Grapegrowing and winemaking runs deep in the Marchesi family. When Carlo and Rosa Marchesi arrived in New York City from their tiny village in northern Italy, they planted grapevines in their back yard, fruit trees in the front and crammed their tiny cellar with neat rows of barrels, bottles and preserves. Fifty years later, their grandson Rudy broke ground on his first commercial vineyard some 100 miles from the Bronx, but not all that far from Carlo and Rosa’s vision of the good life. Rudy raised his two daughters and his little winery through the 1980’s and 90’s, with everyone working together to bring in the harvest, pile up hoses and tote boxes of wine for nice tourists from New York (after homework was done, of course).
He discovered Montinore in 1992 when visiting to his oldest daughter at Reed College in Portland. At the time, Rudy’s enthusiasm about the winery’s potential led him to introduce Montinore wines on the east coast through Allied Beverage, where he led the distribution house’s Fine Wine Division. In 1998, he began consulting on Montinore’s vineyard management, winemaking and marketing as he brokered the wines on the east coast. Rudy’s role at Montinore ultimately evolved into a permanent position as Vice President of Operations in 2001 and President in 2003. In late 2005 Rudy became proprietor of Montinore, working closely with the winemaking team and overseeing operations at the winery. He spends many of his mornings walking the vineyards and working with Vineyard Manager Efren Rosales to keep our 230 acres of certified Biodynamic® grapes well maintained and healthy. His afternoons are spent in the cellar tasting through the latest vintage or working on marketing and sales plans with his youngest daughter, General Manager, Kristin Marchesi. And when he’s not traveling the country sharing the Montinore story, attending a board of meeting of Oregon Pinot Camp or making his own Biodynamic® preparations, he satiates his ever growing curiosities growing his own veggies, taking care of his one-acre home vineyard, curing meats, making cheeses and amusing himself playing Jazz piano and guitar – all the while raising two teenagers with his wife Susan.
Stephen has been an integral part of Montinore’s winemaking team since he joined us in 2006. Stephen spent three years as Assistant Winemaker before the promotion of Winemaker in 2009, alongside Ben Thomas. In 2016 he took over the entire winemaking program as Head Winemaker. Stephen came from DiStefano winery in Seattle, and had previously spent extensive time working and travelling in Australia, where he gathered much of his larger-scale winemaking experience. A vintage in Alsace, France, sealed Stephen’s love of cool climate white varietals, and this sits well with our Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Müller-Thurgau and Riesling. As our resident Brit, affectionately known as “Lord Webber,” without him we would not be nearly as civilized as we are. When not making wine, he enjoys beer, English fish ‘n chips, the wonderful Oregon coast, and many sports, especially football (the proper version), rugby and cricket.