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.