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.
Matt BersonLove & Squalor Wines (Portland, OR)
Andrew BiggsChef 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 BrittanCo-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 CarverBig Table Farm (Gaston, OR)
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.
Michael DaviesREX HILL, Matzinger Davies (Newberg, OR)
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 HennenWinemaker at Adelsheim Vineyard (Newberg, OR)
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 HillSales 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.
Greg JonesDirector of the Evenstad Center for Wine Education – Linfield College
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 KaufmannCommunications Director at Stoller Family Estate (Dayton, OR)
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.
Linda LevyAutomotive Events (McMinnville, OR)
Bio coming soon.