Sponsors & Partners
Exhibitor & Sponsor FAQ
Jen Allen is the co-owner of 2Hawk Vineyard & Winery and has a background in hospitality, customer service and business operations. Since purchasing the winery in 2014, Jen has focused on refining the customer experience to reflect strides in re-branding the winery as a producer of ultra-premium, artisanal estate-grown wines. Jen’s focus is on making the tasting room experience warm, welcoming and of impeccable quality. The rustic yet elegant tasting room is situated in the vineyard with lovely grounds and views of the Rogue Valley and Mt. Ashland.
Leigh has worked in the Oregon wine industry for 16 years as a vineyard manager and now as the director of viticulture for Results Partners. She and her husband Patrick own Dominio IV Wines with vineyards in the Columbia Gorge and the Willamette Valley.
Ask Leigh where she was raised and you’ll need to reach for a globe. Home for her growing up was Virginia, Hawaii and exotic faraway places like the Philippines, Japan, Spain and London. After graduating from high school in London, she attended the University of Oregon, then University of California Davis where she earned her master’s degree in viticulture.
Leigh has worked in wine regions around the world, meeting a host of people from a variety of cultures along the way. She gained experience at such respected properties as Domaine Denis Mortet in France; Seresin Estate in New Zealand; Robert Mondavi Winery in California; Cain Vineyard and Winery in California; Caliterra/Vina Errazuriz in Chile and Andrew Will Winery in Washington.
Lesley is an accomplished wine industry entrepreneur and CEO with a focus on change management. Over the past 25 years in the wine industry she has started up the equivalent of nine new businesses, acquired and integrated four companies and led during periods of dramatic change. As co-founder and former CEO of the Ambrosia Wine Catalogue/the Winetasting Network (which she sold in 2004) she has deep experience in consumer direct marketing of fine wines. Lesley has served on the board of 11 wine-related companies and trade associations, and served as co-chair of the Wine Industry Technology Symposium from 2005 until 2015. In 2008, she co-founded the WISE Academy, which provides education, training and certification for winery consumer direct professionals. In 2014, she co-founded SOLVE Services, which provides financial analysis, planning and decision support services for wineries. Today, she spends most of her time coaching winery leaders through growth related challenges and opportunities. Beyond wine, Lesley is a member of the Young Presidents Organization and serves in various leadership positions including its International Forum Committee. Lesley is also a third generation Napa Valley native from a grape growing family, with a BA from Wesleyan University and a MBA from Harvard Business School.
has been working at Elk Cove since March 2000 where she travels the globe as brand ambassador in markets new and old for the winery. She also oversees marketing and other projects that continue building the brand. Shirley has served as a board member for Oregon Pinot Camp and the Oregon Wine Board's export committee and currently sits on the steering committee for the Willamette Valley Barrel Auction as well as supporting other industry wide organizations. In her free time, you will find Shirley out enjoying one of Oregon’s great hiking trails or rivers and by all means, do not disparage her hockey team – Detroit Red Wings!
Demaris Brown is a labeling specialist and a member of the Technical Information Center in the Advertising, Labeling and Formulation Division (ALFD) within the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).
Demaris has been a labeling specialist within ALFD for six years and has spent the last year assisting with the creation and implementation of ALFD’s new customer focused Technical Information Center. As part of her duties at TTB, Demaris analyzes and evaluates label submissions to ensure that they conform to federal regulatory requirements. Additionally, she assists industry members with getting their products to market by helping them understand these regulatory requirements. She collaborates on various initiatives within TTB to streamline the requirement process to reduce regulatory burden on industry and enhance efficiencies for internal staff. She is a certified contract officer representative and manages internal administrative processes for the labeling program.
Demaris has a Master’s Degree in education from Marymount University and 12 years of quality assurance experience from serving in the United States Navy. She grew up in central California near Yosemite National Park.
As the co-owner of Big Table Farm , Clare partners with Brian Marcy to market the wine and manage their 70 acre farm. Clare is also a painter and wine label designer whose fine art has been represented in galleries nationally. Clare has designed wine labels for over 60 wineries in Oregon, California and Washington. Her labels have received multiple awards including America's top ten wine labels. Clare's first passion is her painting but she finds great joy in working with her team of draft horses as well as partnering with Brian to run the farm and winery.
Dr. Stuart Childs
Dr. Stuart Childs is a soil scientist and hydrogeologist with more than 30 years of professional experience, including 10 years as a research professor at Oregon State University. He has expertise in waste management and recycling via irrigation, as required by industry, municipalities and agricultural operations. Stuart works extensively with wineries and food processors to address issues related to groundwater supply, water and energy conservation, and wastewater treatment and management. His work involves wastewater permitting, facility sustainability programs, hydrologic analysis and groundwater protection.
