As I love to tell the story I ended up in Oregon on a fluke. In 1999 I was the “Wedding Guest That Didn’t Leave” and finally my hosts passed me off on a friend who was driving to Oregon. Having never visited and knowing that my cousin was living in Portland I decided to hitch a ride. I’m so glad I did. After spending the summer exploring the area I fell in love with Oregon and the winemaking community and haven’t left since. Putting that Russian minor to work, tongue in cheek, the Math degree was much more helpful, I spent 5 years in training at one of the pioneering wineries in the Willamette Valley before being hired as winemaker at Airlie Winery in 2005. Now I spend my days creating great food wines and learning how to cook the meals to go along with them: a knife skills class is next on my wish list.