|Board of Directors|
CURRENT OWA Board of Directors
STEVE THOMSON, OCTAVE VINEYARD
Steve Thomson and his wife Karen are grape growers and partners in Walla Walla’s ‘Octave’ Vineyard. He chairs the export and marketing committees of the Oregon Wine Board and sits on the strategic planning committee of the Oregon Winegrowers Association. In the fall of 2013, Steve also represented Oregon wineries on the OLCC’s Retail Innovation Group task force evaluating potential impacts of spirits privatization.
DOUG TUNNELL, BRICK HOUSE VINEYARDS
VICE PRESIDENT, LUNR COmmittee Chair
Doug Tunnell returned to his native Oregon after a 20 year career in foreign news to found Brick House Vineyards in 1990. Dedicated to growing the three great varieties of Burgundy – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Gamay Noir – the vineyards were first certified organic in 1990 and later Demeter Biodynamic in 2005.
ELLEN BRITTAN, BRITTAN VINEYARDS
SECRETARY, Public Policy Committee CHair
In 2004, Ellen Brittan and her husband Robert purchased what is now Brittan Vineyards in the McMinnville AVA. Ellen is a graduate of the University of Washington with degrees in French and Spanish language and Literature and had always longed to return to her Northwest roots.
JOHN PRATT, CELESTINA VINEYARD
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.
Kevin Chambers,Koosah Farm
Kevin Chambers is a fifth-generation Oregon farmer, born in Salem and raised in Eugene. While studying for his degree in telecommunications and journalism at the University of Oregon, he took a part-time job working at Of Grape & Grain (Oregon’s second fine wine operation). Upon graduation, he took an offer from the owners of Of Grape & Grain to manage a new store for them. Kevin has worked in the Oregon wine industry ever since. After serving in marketing, sales and management positions at some of Oregon’s largest wineries, he purchased Oregon Vineyard Supply and Results Partners in late 1997. Kevin sold both of these businesses to the employees in 2009, and stepped down as CEO in 2012.During this time, he also created Willamette Cross Flow (a high-tech beverage filtration company based in McMinnville). He sold that business to his partner in 2013.
In 1990, he purchased the property that would become Resonance Vineyard west of Carlton. He and his family sold that vineyard to Maison Louis Jadot of France in late 2013. They took the proceeds of that sale and purchased land high in the Eola-Amity Hills to develop Koosah Farm, a permaculture vineyard, orchard and pasture operation. Along the way, Kevin developed a keen interest in soils and plants, ultimately becoming an agronomic consultant working in several cropping systems. He has dedicated his professional life to serving Oregon agriculture. In his leisure time, he enjoys reading, chess and bridge.
Hilda Jones, Abacela Winery
Hilda is Vice President of Abacela. Twenty one years ago she and her husband entered the wine business with the singular purpose of producing fine domestic wine in America from Spain’s native Tempranillo grape. Hilda has a BS degree in Biology from FSU and a post graduate degree in Medical Technology from Emory University and her first career was in this arena.
Eugenia Keegan,jackson family wines
Eugenia has held many top positions during her 40 years in the wine business. With a focus on viticulture, she began her career in 1976 with Joseph Swan Vineyards as a vineyard/cellar worker. This was followed by internships in Burgundy, an ideal place to learn the Old World approach to winegrowing.
Upon her return in 1982, she accepted the position of business manager at Bouchaine Vineyards and was promoted to president & CEO in 1984. In 1994, she started her own winery, Keegan Cellars in the famed Russian River Valley of Sonoma County specializing in handcrafted Pinot noir and Chardonnay. Her travels took her to Oregon in 2003 where she ventured into the world of distribution and wholesale as the founder and co-owner of Tsarina Wines, a small fine wine distributor based in Portland. She sold the company in 2009 leaving herself free to pursue a lifelong dream of returning to France to own vineyards and once again make wine in the Old World.
In July of 2013, she joined Jackson Family Wines and is now the Oregon general manager. Eugenia stays active in the wine community on the Willamette Valley Wineries Association Board, currently as president emeritus, the LIVE board and the Chemeketa Wine Advisory Committee.
Jason Tosch, Anne Amie Vineyards
A native to Oregon’s Tualatin Valley, Jason earned his degree in horticulture from Oregon State University focusing on small fruits and berries. He has made his career farming premium quality winegrapes in the Willamette Valley having spent earlier years growing florist-grade cut flowers and foliage. Currently, Jason oversees 140 acres of vines for Anne Amie Vineyards with sites in both the Yamhill-Carlton and Chehalem Mountain AVA’s.
Jason has been highly involved serving in leadership roles for the Oregon wine industry’s wine research and sustainability focused communities. He is currently serving on the Oregon Wine Standing Committee for Research and since 2006 has served as a board member, past chairperson and technical chair for LIVE, the leading Northwest sustainable wine production certification program. His level of involvement led his alma mater to honor Jason in 2010 with the College of Agricultural Sciences Luminary Award for early professional accomplishment. And, in 2016 the OWB presented Jason with the Outstanding Industry Service Award.
Outside of the wine industry, Jason enjoys his home life with his wife Aimee and two young children: Olive and Cedar. Home is near Helvetia in the Tualatin Valley. Here he grows a very large vegetable garden and small fruit orchard with a few egg chickens to feed his family year round. For fun, Jason enjoys the same pastimes he once enjoyed with his parents and grandparents of camping in Oregon’s beautiful wilderness, skiing its mountains and surfing its unparalleled coastline.
Juan Pablo “JP” Valot, Silvan Ridge Winery/Elizabeth Chambers Cellar
Juan Pablo has worked for Silvan Ridge Winery for almost nine years and became the Winemaker in August 2012. In 2013, JP also became the Associate Winemaker for Elizabeth Chambers Cellar, Silvan Ridge’s sister winery locate in McMinnville, sharing winemaking responsibilities in both wineries.