Christine's love for Oregon wine began at an early age looking up at Willamette Valley Vineyards out the window of her room as the vineyard and winery took shape on the slope of the Salem hills. Christine has always been a familiar face at the winery; as a young girl she would sell her friendship bracelets in the tasting room and joined the winery team as a college intern. During college she started making wine while she was a senior by selling Apple stock to launch her own brand based in Southern Oregon. Her life-long connection and passion to fulfill founder Jim Bernau’s dream of making world-class Pinot noir led her back to Willamette Valley Winery where she now leads winemaking and vineyard operations, as well as direct sales and marketing. She is training to replace the founder/CEO upon his retirement. In 2015, Christine co-founded a new company division, Oregon Estate Vineyards, with Jim, dedicated to building boutique wineries on some of Oregon's most intriguing vineyard sites continuing to create and share the Oregon wine story. The first two wineries, Elton and Pambrun, are focused on premium wines made by two of the Northwest's most accomplished winemakers. Christine is a graduate of Oregon State University and holds numerous wine certifications.
Chris Cook, Capiche founder, has more than 30 years’ experience in marketing and a love of entrepreneurship. Since enrolling at the Southern Oregon Wine Institute in 2015, she has shifted her focus to the wine industry, helping wineries develop their brand and best serve their customers. To serve Southern Oregon wineries, Capiche hosts monthly Wine Marketing Round Tables with guest speakers on timely issues.
Chris is an active member of the Southern Oregon Winery Association marketing committee and the Oregon Wine Experience’s marketing committee. An adjunct professor for Southern Oregon University’s MBA program and speaker for the University’s Professional Development Program, Chris has a Master in Management and BA in Communication.
Michael Davies, a New Zealander by birth, came to work his first Oregon harvest in 1999 with a handful of vintages across the hemispheres under his belt and a post-graduate diploma in enology and viticulture from Lincoln University. Over the next five years he cut his teeth on cool-climate winemaking and viticulture as assistant winemaker and vineyard manager at Chehalem. After working a few vintages in New Zealand and Burgundy and starting his own label with his wife Anna, Matzinger Davies Wine Co., he joined the A to Z Wineworks and REX HILL team as winemaker in 2006. Now as executive winemaker, Michael has helped oversee the significant increase in case production of all the A to Z wines, always striving to achieve the best quality, while also re-focusing the REX HILL brand of ultra-premium terroir-driven Pinot noir and Chardonnay to even greater heights. Michael is a keen contributor to various boards and committees that work to promote the Oregon wine industry.
Chad has been viticulturist/vineyard manager for Chehalem Wines for seven vintages. He has a practical, agricultural up-bringing coupled with more than seven years viticultural experience from Central Otago, New Zealand and Europe, complemented by a Master’s of Science degree.
Chad's Master’s Degree researched the climatic limits of viticulture in New Zealand. Chad manages Chehalem’s Correl Creek and Ribbon Ridge vineyard sites along with his skilled and dedicated team. His viticultural philosophy considers that the each vineyard site is unique, requiring specific managing according to their distinctive subtleties particularly in combination with the challenges that Pinot noir provides.
When not among the vines, Chad enjoys the challenging demands of his two young boys, playing tennis, golfing and the many outdoor pursuits that Oregon offers; skiing and hiking, also cheering on the All Blacks, New Zealand’s national rugby team from afar.
Dr. Charles Edwards
Charles G. Edwards was raised in the San Joaquin Valley of California where he worked on his family’s vineyard near Acampo. He received his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in food science from Oregon State University (1982), Cornell University (1985) and The Pennsylvania State University (1989), respectively. Currently, he is an enology professor with the School of Food Science at Washington State University/University of Idaho. His enological research focuses on problem alcoholic fermentations, non-Saccharomyces yeasts, malolactic fermentation and spoilage issues such as Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. As part of the ongoing research effort, his laboratory discovered two novel species of Lactobacillus implicated in wine spoilage, Lactobacillus kunkeei and Lactobacillus nagelii. Dr. Edwards is the sole author of Illustrated Guide to Microbes and Sediments in Wine, Beer, and Juice and co-author of Wine Microbiology (2nd edition), the later of which won top honors awarded by L'Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV) for the best written work in enology in 2007. Besides research, Dr. Edwards taught/teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in food chemistry, wine microbiology/processing and winery internships as well as the WSU extension enology certificate. He completed a year-long sabbatical leave in 2002 working at Chr Hansen (Hørsholm, Denmark) and won the Excellence in Research award from the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources in 2006.
Jessica began her career, (like many) in restaurants in St. Louis and Chicago. She moved to Oregon in 2004 and was hired by Maysara winery under the direction of Jimi Brooks. She opened Peacock Wine Co. in 2005, a brokerage for small wineries and sold the business in 2009. For more than three years, she was the Oregon portfolio manager for Moet-Hennessy, a division of Southern Wine & Spirits. In 2012, she was hired into her current role to work with Ken Wright and Antony Beck as the General Manager for Angela Estate in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. She is an active educator and advocate for the Willamette Valley and enjoys volunteering for multiple events and marketing boards.
Endsworth earned a degree in journalism and minor in marketing from Columbia College Chicago. She has also achieved her Certified Wine Specialist through the Society of Wine Educators, Court of Master Sommeliers (Level 1) and Advanced Certification with Distinction through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (Level 3).
