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
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 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.
A native Oregonian, Chef Andrew Biggs was raised in the outdoors, fishing, hunting, crabbing and clam digging, all the while gaining a greater understanding of where our food comes from. After years working in restaurant kitchens for others, including six years with James Beard award-winning Chef Philippe Boulot at The Heathman Hotel, he and his wife, Laura Harlow Biggs, founded Hunt & Gather Catering. Together, they create specialized experiences through food, service, and hospitality. They balance exquisitely crafted, locally-sourced food with impeccable service to create memorable events.
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.
In addition to partnering with husband Brian Marcy to market their wine and manage their 70 acres, Clare is also a painter and wine label designer. Her fine art speaks for itself and her labels have received multiple awards, including America’s top ten wine labels (S.F. Chronicle). Clare’s first passion is her painting, but she finds great joy in working with her team of draft horses.
A small town New Zealander, Michael completed a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Scandinavian Studies and Political Science at the University of Auckland and tested the unusual employment possibilities that afforded, before returning to Lincoln University for a post-graduate diploma in Viticulture & Enology. Prior to joining A to Z, he served for 6 years at Chehalem as the Vineyard Manager and Assistant Winemaker. He has also worked in Burgundy, California, the Hunter Valley of Australia and numerous regions of New Zealand.
Michael and his winemaker wife, Anna Matzinger, together make the Matzinger Davies wines
Gina 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.
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.
Gregory V. Jones is the Director of the Evenstad Center for Wine Education, holds the Evenstad Chair in Wine Studies, and is a professor and research climatologist in the Department of Environmental Studies at Linfield College. 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 holds a BA and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in Environmental Sciences with a concentration in the Atmospheric Sciences. His teaching and research interests include meteorology, climatology, hydrology, and agriculture; phenology of plant systems; biosphere and atmosphere interactions; climate change; and quantitative methods in spatial and temporal analysis. 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, including being a contributing author to the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report, and other reports and articles on wine economics, grapevine phenology, site assessment methods for viticulture, climatological assessments of viticultural potential, and climate change.
Michelle Kaufmann, a Portland, Oregon native, earned her degree in journalism from the University of Oregon, focusing on public relations and communications. Prior to joining Stoller Family Estate, she served as communications manager for the Oregon Wine Board for six years. Michelle currently serves on the Board of Director for the International Pinot Noir Celebration and marketing committee for the Willamette Valley Wineries Association. In her role, Michelle oversees all media relations and communications efforts for the Stoller Family Estate, Chehalem, and History wine brands.
Bio coming soon.
After spending nearly nine years working at a public accounting firm that specializes in the wine industry, Clifford decided to jump to the private side and went to work for one of his clients, wine importer Loosen Bros USA. As CFO for Loosen Bros. USA, he also gets to assist with the financial side of their local winery partnership, J. Christopher. Clifford has been volunteering with IPNC since 2011, and is part of the underground band of rock stars – also know as The Wine Room – that make sure the wines of IPNC have arrived and make it to each event. When not at the office or IPNC, Clifford is with his wife and daughters, either at the Oregon Coast or exploring wine country.
A native of France, Thomas Savre is among the most accomplished and energetic young winemakers in Oregon. He joined Lingua Franca in May 2015 from his prior position at Evening Land, where he worked closely with Dominique Lafon to create Pinot noir and Chardonnay from Seven Springs Vineyard, directly adjacent to the LS Vineyard. Thomas worked in several prestigious estates in Burgundy including Domaine de la Romanée Conti (Vosne-Romanée), Domaine de Bellene (Nicolas Potel’s project in Beaune), Domaine Dujac (Morey-Saint-Denis), Maison Nicolas Potel (Nuits-Saint-Georges), and Domaine Chevrot (Cheilly-les-Maranges, Côte de Beaune). At the Jules Guyot Institute, University of Burgundy, from 2008 through 2012, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Wine Science, and two Masters degrees, one in Viticulture Practices and the other in Enology and Winemaking. As the winemaker at Lingua Franca, Thomas crafts elegant wines that speak to the place from which they come and which have earned early, yet significant, accolades.