terroir and set a path that naturally led to Oregon and the Willamette Valley. When the opportunity came to partner with his friend and esteemed winemaker Tony Rynders he could not resist and Cornerstone Oregon was born in 2007. Cornerstone Oregon focuses exclusively on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir crafted in the elegant and classic style he came do love over thirty years ago.
Chief Operating Officer
Though Gretchen’s roots return to the pre-prohibition days of hop farming in Oregon, 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 2002, 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. She is also a proud mother of 3 and she has found a perfect balance between family life and her career and loves being part of this exciting group!
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.
Winemaker & General Manager
Jared Etzel was born in Colorado Springs in 1983 to Mike and Jacqueline Etzel. The family moved to Oregon in 1987 to establish Beaux Freres Winery. Jared worked in the vineyard and winery from a young age but it was not until his freshman year in college that he took an internship at Artadi in Rioja Spain that he grew a passion for wine. Following that internship Jared focused on finishing his bachelors degree in enology and then moved to Napa and worked in winemaking for 6 years before returning to Oregon to establish Domaine Roy et Fils with Marc Roy.
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. Look for an opening in late summer!
Winemaker & Co-Owner
Adam Smith discovered his nagging obsession with wine while he was still a working musician. He came to Oregon with many questions, and began finding answers during his time as a cellar rat at Domaine Serene where he was mentored and educated in the ways of superb Pinot noir and Chardonnay production. He went on to work as an assistant winemaker for such producers as Shea Wine Cellars, Bethel Heights Vineyard, and Craggy Range Vineyards in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Today he works as a winemaker and partner for Domaine Nicolas Jay, the much anticipated Oregon estate project of the Cote de Nuits' own Domaine Meo-Camuzet. Adam’s eternally-cranking gears bring a lot of momentum to Eisold-Smith Wines; his impassioned palate and deep understanding of persuading loveliness out of each individual lot through thoughtful fermentation technique work in tandem with (winemaker/co-owner) Lauren Eisold's brilliant, gentle hand, and this harmony is present in every offering.
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. Howard fell in love with wine over dinner on his first wedding anniversary, when he ordered a nice bottle of Burgundy to celebrate. It was a Pommard and started Howard on his path to Pinot. Howard has studied biology/chemistry, philosophy, mathematics, and computer science. He worked as a hot dog vendor at Yankee Stadium, a journeyman carpenter, a software engineer, a software manager, a co-owner of a tiny electronics company, and a winemaker. Howard was an early employee or founder at four startups. The only thread through that resonates is that winemaking started as a hobby in the garage and diversion from the rigors of a startup, then became a passion, and 19 years later became a daily obsession. The thing that matters most, though, is that Howard is traveling this path with his daughter.
While studying Economics and Geology at the University of California, Davis, Bryan Croft developed a passion for wine. After graduation, drawn to the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley where he would work for the next four years, Bryan learned an invaluable lesson that would become the foundation of his winemaking style, balance through blending. In 1996, inspired by what others had been achieving to the north, he left Cabernet country to pursue Pinot Noir in Oregon. For 18 vintages now at Firesteed Cellars, Bryan has continued the winery’s tradition of defying what was thought possible for a value-priced Pinot Noir, crafted world-class bottlings that showcase the ageability of Oregon’s premier variety and created highly-acclaimed, richly aromatic white wines, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Chardonnay.
Daughter of Proprietor Bill Foley, Courtney Foley has worked in the wine industry for the past 5 years, on both the sales side and also in production. After a couple harvests working at two of her family's wineries, she has decided to pursue winemaking full time and is currently enrolled in the Enology program at Fresno State.
David is the daily-operations guy at Fox Farm Vineyards. He is the guy researching and selecting vineyards, making the decisions on crop-loads and harvest dates, meeting and greeting folks at the tasting room, pouring wines and telling jokes, sharing the stories behind Fox Farm Vineyards, working with out-of-state distributors, and drinking lots of coffee.