With more than 15 years of experience in direct-to-consumers wine sales, Sonyia Grabski is a prime thought leader and amplifier in identifying market trends, innovative DTC approaches in the wine industry, which includes wine sales programs and consumer targeting, acquisition and retention. Her programs are supported by effective and thorough marketing tactics to support long-term growth and profitability for the company and brand’s essential messaging. Over the course of Sonyia's career, she has overseen DTC sales and marketing for Constellation Wines, Terlato Wine Group and Visit Napa Valley. She is currently the vice president of sales and marketing at Cornerstone Cellars as well as managing her own consulting business, which provides DTC strategies for companies including Iron Horse, Bonny Doon, Highway 12 and VinoPro.
Glen Grisham grows brands and consults on business strategies in the wine industry. Glen learned to carry the bag 30 years ago and has not stopped. He has been telling winery stories and providing the evidence regarding the people and places that drive sales…. Glen has several decades of experience in marshaling, refining and communicating the relevant resources that define a producer’s narrative, and build sales throughout an organization, its representatives and its partners in the market.
Glen’s sales career began as a broker agency sales person in northern California in 1986 for producers such as Caymus, Matanzas Creek, Hess, Forman and others. In 1995, he became the first national sales manager (designated tie guy) for Robert Sinskey Vineyards. Then in 1999, he joined Chambers and Chambers Wine Merchants to open and grow their distribution company in southern California as the Director of Sales and Marketing in the region. In 2014 he opened Locus Wine Consulting to directly assist producers with their respective sales missions and challenges.
Locus Wine Consulting focuses on a wide range of sales and marketing questions and challenges for producers as well as distributors. Aside from trade dress, sales strategy, trade marketing and distribution management, Locus Wine Consulting has also addressed transition of personnel roles, sales organization and business planning for producers. Defining narrative foundations, delineating sales aspirations, creating trade partnerships and realizing execution is at the core of much of Locus Wine Consulting’s long term work in the realm of national sales and marketing. Locus currently works with a wide array of sales representatives, management and organizations at different levels of the wine trade throughout the country.
Dr. Greg Jones
Greg Jones is the director of the division of business, communication and the environment and a professor and research climatologist in environmental science and policy at Southern Oregon University. He specializes in the study of climate structure and suitability for viticulture, and how climate variability and change influence grapevine growth, wine production and quality. He conducts applied research for the grape and wine industry in Oregon and has given hundreds of international, national and regional presentations on climate and wine-related research. He is the author of numerous book chapters and other reports and articles on wine economics, grapevine phenology, site assessment methods for viticulture, climatological assessments of viticultural potential, and climate change.
Carrie Hardison is the education manager for the Oregon Wine Board. Over her career, Carrie has worn many educational hats including teacher, program developer and program manager with a special interest in developing assessment tools to identify growth opportunities for individuals or community programs.
Gina Hennen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Reed College and an AAS in Winemaking from Chemeketa. Before transitioning to a career in winemaking, she worked as a semiconductor engineer for seven years in both Oregon and Dublin, Ireland. Desiring a career that no longer involved cubicles, she returned to Oregon in early 2006 to establish roots in the wine industry.
Gina joined our cellar crew in the spring of 2007; she was promoted to Cellar Master that same year. In spring of 2011, she was again promoted, this time to Assistant Winemaker. And in 2015 was named Adelsheim’s Associate Winemaker.
She is active in Oregon’s wine community, serving on the OWB Research Committee, LIVE Winery Committee, and the IPNC Program Committee. Gina is a trial presenter at both the IQ Conference and Oregon wine Industry Symposium.
Richard Hilton is a senior faculty research assistant and entomologist at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center (SOREC) focusing on integrated pest management in orchards and vineyards.
Richard has a BA in biology from Pomona College and a MS from UC Davis in plant protection and pest management. He started working at what was then the Southern Oregon Experiment Station in 1987 as a research assistant and orchard manager. In 1994, he took over the entomology and IPM research program at SOREC.
His current and recent research on arthropod pests includes: evaluating new management techniques; emphasizing selective or non-disruptive tactics, which are compatible with natural biological control agents; development of economic injury levels along with appropriate monitoring and sampling methods; and, investigating the population dynamics of new and emerging pests, including potential treehopper vectors of red blotch virus in vineyards and the brown marmorated stink bug.
After a decade in the restaurant industry focusing on wine education, Carrie started at A to Z Wineworks in 2010 to focus on the boutique REX HILL direct sales operations. She restructured the REX HILL Crown Club and developed a knowledgeable, full-time REX HILL hospitality staff while growing sales by 50%. Currently, Carrie supports both direct and national sales, offers her enthusiasm and knowledge through teaching about Oregon wines and raises awareness of the A to Z brand around the country.
In addition to a degree in philosophy, Carrie possesses multiple certifications including Certified Wine Educator through the Society of Wine Educators, Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers (level 2) and Advanced Certification with Distinction through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (level 3).
Dr. Kees van Leeuwen
Kees (Cornelis) van Leeuwen is professor of viticulture and head of the viticulture – enology department at Bordeaux Sciences Agro, part of Bordeaux University’s Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin. Kees conducts research on the concept of terroir in viticulture. His works are centered on the role of environmental constraints in the expression of vine-growing terroir. These constraints are most often a limitation of water or nitrogen supply to the vines. Kees van Leeuwen has been involved in the creation and evaluation of several indicators of water supply regime and nitrogen status in vines. Kees has also worked on the effect of the climate on the expression of vine-growing terroir. In his research, the vine’s response is evaluated through the precocity of its vegetation, growth and development, and grape composition at ripeness. Particular attention is paid to the aromatic potential of grapes in relation to environmental factors. He participated in the creation of the Grapevine Flowering Veraison model (GFV model).
