Who We Are

IPNC Staff

AMY WESSELMAN

Executive Director

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 Nisbet IPNC
ANNE NISBET

Culinary Director

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

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ANNEKA MILLER

Office Manager & Event Coordinator

Bio Coming Soon

IPNC Board of Directors

Josh Bergström
GM/Winemaker at Bergström Winery (Newberg, OR)

Bio Coming Soon

Matt Berson
Love & Squalor Wines (Portland, OR)

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.

Andrew Biggs
Chef at Hunt & Gather Catering (Portland, OR)

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
Co-owner of Brittan Vineyards (McMinnville, OR)

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.

Clare Carver
Big Table Farm (Gaston, OR)

Bio Coming Soon

Maggie Harrison
Winemaker at Antica Terra (Amity, OR)

Having never set foot in a winery, Maggie Harrison, through dumb luck and an embarrassing show of tenacity, became the first assistant winemaker at Sine Qua Non. She apprenticed for eight wonderful and life-changing harvests and in 2004, made plans to strike out on her own and started a small syrah project called Lillian. These plans also included settling down in Santa Barbara, a place she never intended to leave. When she was invited to become the winemaker at Antica Terra she emphatically refused. But the vineyard owners were crafty. They asked Maggie if she would simply take a look at the vineyard and offer her opinion about the qualities of the site. She reluctantly agreed. Twenty-six seconds after arriving among the oaks, fossils and stunted vines she found herself hunched beneath one of the trees, phone in hand, explaining to her husband that they would be moving to Oregon.

Bryan Hill
Sales Manager at Amaurice Cellars (Walla Walla, WA)

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.

Kristin Marchesi
GM at Montinore Estate (Forest Grove, OR)

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 Nicholas
Co-Owner & Co-Winemaker at Anam Cara Cellars (Newberg, OR)

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.

Ken Pahlow
Founding partner, Winemaker Walter Scott Wines

Ken Pahlow is the Founding Partner and Winemaker for Walter Scott Wines, which he and wife Erica Landon began in 2009 after years of working in the Oregon wine industry. His experience began in 1994 with production, sales and harvests at St. Innocent Winery, working alongside winemaker Mark Vlossak for 14 years. In 2009, Ken joined the harvest team at Patricia Green Cellars, where he also began producing Walter Scott wines. In 2010, Ken accepted a position with Evening Land Vineyards to manage their Northwest sales and distribution, during which time continued making Walter Scott Wines and studied alongside winemakers Isabelle Meunier and Dominique Lafon. Ken has continued to expand his knowledge by representing world-class wine distributors. Starting in 1999 he began a 10-year stint with Vin de Garde and subsequently worked for Galaxy Wine Company. These two portfolios represent many of the top wine estates from around the world, and this has provided a unique opportunity for Ken to educate his palate.

Savanna Ray
Wine Director at Ringside Steakhouse (Portland, OR)

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.

Clifford Robben
CFO Loosen Bros. USA

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.

Maria Stuart
Co-Owner & Director of Marketing / PR at R. Stuart & Co. (McMinnville, OR)

Maria Stuart started her wine career in Chicago selling to restaurants. It was there that she discovered the magic between food and wine, and also had the pleasure of befriending the wines of Oregon and their makers. During an early visit to the International Pinot Noir Celebration in 1990, she met the talented (and handsome!) winemaker – Rob Stuart. Returning to Chicago, she hastily packed bags and headed west. They married in 1992. Maria continued to nurture her love for the Oregon wine industry with various positions in marketing, PR and events, including a 4-year stint as Executive Director of the IPNC. At R. Stuart & Co., Maria is the director of PR, direct marketing, hospitality and Chef de Maison.