Winemaker & General Manager
Eugenia has held many top positions during her 40 years in the wine business. She began her career with Joseph Swan Vineyards as a cellar/vineyard worker in 1976. That experience led her to numerous opportunities, including cellar intern positions in Burgundy at the prestigious producers Pousse d’Or in Volnay and Etienne Sauzet in Puligny-Montrachet. Most significantly, she took the position of business manager at Bouchaine Vineyards in Napa, California, in 1982, during the early days of the winery’s start-up and later was promoted to president and CEO. In January of 1996, she accepted the position of president at Vine Cliff Winery, also in Napa. Eugenia’s travels took her to Oregon in 2003, where she ventured into the world of wine distribution as the founder and co-owner of Tsarina Wines, a small fine-wine-only distributor based in Portland. In 2006 Tsarina merged with the Henry Wine Group of Oregon, and Eugenia continued as co-owner and president until 2009, when the company was sold. All through the years, she has been an industry consultant and has owned her own wine brand (Keegan Cellars in the Russian River Valley and now in the Roussillon, France). Just recently, she was the acting general manager of The Four Graces in Dundee, Oregon, prior to joining Gran Moraine as general manager in April of 2014.
Winemaker & Owner
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.
National Sales Manager
Rebecca first met Laurent Montalieu while working for The Four Graces and was offered the position of National Sales Manager early in 2015. She is responsible for the creation and implementation of the sales and marketing efforts for Hyland Estates, both domestic and international. Rebecca has over 15 years of distribution and supplier management experience where she held the position of Director of Sales-On Premise for Southern Wine & Spirits and subsequently, that of National Sales Manager for The Four Graces. Rebecca holds a Master’s Degree from West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media in Integrated Marketing Communications.
From the onset, our winemaking has always been a family affair. The team consists of Johanna and Don Sandberg and Lynne Pelos. Johanna leads the effort having worked at several well-known Oregon wineries. In addition, she has studied winemaking at the Northwest Viticulture Center in Salem, Oregon and taken extension courses at UC Davis in California. Don and Lynne have honed their skills through extensive self-study and hands on experience working with Johanna and helping colleagues and friends in the business.
Ken Morrison (the ‘K' of K & M) began making wine in the mid 90's for fun. After spending eight years in San Francisco, and enjoying Russian River Pinot noir, Ken and Mauro (K & M) returned to Oregon in 2007, purchased an established vineyard and renamed it Alchemy Vineyard and started their wine label, K & M Wines. With help from their flock of miniature sheep and their cat, the two grow grapes and make wine from the oldest vineyard on Parrett Mountain in Oregon's Chehalem Mountains AVA.
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.
Lia’s Vineyard is located in the Chehalem Mountains AVA and supplies pinot noir and Chardonnay to some of Oregon’s leading wineries. Each year a small amount of fruit from select blocks is held back to make Longplay Wine. The winemaking philosophy is “analog wine for a digital world – no overdubbing, no remixing.” Minimal intervention in the cellar helps grower Todd Hansen capture the essence of the vineyard in each bottle.
Owner & Winemaker
The Lumos Wine Co., launched in 2000 by Dai Crisp, dashing grape grower and winemaker, and his groovy wife and business partner, PK McCoy, is a small operation at just 2,500 cases per year. With the help of his dauntless crew, Dai grows all of the fruit that goes into the Lumos wines on three Certified Organic vineyards. The Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Rosé and Gewurztraminer come from Temperance Hill Vineyard (Dai’s day job), Wren Vineyard (estate vineyard) and Logsdon Ridge Vineyard (aka Rudolfo). Dai does all the winemaking with Julia Cattrall; close collaborators in the winery, they work together to carefully craft the wines with minimal intervention so that the final product clearly reflects the vintage both in terms of weather and terroir. Organic & Salmon Safe certified. Taking care of our people and our planet…it’s what we do.
Sales & Marketing
Since her graduation from Linfield College in 2009, Naseem Momtazi has been head of national and international sales for Maysara Winery and Momtazi Vineyard out of McMinnville, Oregon. She received her bachelors of science degree in business management with a sales & marketing concentration. The family-owned-and-operated winery is run by her parents, Moe and Flora, along with the help from her two sisters, Tahmiene (the winemaker), and Hanna (events/wedding coordinator). Amidst the buzz of their everyday business affairs, Naseem and her sisters are also successful proprietors of their own Pinot noir label. Founded in 2007, the girls began producing their sister label which is called "Three Degrees", sold under the Maysara portfolio. With a love of travel and her family, Naseem's passion for their business makes her an integral part of Maysara's success and story.
