Who We Are
After learning to make wine as an apprentice to some of the most skilled winemakers in Oregon and in Burgundy, Amy Wesselman co-founded Westrey Wine Company in 1993 with her partner, David Autrey. In 1997, she joined the IPNC Board of Directors and in 2009 became the Executive Director. Amy has previously served as Winery Chair of the board of directors of ¡Salud!, Oregon’s premier wine auction, which raises funds to provide healthcare for otherwise uninsurable seasonal vineyard workers. She also currently serves as a board member on the Willamette Valley Wineries Association. She takes pride in both the IPNC’s and Westrey’s emphasis of the enjoyment of good wine, good food, and good company without pretense. With help from her 13 year-old identical twin sons, Amy juggles her busy schedule at Westrey and the IPNC with her love of cooking, backpacking, and growing Pinot noir at Oracle Vineyard, Westrey’s estate property in the Dundee Hills.
Anne has spent much of her life in the kitchen. While she’s never cooked professionally, her work and personal life have centered around wine and food. Her role at IPNC is to recruit and manage the 50+ guest chefs who join IPNC each year. She oversees all operational details surrounding food service for the three-day event. Formerly director of catering at Seattle’s iconic seafood restaurant, Ray’s Boathouse, she has produced a number of the Northwest’s most prominent wine and food events including Taste Washington, the Auction of Washington Wines, and Seattle Wine and Food Experience. Since relocating to McMinnville from Seattle in 2013, Anne also has worked with the Willamettte Valley Wineries Association, Oregon Truffle Festival, Bounty of Yamhill County, and the Oregon Chardonnay Celebration
IPNC Board of Directors
Bio Coming Soon
Matt Berson is the winemaker/owner and sole employee of Love & Squalor. After graduating from UC Berkeley, Matt discovered that a culinary and vinous education could be his at below retail prices if he was willing to wait tables, and wait he he did. And bartend, and manage, and taste a lot of wine, and learn he did. Matt’s restaurant odyssey ended 12 years after it started when he ran away to Portland, Oregon and fell in with a vagabond group of winemaking pirates. He was initially taught grape whispering by Patty Green of Patricia Green Cellars. He has scurried in the cellars of Jimi Brooks (Brooks), Jay Somers (J. Christopher), Larry McKenna (Escarpment, NZ), Helen Turley (CA) and Erni Loosen (Dr. Loosen). Matt started his own label in 2006. Matt served as assistant winemaker for Ransom Wines & Spirits and Brooks Handcrafted Wines before jumping out entirely on his own in 2011. Matt makes his wines in a shared winery space in McMinnville and lives in SE Portland in a house full of curly girls.
Being a native Oregonian, Chef Andrew Biggs was raised in the outdoors, fishing, hunting, crabbing and clam digging; gaining a greater understanding of where our food comes from. After spending most of his career working under others, including 6 years with James Beard award-winning Chef Philippe Boulot at The Heathman Hotel, he decided to create a catering service that is the culmination of his life here in Oregon, as a habitant and professional chef. That is what Hunt & Gather has come to embody; tradition, quality, and a respect for the places we call home.
Ellen Brittan is joint owner of the beautiful Brittan Vineyards winery in McMinnville. While husband and winemaker Robert Brittan oversees the vineyard operation and winemaking, Ellen focuses on sales and marketing, as well as all other aspects of the family business. In addition, she serves as the Director of Wine Education at Linfield College in McMinnville, home to the renowned International Pinot Noir Celebration every year. At Linfield, Ellen combines her industry expertise with a liberal arts approach to wine education.
Bio Coming Soon
Benjamin Dyer is one of the chef/owners of Ate-Oh-Ate, Laurelhurst Market and Simpatica Catering & Dining Hall, and former owner of Viande Meats & Sausage, in Portland. He has been cooking for the last thirteen years, cutting his teeth under chef Bill Hatch at Café Zenon in Eugene before moving to Portland in 2003. Originally from Kona, Hawaii, Ben has a deep background in charcuterie and all things meat. He and his partners opened Laurelhurst Market – a restaurant with a full service butcher shop and charcuterie located within. Ben’s latest project, Reverend’s BBQ, opened to much critical acclaim this spring.