Kees is a consultant for Château Cheval Blanc in St Emilion. He mapped soils of numerous wine estates and appellations. Kees is the editor in chief of the international peer reviewed journal OENO One. He also writes on a regular basis for the Dutch magazine Perswijn.
Dr. Bob Martin
Dr. Robert Martin (Bob) is a Research Plant Pathologist with the USDA-ARS Horticultural Crops Research Unit (HCRU) in Corvallis, Oregon. His research focuses on the characterization, detection and management of viruses in the grapes and berry crops. He also serves as Research Leader for the HCRU, which has 16 Research Scientists, holds a courtesy professor appointment in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Oregon State University and is a core faculty member of the OWRI. Bob has been involved with the National Clean Plant Network since its’ inception in 2007 and serves as chair of the NCPN for Berries and on the Tier II board of NCPN-Grapes. He is also active in the International Committee for Study of Viruses of Temperate Fruit Crops. He chairs the Grapevine Improvement Committee in Oregon that consists of growers, nursery managers, OSU faculty and Oregon Dept of Agriculture.
Exvere’s Wine and Spirits services are headed by Erik McLaughlin. With more than two decades of experience in the fine wine and alcohol beverage world, Erik provides the unique industry specific knowledge and expertise to maximize value and guide clients through to a successful close. Erik has more than twenty years of experience working in virtually all aspects of the fine wine industry.
Prior to Exvere, he served as senior vice president at Seven Hills Winery, where he was instrumental in the growth and recent sale to the Crimson Wine Group. Previously, Erik has served in senior management roles for Corliss Wine Estates, Willamette Valley Vineyards, and Cost Plus World Market. Erik has been involved in multiple successful M&A transactions and has consulted extensively for numerous clients in the wine industry for more than 15 years.
At Exvere, Erik provides and oversees management consulting and M&A advisory services to the alcohol beverage industry with a focus on the wineries, vineyards, craft brewers, artisan distillers and adult beverage distributors of the Pacific Northwest.
Erik has been extensively involved in industry groups including the Oregon Wine Board, Washington Wine Commission, Idaho Wine Commission, Walla Walla Wine Alliance, American Association of Wine Economists and the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers. He has served as a judge for multiple wine competitions and as sommelier for the prestigious International Pinot Noir Celebration. Erik has taught and lectured widely on wine and the business of wine at Linfield College, Boise State University, the London Wine Fair, and the Wine Industry Financial Symposium. He is also a frequent guest instructor at the Institute for Viticulture and Enology at Walla Walla Community College and Linfield College’s Wine Studies program.
Erik graduated cum laude from Linfield College in McMinnville and is a fourth generation native of the Pacific Northwest. He is based in Walla Walla where he lives with his wife and their four children. Erik enjoys mountain biking, art museums, blind wine tasting and coaching youth baseball.
Rob has been thrice named as one of the Top 50 Most Influential People in the US Wine Industry, the only banker ever recognized. He has been authoring Silicon Valley Bank’s views on the industry, as well as the highly regarded State of the Wine Industry Report for over 20 years. He is the founder of the Bank’s wine division, which is recognized as the leading provider of financial services to the US fine wine business. A frequent media commentator, conference speaker, lecturer at several West Coast universities and regular blogger, Rob’s informed opinions are trusted by wine producers, importers and financiers alike. He has served on a variety of board capacities over the course of his career in diverse industries, and continues to do so today within the wine space.
Having grown up in the Napa Valley, Liz always knew it would be her forever home. She spent eight years in the mid-west (Detroit), before coming home to roost. With a degree in finance and business management and 17 years' experience in direct-to-consumer experience marketing, she approaches the multiple needs of the business balancing the business and guest needs. Her career includes time with Diageo and Pernod Ricard, followed by nearly six years with Gallo and finally to a small family owned luxury brand. Liz can relate to the challenges faced by large, publicly traded wineries, corporate family owned wineries and to smaller family owned brands. That breadth of experience has allowed Liz to see how different strategies work for different brands and implement the right solution. She has been an active contributor and instructor for the WISE Academy, which seeks to grow the skills of DTC professionals and managers.
Isabelle Meunier is the co-founder and winemaker at Lavinea Winery. A Quebec native, Isabelle Meunier studied winemaking and viticulture at the University of Dijon and in New Zealand at Lincoln University before gaining practical experience in renowned wineries in both countries. She moved to Oregon in 2007 as winemaker and general manager of Evening Land Vineyards, a then new venture in the Eola-Amity Hills. After seven years there, Isabelle stepped aside to start her own winery venture with partner Greg Ralston with the harvest of 2014. Lavinea is an artisan producer of distinctive single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines from mature vineyards within the Willamette Valley.
Keith Meyers joined Perkins & Co in 2001, bringing more than 30 years of experience in public practice with him. Before joining the firm, Keith was a partner at a successful local firm serving businesses and individual clients.
