VISIT

11975 SMITHFIELD RD
DALLAS, OREGON

TASTING ROOM HOURS

11am to 5pm
DAILY

CONTACT

800.884.1927
hospitality@vanduzer.com

carlmarilynn
CARL AND MARILYNN THOMA
PROPRIETORS

A love of the land drew the Thomas to establish Van Duzer Vineyards on a panoramic knoll in the Willamette Valley. Their firm belief in the corridor’s unique microclimate and its influence on the production or premium Oregon Pinot Noir remains strong after 17 harvests. Expanding acreage and the program of wines, they continue to insist on thoughtfully chosen root stocks and clones in the vineyard, advanced equipment for the winery and an adherence to a consistent winemaking philosophy.

Carl came to know agriculture on his family’s cattle ranch in his youth, and became intrigued by the fledgling California wine industry during his graduate school days. He began building a portfolio of premier California vineyards during the 1990s and gradually settled on the Willamette Valley as the site for a family estate winery. He honed his eye for potential as a venture capitalist in Chicago where he has managed a succession of private equity funds. He holds a degree in agriculture economics from Oklahoma State University and an MBA from Stanford.

Marilynn oversees Van Duzer’s marketing effort, drawing on her brand management experience at Quaker Oats and Cellular Network. She also holds a B.S. from Oklahoma State and an MBA from Stanford.

In addition to overseeing Van Duzer Vineyards, Carl and Marilynn have created the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation, as a way to share their art collection and support educational opportunities and scholarship for understudied areas of art.  

florentFLORENT-PIERRE MERLIER
WINEMAKER

Florent proudly heads Van Duzer’s winemaking program, creating elegant, vibrant blends that he feels can only be developed in such a unique microclimate. To achieve this refinement, he has driven the winemaking focus on small lot processes, sorting and gentle handling. Since starting at Van Duzer in 2010, Florent has closely examined each lot, working with the vineyard manager to grow ideal fruit. A native of Burgundy, France, the physics and chemistry undergraduate was captivated by winemaking when he helped a good friend operate a 40-acre family domaine in Burgundy. He subsequently altered his career path from cinema to wine and in the process met his wife, Krista, an Oregonian, interning at the same winery. Florent received a Diploma of Viticulture from the University of Dijon before relocating to the U.S. A winemaking martial artist, Florent has a green belt in karate and a black belt in Pinot Noir.

BRUCE SONNEN
VINEYARD MANAGER

An Idaho native, Bruce grew up on a dryland farm on the expansive Camas Prairie. He relocated to Oregon, where he worked in landscape installation for 7 years before switching to a career in vineyard management in 2002. He received his degree in viticulture in 2003, and currently has over 14 years of experience in working with prominent vineyards throughout the Willamette valley, focusing on high end Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In addition to vineyard management at Van Duzer, he also leads the charge managing the winery’s partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Services to help preserve several acres of Oregon Oak Savanna and habitat on the property. Bruce enjoys hunting in his free time, and spending time with his family in West Salem.

JUSTIN KEITH
CELLARMASTER

Always working close to the land, Justin grew up raising registered angus cattle in Fossil, Oregon. He spent 8 years working for the Forest Service, with summers spent in Arizona working as a sawyer and as an assistant squad leader for a Hotshot crew, an elite group of firefighters specially trained to fight some of the country’s worst wildfires. His interest of fermentation quickly drew him towards the diverse and seasonal nature of the wine industry. He began working on his first vintage at Torii Mor in 2007, with positions following at a New Zealand winery, Rex Hill and A to Z Wineworks, before joining the team at Van Duzer Vineyards in 2013. When not assisting Florent on the latest vintage, Justin enjoys playing the guitar, spending time with family and exploring the ever-expanding wonders of food and drink in the Willamette Valley.

TODD MARTIN
NATIONAL SALES MANAGER / SOUTHEAST REGIONAL MANAGER

Todd joined Van Duzer Vineyards with more than 29 years of management and ownership experience in a wide variety of businesses, including beverage distribution and the hospitality industry. Wine has long been a specific passion of Todd’s and he enjoys conducting seminars and winemaker’s dinners at his venues as often as possible. Having opened, operated and procured wines for several of his own restaurants for 14 years, Todd also spent 11 years at National Distributing Company in Atlanta, Georgia, culminating in his position of  VP/Director of Sales for the Fine Wine On Premise Division, where he was responsible for a portfolio of well over 8,000 wines. Todd and his wife Cindy currently own two restaurants, The Shed at Glenwood, Georgia and Atlanta’s The Pig & The Pearl, as well as a retail wine store 3 Parks Wine Shop in Atlanta.

PETER KEENAN
SALES MANAGER

Pacific Northwest native, Peter started his wine career working for Chef Roy Yamaguchi managing wine programs of world wide diversity at multiple locations around the country. In 2003, he joined the Jackson Wine Estates sales staff based in Chicago, and in 2013, Peter joined Van Duzer Vineyards. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, golfing and hiking in Oregon, where he and his wife reside.

tyler_kincaid
TYLER KINCAID
MIDWEST SALES REPRESENTATIVE

A Hoosier at heart, Tyler grew up in Indianapolis as an avid golfer and sports fan. He studied marketing management at the University of Evansville while playing on the school’s Division I soccer team, traveling around the country for tournaments. Upon graduating in 2011, he began a career working in sales with the Marriott International in the Virgin Islands. His path to wine began a year later, when he began working with a wine distributor in Indianapolis, growing his knowledge quickly through in depth study and tastings. Tyler currently resides in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, where he enjoys the city’s thriving restaurant scene.

KATHY FIEBIG
OPERATIONS AND ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER

Kathy has fulfilled various support and management roles at Van Duzer Vineyards since 1999. In other words, she is the glue that connects the many operations of a winery. She makes sure all systems are functioning properly, including administration, sales and hospitality. She is also a creative force for Van Duzer, snapping sunsets and breathtaking vistas for social media, as well as creating many of the concepts for new branding and on-site events. In her free time, Kathy trains and trials German Shepherds locally and nationally in the sport of Schutzhund. Her dogs Stoli and Quincy can be spotted roaming the vineyards looking for squirrels during occasional visits.

DANIELLE BLANCHETTE
TASTING ROOM AND HOSPITALITY ASSOCIATE

Among her many roles, Danielle is responsible for shipping wine to individual customers, day-to-day management of Wine Club memberships and the driving service behind Van Duzer’s guest services. Special requests are her specialty, and she always handles them with expertise and grace. An Oregon native originally from Hood River, Danielle received her Bachelor’s degree from Western Oregon University with a major in Health and a minor in Psychology. In 2014 she completed an Associate’s Degree from Chemeketa Community College in Hospitality Management. She loves cooking, camping, reading and visiting the Oregon coastline.

JUSTIN COX
TASTING ROOM MANAGER

Born and raised in Yamhill, the heart of Oregon’s wine country, it was easy for Justin to develop a fascination with the wine industry. He studied business and marketing at Western Oregon University before working his first harvest in 2007. He honed his knowledge of winemaking at  NW Wine Company and Domaine Serene, before joining Van Duzer Vineyards just in time to work the 2011 harvest. Justin easily transitioned to the front of the house as our Tasting Room Manager where his knowledge and friendly demeanor puts visitors at ease. From those just learning, to advanced vinophiles you will always find him ready to help and share. In his spare time, Justin enjoys all things brunch, the great outdoors, stick and ball sports and family time.