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. In addition to growing grapes and making wine, Rudy also served as Vice President of Brand Development for Allied Beverage Group, one of the nation’s largest distribution companies. 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. Under his ownership Montinore has transited its 220 acres of vineyards to 100% certified Biodynamic and now has the largest certified Biodyanmic production in the country.
Winemaker & Co-Owner
Since our first vintage in 1999, Owen Roe has been working to produce exceptional wines from Oregon and Washington. The winery is named after Owen Roe O’Neill, a 17th century Irish Patriot who dedicated his life to upholding the highest principles of political equality and freedom. Partners David and Angelica O’Reilly along with Ben and Julie Wolff share his dedication to principle and excellence with our meticulous attention to every aspect of winemaking and farming.
Born and raised in the Midwest, Monte came to the wine business after training as a biochemist at the University of Wisconsin. With a background in fermentation, he worked for Genentech and Abbott Labs before a desire to marry biotechnology with investments led Monte to the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. It was there that he met Dave Chen, and the seeds for Patton Valley were planted. Finishing at Kellogg in the mid-1980’s, he worked for several Wall Street firms, covering biotech as an analyst and investment banker. In 1996, when Monte and Dave were ready to take the plunge into the wine world, Monte moved his family to Oregon where he oversaw the planting of the first vines in 1997. Monte served as winemaker in 1999 and 2000 crafting Patton Valley’s first two vintages. Monte continues to keep a foot in the biotech investment world as a partner in Four Oaks Partners, a life sciences financial advisory firm.
A multi-generational native of Napa Valley, growing up on the family ranch in the Coombsville Appellation in the Eastern hills of the region, Patrick began his wine “career” as a teenager working in and around the Robert Mondavi family & winery. Such an environment rich with experiential learning was the initial inspiration behind his decision of committing his life and career to the wine industry. Patrick’s experience spans the spectrum from farming & winemaking, to marketing, sales and hospitality, ultimately to the executive realm of managing winery businesses. Having held management positions with Clos Pegase and Pine Ridge wineries, his career evolved into his own consulting services focused within non-profit fundraising, including the NV Wine Auction, Silverado Trail Wineries’ Association, NV AIDS Foundation and the Francis Ford Coppola Hunger Relief program, as well as small-winery marketing & sales strategies. At the point his consulting venture was taking off, Patrick was courted back to a full-time winery “hand” with the position of General Manager for Jackson Family Wines, overseeing Hartford Family, Matanzas Creek, Arrowood, Verite, Cardinale, Cambria and Byron wineries over an 11-year period of time. Napa Valley then hailed him back and while living in his St. Helena home, he led Kristine Ashe Vineyards and Entre Nous wines in Oakville before making his most recent and exciting transition to Penner-Ashe Wine Cellars in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, assuming the role as General Manager.
Export Sales Administrator & Brand Specialist
Brenna Patterson is the Export Sales Administrator and Brand Specialist at Ponzi Vineyards, located in the Chehalem Mountains of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Originally from Southern Washington, Brenna received her BS in Business Marketing from Linfield College in 2012. A trip to Chianti while studying abroad in Ireland, coupled with her father’s shared interest in wine, revealed her passion for the beloved libation. Brenna started in the wine industry during college with a social media and marketing internship at R. Stuart & Co. Winery. After graduation she took a position in marketing with an Oregon insurance company, but her passion for wine drew her back to the industry. In 2013, Brenna joined Ponzi Vineyards as the Sales & Marketing Coordinator, assisting in all facets of the company’s marketing. Having a knack for sales, she took on a new role managing export sales, as well as national sales under Ponzi Vineyards’ President, Maria Ponzi. Brenna is well-versed in hosting trade guests at the winery’s state-of-the-art tasting room and winemaking facility, located in Sherwood OR. She also acts as the company’s Brand Specialist, sharing the Ponzi story and working to spread the word about the wines and company initiatives to trade guests.
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.