Keith heads the Business Valuation and Litigation Support practice at Perkins & Co. In addition to business valuations, Keith provides litigation support and expert witness testimony. His experience includes working with clients in wholesale and retail, professional services, the funeral industry, manufacturing and other industries.
Keith co-leads the Beer, Wine & Spirits Practice Group and has more than 20 years of wine industry experience that includes providing valuations, financial consulting and succession planning for over 40 top wineries in Oregon and Washington.
Keith specializes in providing business advice to closely-held businesses with an emphasis on succession planning. He holds certifications in business valuation and financial forensics. Keith is an active leader in the Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants and is a past Chairman of the Society. In addition, he has taught in Marylhurst University’s MBA program.
Christian Miller has worked in marketing and research since 1983. His industry experience includes restaurant and retail wine sales, work as a consultant and negoçiant, in brand management and market research. He is currently proprietor of Full Glass Research, which provides economic analysis and consulting on market and industry strategy for the food and beverage categories, in addition to advising Wine Opinions on research design and analysis.
Previously, Christian was director of research for MKF, a leading CPA-Consulting firm in the California wine industry. There he launched the Wine Trends project, which calculated California winery sales by price point and varietal, offering the first detailed look at high end wine sales in the U.S. He also produced the annual Grape Trends report on California wine acreage and supply by district and varietal; directed studies of the economic impact of the Washington and Santa Barbara wine industries; and carried out numerous consumer and industry research projects for wineries, investor and government agencies. Before joining MKF, Christian was manager of marketing analysis at Sebastiani Vineyards. Previous to that he worked for Kendall-Jackson, Angel Vintners and Merrill Lynch.
Christian is also the co-manager for the Organization de la Vigne et Vin Wine Marketing course at U.C. Davis. He has made numerous presentations to buyers, universities, sales forces and industry groups, and is often quoted in trade publications.
Gary Mortensen is president of Stoller Family Estate and general manager of Chehalem Winery. He is a technology start-up veteran and an award winning documentary film maker. Mortensen’s tenure in the Oregon wine industry dates back to 1988 where he was Vice President of Sokol Blosser Winery. In 1999, he left the industry to pursue Portland’s emerging tech startup scene where he led the development of the original “Uber ap” (iQTaxi) and later interfaced with the U.S. Intelligence community helping develop data driven solutions for “extreme risk mitigation scenarios”. His documentary work includes directing two multiple award-winning films about Oregon National Guardsmen who served in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2012, he returned to the Oregon wine industry as president of Stoller family estate. Under Mortensen’s leadership, Stoller has grown from a 9,500 case producer (in 2011) to 41,000 cases produced in 2015.In 2016, in addition to his Stoller duties, he was named General Manager of Chehalem winery.
Ken Navidi is the sales manager for Bainbridge Associates, Inc., a manufacturer’s representative for the instrument and controls industry. Ken has worked extensively with municipalities and industrial clients to review site hydrology and recommend proper flow meters for their application. Ken regularly provides services such as overseeing the installation of flow meters and startup/training to clients on instrumentation.
Dr. James Osborne
James is as an Associate Professor in the Food Science and Technology Department at Oregon State University. He received his PhD from Washington State University in 2005 researching interactions between wine yeast and malolactic bacteria after which he spent time in his native New Zealand working at the University of Auckland and Delegat’s Winery. His current research focuses on the impact of wine microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria, Brettanomyces, and non-Saccharomyces yeast on wine quality. James is the statewide enology extension specialist for Oregon providing outreach programs for the Oregon wine industry. This includes the development of industry workshops and seminars to aid in the transfer of relevant research results to commercial application as well as technical workshops focused on various enology topics. In addition, James also teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in support of the enology and viticulture program at Oregon State University.
Wynne has been at Chehalem from the beginning: being a 6-month old in arms as her parents signed on the original property that would become Ridgecrest Vineyards; personally labeling by hand most of the first release 1990 Ridgecrest Vineyards Pinot Noir; working part of harvest twice despite high school (as part of a chemistry project) and college (break) rigors; and working summers for several years. Graduating from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in chemistry in 2002, Wynne went on to experience several careers in the outside world before admitting to the fact that her heart resided in the Oregon wine country. She graduated with a Masters’ degree from UC Davis’ Viticulture & Enology program in 2008 and has worked multiple harvests around the world including two vintages in New Zealand, one in Burgundy and one in California. She officially joined the Chehalem family as assistant winemaker in June 2009, and became winemaker in 2012.
Jess Pierce sells and markets wines in Oregon for Walter Scott Wines and W.T. Vintners, teaches at Linfield College and makes Riesling for her label Pierce Wines. Previously, Jess was the director of wine education and communications at Brooks Winery as well as a harvest intern at Brooks in 2010 and 2011. From 2008 until 2012, Jess served as the general manager and sommelier at Chef Jason French’s Portland restaurant – Ned Ludd. She left Oregon in 2012 to pursue a Master’s degree in food culture and communications from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont, Italy to further expand her views on the interdisciplinary nature of food and wine. After graduation, Jess moved to Germany to intern at world-renown Mosel Valley Riesling producer Dr. Loosen. She remained in Germany to document the cultural landscape of the Mosel Valley and work the 2013 harvest with Weingut Selbach-Oster. With her new skills and perspective, Jess returned to Oregon to lead the charge for wine education with a focus on Riesling in a 3 year tenure at Brooks Winery. She opened one of the most exciting new tasting rooms in America, while acting as an ambassador, educator, and marketer for Brooks.