Biography Coming Soon
Bryan Hill was formally schooled in accounting and hotel management at Ohio State University. As General Manager and Wine Director at Seattle’s Campagne for four years, his keen interest in wine earned Campagne many accolades such as Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s “Restaurant Wine Award” in 1995 and the Wine Spectator “Award for Excellence” three years in a row. In addition, Gourmetmagazine in 1997 named his wine program the “Best in Seattle”. Bryan demands gracious and intelligent service from his wait staff, which led to praise and recognition from publications such asConde Naste, Esquire, The Atlantic, Gourmet magazine, Seattle Magazine, Northwest Best Places, and the Zagat Guide. As a previous co-owner of Brasa Restaurant, Bryan created a diverse, extensive wine list, which contributed greatly to Brasa being recognized by Food & Wine and Gourmetmagazines as one of Seattle’s top tables in 2008. Since 2003, Bryan has been involved in the Wine Service at IPNC. Since 2013, he has been working with áMaurice Cellars as their Sales Manager. Owned by the Schafer family, áMaurice Cellars is located on the Upper Eastside of Walla Walla and produces 4000 cases of wine from their own vineyard and premium vineyards in the Columbia Valley.
Originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, Anthony received a Physics degree from Grinnell College in Iowa followed by a short-lived career editing high-school science textbooks and a stint as a freelance wine writer. Eventually deciding to focus on wine, he attended University of California-Davis and received a Masters in Viticulture and Enology. Since then, Anthony has held positions as winemaker at Acacia Winery in the Napa Valley and Lemelson Vineyards in the Willamette Valley. He is presently the general manager of the Carlton Winemakers Studio and owner of King Wine Consulting, providing wine and management consultation to wineries in Oregon and California. Anthony, his wife Kara, and their two children live in McMinnville, Oregon.
In 2005, Jason Lett took over from his father, David Lett, as winemaker and vineyard manager at The Eyrie Vineyards, and continues his family’s pioneering legacy. The Eyrie Vineyards produced the first Pinot noir in the Willamette Valley in addition to America’s first Pinot gris. Quality winegrowing in America was in its infancy in the 1970’s. The Spurrier tasting in Paris in 1976 gave the first international credibility to California Cabernet and Chardonnay. Three years later, again in Paris, and the following year in Beaune, The Eyrie Vineyards 1975 Pinot noir brought international attention to Oregon, a wine region unfamiliar to almost anyone except a handful of hardy pioneers. With these two tastings, Oregon won its first recognition as the New World home for Pinot noir. David Lett was one of the founding members of the International Pinot Noir Celebration in the 1980s and served as IPNC Master of Ceremonies for the first 10 years.
A volunteer of the IPNC for 17+ years, Linda joined the IPNC Board of Directors in 2008 and brings a wealth of event management planning, strategy and execution to the table. Automotive Events (AE) specializes in the development and management of authentic public relations events, experiential marketing programs, motorsports events, and training solutions for their clients in the automotive and motorsports industries.
Currently the General Manager of Montinore Estate, her family’s 230 acre, biodynamic winery in the northwest Willamette Valley, Kristin grew up working on her family’s winery on the east coast. She took a break from the wine business to get her degree while developing her culinary skills by working in restaurants and as a private chef on both coasts. After settling in Portland, Oregon, Kristin managed the marketing and events for several Portland area businesses. She joined the Montinore team in 2006 to work alongside her father Rudy and has since been responsible for its sales, marketing and much of the day to day operations.
Sheila and her husband Nick planted their Nicholas Estate Vineyard in 2001 on the site of an overgrown walnut and plum orchard in the Chehalem Mountains. Over the years, the vineyard has been the exclusive source for their Anam Cara Cellars wines and today provides grapes for several of the top names in Oregon wine. As a small producer, Sheila is hands-on in every aspect of the family business including farming, winemaking, sales, PR and marketing. Originally from Scotland, her wine acumen is entirely self-taught.
Savanna Ray is the Wine Director for RingSide Steakhouse, Portland’s premier classic downtown steakhouse since 1944. A native Oregonian, Ray began her career in the restaurant business as a busser at the historic Besaw’s Café in Northwest Portland in 1997. Her love affair with wine began with a bottle of 2002 Didier Dagueneau Pur Sang. That wine evoked so much emotion from her Ray felt she must know more. She decided to enroll in classes with the International Sommelier Guild and received her pin in May of 2007. Ray has held the Sommelier position at several notable Portland restaurants including Wildwood, Mother’s Bistro, Lucier, Tabla, and ten 01. She has been an instructor for the International Sommelier Guild, leading the next generation of sommeliers and wine enthusiasts. Since 2008 she had coordinated the sommeliers and wine service professionals at ¡Salud! A Benefit for Tuality Healthcare, which provides healthcare to Oregon’s vineyard workers.