Ian Burch’s passion for wine began at an early age when he and his farm-minded-father worked together moving around dirt, landscaping and putting in a huge family garden. By 17, he had his first taste of wine and knew that he would channel his creativity and energy into a life of viticulture and wine. Upon graduating with a B.S. in Wine and Viticulture from California Polytechnic University, Ian worked through the wine world. In 2008, Ian decided to move to the Willamette Valley’s Eola-Amity Hills where he worked six years as assistant winemaker for Evening Land Vineyards until taking the winemaking position in early 2014. In his time there, Ian was part of the team responsible for producing Wine Spectator’s highest scoring Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with fruit of the historic Seven Springs Vineyard, all under the watchful eye of legendary Burgundian winemaker Dominique Lafon. Ian found Oregon his ideal home for making cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Today, Ian lives with his newly-wed wife on a vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills where they are tilling ground for their veggie garden and spending their weekends enjoying the company of friends.
Owner & Winemaker
Byron traded in his high tech life for mud boots and a wine glass in 2001 and never looked back. He studied enology and viticulture at Napa Valley College, interned for a respected Pinot noir producer in Sonoma, planted a small vineyard on Howell Mountain in Napa, and produced wine from that vineyard. After earning his winemaking degree, Byron and his wife Dana were drawn to Oregon’s Willamette Valley for its beauty, climate, and world-class Pinot noir. In 2004 they purchased and planted the 12-acre Luminous Hills Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, a property once owned by Steve Jobs. With its favorable elevations, aspects and soil compositions, Luminous Hills expresses a broad array of distinctive qualities from a small geographic area. Byron also sources fruit from other noted vineyards from which he makes the Seven of Hearts wines, which are about exploring other vineyards, appellations and varietals.
Shea Wine Cellars is the winemaking effort of grape growers Dick & Deirdre Shea. After ten years of selling all our grape 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.
Gregg Barrett was born on March 27, 1961 in the small rural farm community of Dos Palos, located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley of California. Exposed to agriculture at an early age, he spent much of his childhood working on his father’s cotton farm. Barrett graduated from Fresno State University in 1984 with a degree in Agricultural Business with an emphasis in Agricultural Marketing. Upon graduation, he worked extensively in the Cotton Industry throughout the San Joaquin Valley. After being approached by a friend from college, he began his career in the wine industry at Lambert Bridge Winery in the 1993 as Controller. In 1996 he was recruited to become the General Manager of MKF Systems, the information systems division for the wine business advisors, Motto, Kryla and Fisher. In 1998 he left MKF Systems to accept the position of Information Systems Director with Silver Oak Cellars. In December of 2004, Barrett graduated with Master of Science in Information Systems from the University of San Francisco. In addition in 2004, he was approached by Adam and Dianna Lee, the owners and winemakers of Siduri and Novy Family Wines to become their first General Manager. He currently resides in Santa Rosa, California and has three children, Lauren, Nicholas (twins) and Matthew. All three are attending college in California.
Key Accounts Manager
Despite roots in California and Minnesota, Lee Medina landed in the great state of Oregon and has been an Oregonian for more than two decades. The food and beverage industry has been a passion of his since his youth, being in the restaurant business most of his life. He fell in love with wine the moment he was introduced to it in his early 20s, making the decision to move to Oregon knowing the potential for the growing wine industry and pinot noir. Lee’s enjoyment for pinot noir stems from its mysterious nature, always evolving with elegance and finesse. In the 20 years that Lee has been at Sokol Blosser Winery, he has worn many hats from managing the tasting room and hospitality to working harvest to regional market work. Currently, Lee is the Key Accounts Manager, leading placements in strategic accounts and continuing to share the story of Sokol Blosser Winery with the trade and consumers. After many years at the winery, what keeps Lee at the company is everyone’s passion about family, friends and delicious food and wine. Lee’s passion for the industry carries over into his personal life, as his biggest joy is to cook at home with family and friends while listening to his favorite music.
Partner & Director of Sales
Brian Sypher brings a breadth of knowledge to our sales and marketing team that spans the country as well as the industry. From San Francisco to New York, his experience ranges from restaurant management and fine dining to overseeing the finest domestic wines portfolio in the country. He, along with winemaker James Cahill, have joined forces with Tony and Michelle Soter to become partners in the North Valley wines.