In addition to her master’s degree, Pierce holds a diploma from the International Sommeliers Guild and a BA from Louisiana State University in her hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Jess is also a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers and has received her WSET Level 3 award. Jess has served on the Willamette Valley Winery Association and Eola-Amity Hills Winegrowers Association Marketing Committees, and the 2016 IPNC Program Committee.
Dr. Kevin Pogue
Dr. Kevin R. Pogue is a professor in the Department of Geology at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington where he teaches classes on the geological history of the western United States, weather, climate, and terroir. He also regularly contributes lectures on terroir and leads field trips for the Enology and Viticulture programs at Washington State University, Walla Walla Community College and the Washington State Wine Commission. Dr. Pogue’s research is primarily focused on variations in vineyard geomorphology, climate, and soil chemistry in the Columbia Basin. Dr. Pogue has presented papers at national and international terroir conferences and his research has been featured in the New York Times and on National Public Radio's "Science Friday." Dr. Pogue also provides vineyard site evaluations, terroir-related web content, and promotional and educational materials through VinTerra, his consulting business.
After spending most of his life in education, John Pratt moved to Southern Oregon with his wife Shari Eaton in 2004 and bought 24 acres where he planted a vineyard. Coming from Lodi, Calif., he was looking for a warmer location where he could ripen Italian varieties, establishing a niche relatively untouched by Oregon vintners. Pratt and Eaton grow Barbera, Dolcetto, Muscat, Sangiovese, Vermentino and Zinfandel, which they sell to TeSoAria Vineyard and Winery in Roseburg. TeSoAria has tasting rooms in both Roseburg and Portland.
Besides making wine in his garage for friends and family, Pratt enjoys walking in his hillside vineyard, pruning, thinning and participating in research projects. Working closely with the Oregon State University faculty at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center in Central Point, he has expanded his knowledge of horticulture in general and viticulture specifically. Pratt co-chairs the statewide Oregon Wine Research Institute research committee, and serves as president of the Rogue Valley Winegrowers Association.
He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and earned a master’s degree in English rhetoric and composition from the University of the Pacific. In addition to being a professor at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, he was also a member of the school board of the Lincoln Unified School District in Stockton, California.
Steve Price's background is in viticulture and he owns a consulting company, Price Research Services, Inc., offering technical support for the wine industry in Oregon, California and Australia. He also owns a vineyard in the Willamette Valley growing Pinot noir. Steve is an Oregon resident who works with wine and grape phenolic chemistry. He has developed the phenolic assays offered by ETS, works with client support for the phenolic program, and works on a range of ETS research projects. He has a PhD from Oregon State University in plant physiology and was a viticulturalist at OSU for 12 years. He has been consulting with ETS since 1995.
Dr. Vicky Purslow
Dr. Vicki Purslow, Capiche research analyst, has more than 30 years’ experience gathering and analyzing data in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. She has just completed the 2016 Oregon Tasting Room Survey and has already begun work on her next project –a study about the workings of Oregon's wine clubs. Dr. Purslow has an MA from CSU Sacramento, an EdD from University of the Pacific and a certificate in Organizational Relationship Systems Coaching from CRR Global.
Tony Rynders began working in the wine business in 1989 at Mirassou Vineyards in San Jose, CA. While he started in the lab, Rynders ultimately finished this experience in the cellar making wine. Convinced this was his calling, he attended the University of California at Davis and obtained a Master’s degree in Enology and Viticulture in 1992.
Rynders continued to obtain winemaking experience with harvests in Napa (Acacia Winery), northern Italy (Friuli), South Australia (Petaluma Winery), and Tuscany (Col d’Orcia). He held permanent winemaking positions at Argyle Winery (two years) as assistant winemaker, Hogue Cellars (3 years) as red winemaker, and Domaine Serene Winery/Rockblock Cellars (10 years) as head winemaker.
During his tenure at Domaine Serene, Rynders became one of the most highly acclaimed winemakers in America. He obtained more 90+ point scores from the Wine Spectator magazine than any other winemaker during this period of time. The Wine Advocate recognized Domaine Serene as one of only two “Outstanding” producers from Oregon. In addition, Domaine Serene was awarded “Winery of the Year” status five consecutive years from Wine and Spirits magazine. Over 10 years, Rynders developed more than 25 different products for Domaine Serene.
In June of 2008, Rynders launched his own successful wine consulting business, Tony Rynders Consulting. Rynders consults on winery design, vineyard design and development, wine quality improvement, brand development, and product development. In 2010 he created Tour de Force Wine Company, which provides custom winemaking services.
With over 18 years of digital marketing and web development experience in the wine industry, Jeremy brings a full-spectrum knowledge of the digital tools available to wineries from websites to email marketing to social media. His practical and whole-picture approach to implementing these highly effective tools help his clients to grow their brand, reach new customers, increase tasting room traffic and DTC sales and ultimately, deliver exemplary customer service and retention rates. Jeremy has a B.A. in English from Boston College and co-founded Lunabean Media in 2009 to merge his wine experience with his digital marketing acumen.