National Sales Director
Cory joined Stoller as our national sales director in the fall of 2005. He fell in love with Pinot Noir during his three-year stay in France, and moved to Oregon in the mid-90s, drawn by the natural beauty and burgeoning potential of the Pacific Northwest wine scene. Prior to joining Stoller, Cory worked as a distributor of some of the world’s finest wines.
Owner & Winemaker
It all started with a glass of Pinot Noir. And then things got a little crazy. Jon gave up a banking career in Arizona and headed north to find the perfect place to grow this special grape. The search ended in 1998 on a hillside in Dundee, Oregon which became Thistle Vineyard. Jon spent several years developing the vineyard and his winemaking skills before launching Thistle Wines in 2004. He is the heart and soul of Thistle, overseeing our organically-certified vineyard and making the wines with minimal handling in the cellar to let the grapes shine through. His personal commitment extends to the tasting room – in the summer months he spends his weekends there sharing his wines and his stories with visitors.
JP’s love of wine and his early career in the industry started in New Orleans where he worked at his family’s wine shop and later for a wine distributor. Once he realized his passion for wine could become a long-term profession he focused his studies on horticulture at Louisiana State University and later earned a Masters degree in Enology from the University of Adelaide. JP fell head over heels for the art, the science and the profession and in the past 12 years has worked for leading wineries and winemakers in California, Australia, New Zealand and in the last year has started the next chapter in Oregon with Union Wine Co. JP will lead day-to-day winemaking operations and continue to help Union find that perfect balance between craft winemaking, small-scale manufacturing and producing Oregon wines that are accessible, innovative and high quality.
Raised in Burgundy’s Escolives Ste. Camille, an old village around Auxerre where Romans imported grapes in the third century BC, Florent-Pierre "Flo" Merlier was exposed to winemaking at a very young age. His playground of sorts was the barrel room and underground wine cellar belonging to the family of one of his childhood friends. Merlier attended the Sorbonne in Paris with the intention of studying film, but his career path shifted after working at wineries in Burgundy and Switzerland. He received a Diploma in Viticulture from the University of Dijon, and in 2009, he moved to Oregon. He began working at Van Duzer Vineyards in 2010, and by 2013 he was promoted to head of Van Duzer’s winemaking program. Flo continues to lead the winery with a focus on precise and targeted winemaking through small lot processes, sorting and gentle handling. He values cool climate wines that are elegant, vibrant and expressive.
We produce small-batch estate Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris high atop the storied Dundee Hills. The Dundee Hills AVA is situated in the northern stretch of Oregon's famous and fertile Willamette Valley. We source only from our vineyard, applying a minimalistic approach in the cellar in order to showcase both site and vintage. We are family owned and operated and proud to be a part of the rich and growing tradition that is Oregon wine. In addition to producing wine, we sell about twenty acres of estate fruit to prominent area wineries like White Rose, Dobbes, Le Cadeau and Elizabeth Chambers Cellar. Our high-elevation setting allows for slow ripenening conditions and affords tremendous panoramas of the Coastal range.
Founder & Winemaker
WildAire was founded with love in 2005 by Matt and Jean Driscoll after years of immersing themselves in the Willamette Valley wine scene. They started the journey twenty years ago by a chance visit to Oregon to attend a friend’s wedding and their destiny was sealed. After getting married in 2000, they moved 3,000 miles from Virginia to learn all aspects of the wine business in Oregon. They spent their time in the Willamette Valley studying winemaking, farming, and marketing Pinot noir at the Northwest Viticulture Center and working with some of Oregon’s top winemakers. Matt has 14 vintages of winemaking experience and oversees the production for WildAire, while Jean focuses on the sales, marketing, and financial side of the business. Their vision is to create elegant wines with love and passion that are acid-driven and food-friendly, using fruit grown from some of Oregon’s greatest vineyard sites.
Owner & Winemaker
As the saying goes, “where there’s a will there’s a way,” and Pam Walden is very willful! Her intention to live life to the fullest has always been clear, alongside a strong work ethic and independent spirit that embraces the unknown. After studying English literature in her native UK and working in television production for several years, winemaking found Pam in 1996, through a circuitous tale of love and adventure that began in France, and she has never looked back. Always pushing for more, she is now involved in Portland’s newest Custom Crush Urban Winery, Urban Crush. Pam lives in Portland with her partner Thomas and her two boys, Samson and Cato. She enjoys playing the piano, hiking and tennis.