Dr. Patty Skinkis
Dr. Skinkis (Patty) is Viticulture Extension Specialist and Associate Professor at Oregon State University where she conducts applied research and provides outreach and education programs for the Oregon winegrape industry. She has a BS in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and a PhD in Horticulture (Viticulture) from Purdue University. Her research program focuses on whole plant physiology studies that are designed to understand the causes and management of vine vigor, physiology of vine balance and their impacts on fruit composition and wine quality. Her research also includes work on bud fruitfulness, yield management, fine-tuning canopy management methods, sustainable viticulture production, and understanding production factors that drive implementation of various practices. As Extension Specialist, Patty develops educational programs and informational publications for the Oregon industry statewide. Some of her outreach efforts include bringing industry members together in technical groups to allow information exchange between university and industry on new research results and innovations. Her efforts in outreach expand beyond that of Oregon, as she is involved in national Extension efforts through extension and the American Society for Enology and Viticulture, where she serves as a board director.
Deborah Steinthal is Founder and Managing Director of Scion Advisors, a leading boutique, strategy consulting firm serving the U.S. wine industry. With a proven approach enabling business owners to position for growth or for exit, she has worked alongside over 130 winery owners and CEOs; and has moderated over 80 Winery Roundtables involving more than 50 top California wine industry CEOs for over a decade. Deborah’s expertise is in the area of business growth strategy, family business transformation, and board and leadership development.
Among her clients: Adelsheim Vineyard, Willakenzie, Cristom Vineyards, Liz Chambers, Cakebread, Spottswoode, Patz & Hall Wine Company, Benziger Family Vineyards, Gundlach Bundschu, Clos Du Val, Quails’ Gate Winery, Wente, J. Lohr, Calera Wine Company, Brown Forman, Diageo, Delicato Family Vineyards, Choice Lunch, Cowgirl Creamery, Easton Malloy (producers of Peppermint Bark for Williams-Sonoma) , and McEvoy Ranch. Many of these companies have become leaders in their respective industries.
Born in Lima, Peru, raised in Belgium and Germany, Deborah has lived, worked and travelled globally, and is now based out of McMinnville, OR. She is broadly published in the national business press, an invited speaker, panelist and widely quoted for research on key practices, such as such as How to Build a Pull Brand, Digital Commerce and Family Business Transition.
Dr. Mysore Sudarshana
Dr. Mysore Sudarshana (Sudhi) got his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in microbiology from the University of Agricultural Sciences, India, and Ph.D. in Plant Science from the University of Idaho. He conducted post-doctoral studies on the biology of geminiviruses in the Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, CA, and was a Researcher at the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security. Since 2008, he is a Research Biologist with the Crops Pathology and Genetics Research Unit, USDA-ARS, Davis, and has been working on the biology, detection and management of viruses infecting grapevines, stone fruit trees and walnut. His best known work of importance to wine grape industry is recognition of grapevine red blotch disease and discovery of a virus associated with this disease. Very recently, he led efforts to identify a vector insect species that has potential to spread the virus in the vineyards. He has served as an Associate Editor and as Senior Editor of Phytopathology. He serves on the graduate advisory committees of students in plant pathology and entomology.
Daniel Sweeney is a partner at Pacific Crest Vineyard Services and has more than 15 years’ experience working in vineyards, wineries and nurseries around the United States. He moved to Oregon from the Finger Lakes region of New York and has been working to understand and manage red blotch in Oregon vineyards since 2013.
Judy Thoet spent 10 years in the wine industry as a winemaker and vineyard crop consultant specializing in water conservation, followed by a career as a technical director in the malting industry. Judy holds a Master of Science degree in crop science from OSU, a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy from CSU Fresno, a Winemaking Certificate from UC Davis and a Sommelier diploma from the International Sommelier's Guild.
Judy is one of the founding authors of Winerywise, an online, interactive guide of business and winery management practices. The guide was created by and for Washington State Wineries to provide wineries with the tools to evaluate their business and process practices, compare these practices to industry standards of sustainability and to plan and implement sustainable management strategies.
Dr. Mike Trought
Dr. Mike Trought completed his Ph.D. in England where he studied the response of wheat seedlings to waterlogging stress. Mike Trought joined DSIR in Auckland in 1978. In 1984, he moved to Marlborough as officer in charge of the new Research Centre, managing much of the early grape research in the developing wine industry. From 1992 to 2000, he was senior lecturer in viticulture at Lincoln University. He worked at Villa Maria Wines as its Marlborough regional viticulturist from 2000 to 2004 before returning to a scientific career where has been principal scientist with plant and food research at the Marlborough Wine Research Centre.
Mike’s expertise is used to understand how terroir and vine management influence juice composition and in turn the flavour and aroma of Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir and in the prediction of grapevine yield. He is a past president of the New Zealand Society of Plant Physiology, is adjunct associate professor at Lincoln University and associate editor for the Australian Journal Grape and Wine Research. In 2013, he was elected to the Board of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology, a position he still holds. In 2009 he was selected as the New Zealand Wine Industry Personality of the Year and in 2014 was inducted into the New Zealand Winegrowers Roll of Fellows, in recognition of his contribution to the New Zealand wine industry.