National Sales Manager
Mary Bellando is a proud native Oregonian. In 1984, Mary began working in the wine and hospitality industry while attending college in Eugene. She eventually made her way to one of the largest wineries in Oregon and highlighted that tenure by opening the most prestigious tasting room and wine club in the state. Mary was then promoted to Regional Sales Manager. These experiences, combined with Mary’s passion for wine and the wine industry, have brought her to WillaKenzie Estate as their National Sales Manager covering Western United States and Asia. Currently living in Eugene, where she raised two beautiful and talented children, Mary is living the dream of experiencing the fruits and beauty of Oregon.
Winderlea Vineyard & Winery is a boutique winery specializing in the limited production of Pinot noir and Chardonnay from Oregon. Owners Bill Sweat and Donna Morris founded Winderlea in 2005 with the purchase of the renowned Goldschmidt Vineyard in the Dundee Hills.mThe earliest plantings on Winderlea’s 20 acre estate vineyard date back to 1974. Their estate vineyard was always farmed gently, and with Bill and Donna’s purchase in 2006 they introduced more sustainable practices allowing the vineyard to earn its LIVE and Salmon Safe certifications in 2008. In 2009 they began employing biodynamic practices and with the 2015 vintage will earn Demeter Certification for the vineyard. This past April Winderlea® achieved B Corp certification after meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Winderlea® is just the 2nd winery in Oregon and 4th winery globally to have achieved this comprehensive business sustainability certification. In addition to their estate wines, Winderlea makes wines with fruit from some of their neighbors in the legendary Dundee Hills including the Maresh, Weber, Juliard and Murto Vineyards. In 2010 they started to purchase fruit from outside of the Dundee Hills from the likes of the Shea, Crawford-Beck and Meredith Mitchell Vineyards. In 2014 Winderlea established a long- term lease on the 23 acre Meredith Mitchell Vineyard in McMinnville and with that have taken over the farming and established biodynamic farming practices to align with their estate vineyard. Winderlea wines are made by veteran winemaker Robert Brittan who moved to Oregon in 2006 after 16 years leading winemaking at Stags’ Leap winery in Napa and Far Niente and St. Andrews before that.
National Sales Manager
Greg Burger grew up in the vineyard and winery at Yamhill Valley Vineyards and has a great passion for Oregon Pinot Noir. He has been involved in all aspects of Yamhill Valley Vineyard's history over the years; helping plant the original vineyard with his dad and brother in 1983, working harvest and crush, running the tasting room in summer when he was home from college, helping with cellar work and bottling operations in the winery, and spending time as YVV's national sales director. In the mid 1990's Greg and his wife Angie stepped away from the family business to pursue their love of skiing, fly fishing and to start a family in Whitefish Montana. In Montana, Greg worked in the wholesale wine business at Vhers Mountain State Beverage, owned and operate a local restaurant, and opened a retail and wine storage shop. He returned to the family wine business in 2009 to help with the national sales program. He continues to live in Montana and travels the country supporting Yamhill Valley Vineyard's network of distributors.
Dr. John Zelko comes from a family of doctors. His father was an ophthalmologist and was always disappointed that he didn’t follow his career path, (but at least his brother did). John and his wife Kathy moved to Oregon in 1983 from Hawaii filled with romantic visions from Ken Kesey’s “Sometimes a Great Notion”, perhaps the greatest Oregon book ever written. Looking for a lush landscape of frontier and promise they sought out experiences that were fresh, cool and offered a hint of craziness. They became enamored of the local wines and at the request of a good friend, Rachel Starr, they spent several years as part-time “cellar rats” helping her make wine and learning what it takes to produce a superb vintage. Eventually John and Kathy bought a ton or two of Pinot Noir from lesser known vineyards and made their first wine in Linton. This went on from 1992 to 1999 when Starr Winery moved to Newberg. By 1995, the insanity was in full fever and they purchased 40 acres of exceptional land in the Eola-Amity Hills in the north Willamette Valley. This is where their estate vineyard was planted in 1996 and where Z’IVO was born.