Kelli Wagner earned a Masters in Horticulture with an emphasis in Viticulture from Oregon State University in 2012 and a Bachelor of Science in Plant Science from the University of Missouri in 2009.
Kelli joined the Adelsheim team as a grower relations and viticulture technician in June of 2012 and was promoted to Assistant Vineyard Manager in 2015. In 2017 Kelli was named Adelsheim’s Vineyard Manager.
She serves on the Oregon Wine Board Research Committee and the Oregon Wine Symposium Planning Committee, and has traveled to Napa Valley for the last two years to present experimental trials at the Wine Business Innovation and Quality Symposium. She was also a presenter at the 2016 Oregon Pinot Camp vineyard seminars.
Dr. Vaughn Walton
Vaughn Walton, Associate Professor of Horticulture Entomologist at Oregon State University works on economically important pests, with the aim to provide environmentally sustainable and minimal impact pest management strategies for agriculturalists in Oregon and further afield. Multiple techniques are used in a whole-system approach to obtain sustainable means of production.
In order to obtain this goal, new knowledge obtained from detailed insect physiological, biological, behavioral, ecological and environmental studies are needed. This knowledge is then used to apply treatments timed to occur during periods when pests are at their most vulnerable. These control strategies have historically focused on biological control, mating disruption and conventional synthetic pesticides.
Becky entered the wine world by way of a snowboard after spending 14 years as a marketer in the snow industry. A wife, a mother and an enthusiast of the outdoors, she's living a beautiful life in a beautiful place, drinking, selling and loving wine. Becky provides strategy and skill in brand management and digital content creation with emphasis on social media, website, promotions and sales.
Dr. Larry Williams
Dr. Larry Williams has been a member of the department of viticulture and enology at UC Davis since 1982 and has been in residence at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension (KARE) Center since that time. Dr. Williams’ research interests include C and N uptake and partitioning in grapevines, water relations of grapevines, and vineyard fertilization and irrigation management. Dr. Williams and colleagues have determined grapevine water use with the aid of a weighing lysimeter installed at the KARE Center and established crop coefficients for those vines.
Dr. Williams has conducted irrigation research in table, raisin and wine grape vineyards at locations ranging from the Coachella Valley in southern California (a desert region), through the San Joaquin Valley and the central and north coastal valleys of California. At all vineyard locations the effects of applied water amounts at various fractions of estimated evapotranspiration (ETc) on productivity and fruit characteristics were determined. The water productivity and/or water footprint of grapevines have been determined in several vineyards across grape commodities and recently published.
The seed for a career in wine was planted squarely in Bourbon country of Lexington, Kentucky. While waiting tables to put himself through school, Ken was exposed to fine wines from regions around the world. The passion became avocation when Ken left the Bluegrass State to attend enology and viticulture classes at UC-Davis. Eight years were spent winemaking for Ventana Vineyards and Talbott Vineyards in Monterey County of California’s central coast. Friends from the Willamette Valley piqued Ken’s interest in the region when they would visit, and a trip to the Northern Willamette Valley in 1982 convinced him that this was where the finest Pinot noir in North America was being grown.
In 1986, with family, belongings and 10 barrels in tow, Ken moved to McMinnville and created Panther Creek Cellars. His concept of focusing on vineyard-designate bottling began during those years at Panther Creek and was cemented as a core philosophy in 1994 when Ken Wright Cellars was founded in historic downtown Carlton.
Given his appreciation of sense of place, it was a given that Ken would contribute to the locations and industry near and dear to his heart. Instrumental in organizing the six new American Viticultural Area (AVA) s in the Northern Willamette Valley that define in detail the distinct growing areas within the region, he wrote the proposition for the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and served as the association’s first President. Ken was also a founding member and chair of SALUD, a partnership between Pinot noir producers, Medical Teams International and Tuality Hospital to provide free health and dental care for the seasonal workers who tend our vineyards.
Dr. Frank Zalom
Dr. Frank Zalom is distinguished professor of entomology at the University of California Davis. He served as director of the University of California’s Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UCIPM) from 1986-2002, co-chair of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities’ National IPM Committee from 1999-2015 and grants manager for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Regional IPM Competitive Grants Program from 2005-2014.
Dr. Zalom has maintained an active research program on tree fruit, small fruit and vegetable crops pests for more than 38 years, co-authoring more than 335 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and serving as major professor for 12 Ph.D. students. He is a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Entomological Society of America and the Royal Entomological Society (London).
Zalom has received several awards from the Entomological Society of America including its Recognition Award, Achievement Award in Extension, IPM Team Award, Excellence in IPM Award and the CW Woodworth Award, the Pacific Branch’s highest honor. He received the James H. Meyer Award from UC Davis for teaching, research and service in 2004, and the Outstanding Mentor Award from the UC Davis Consortium for Women and Research in 2013. He was a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in Spain in 1992-93 and a visiting fellow of the Victoria (Australia) Department of Agriculture in 1996. Zalom was elected president of Entomological Society of America and served in its presidential line for four years through 2015. He recently became president of the Entomological Foundation, which promotes science literacy for students in kindergarten through high school.
Additional speaker information will be posted soon..
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