Sparkling Wines Education
A robust panel of sparkling winemakers from Oregon and Champagne discuss the various processes, latest research and techniques to make wines, build brands and run successful sparkling wines programs.
Brianne Day is a pacific northwest native. In 2006 she sold everything and began traveling through wine regions all over the world. During the following six years she visited around 80 different regions, working at wineries in Burgundy, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. As she re-established her home base in Oregon, she gained wide experience throughout the industry by working in restaurants, wine retail, distribution and barrel sales as well as at a number of wineries in the Willamette Valley. In 2012 Brianne started her own wine brand Day Wines. Day Wines works with over 25 varieties of grapes each year from over 30 vineyards around Oregon, making a kaleidoscopic array of blends and styles. Brianne and Day Wines have been featured in The New York Times, Wine & Spirits, Vogue, Esquire, The Oregonian, and numerous other print and digital articles. She was named a 40 Under 40 Tastemaker by Wine Enthusiast and a Winemaker to Watch by the San Francisco Chronicle. In 2020 she was nominated for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine, Beer & Spirits Producer.
Alex Nichols is an Associate Winemaker for WillaKenzie Estate and has made wine for respected producers in the Willamette Valley as well as New Zealand. He decided at a young age to pursue a career in winemaking, and worked his first harvest at Belle Vallée Cellars Cellars while attending Oregon State University. Upon graduating with a degree in enology and viticulture, he joined Adelsheim Vineyard in 2009. Alex traveled to the southern hemisphere to work the 2010 harvest in Marlborough, New Zealand. Upon returning to Oregon, he established his own Pinot Noir brand and continued to build his résumé through positions at Chehalem Winery and Argyle Winery. In 2017 Alex joined Jackson Family Wines as assistant winemaker at its McMinnville Winery. Alex joined the Willa Kenzie team as assistant winemaker in 2018.
Denis Bunner has spent 10 years at Champagne Committee (CIVC), Oenology department, as the R&D sensory manager, as well as 10 years as Champagne Bollinger Cellar Master. Denis is also an expert in coffee tasting as he has worked as the sensory project manager for Nestle Nespresso in Switzerland.
Kate Payne Brown came to Oregon for her undergraduate degree at the University of Oregon. She studied science and was intending to work in the Optometry field. However, shortly after graduation the allure of the wine industry changed the course of her career, and she moved to Australia to study at the University of Adelaide, where she completed her Master’s degree in Oenology. After a couple of years making Shiraz and Cabernet, she moved back to Oregon to work for Archery Summit, where she remained for over six years as the Assistant Winemaker. In 2014, she left to work for a French winemaking consultancy. In 2015, she was asked to join the team at Stoller Family Estate where she has continued to focus on crafting the Reserve, Legacy and Sparkling wines.
Joe Dobbes is a long-time Oregon native, business owner and entrepreneur who continually strives to innovate within the Oregon wine industry. Joe started his winemaking training as an apprentice at Weingut Erbhof Tesch in West Germany in 1985. After spending two years with Elk Cove Vineyards in Oregon, he then worked the 1988 vintage in Burgundy, France under the tutelage of two luminaries: Christophe Roumier of Domaine G. Roumier and Dominique Lafon of Domaine des Comptes Lafon. Returning to Oregon in 1989 Joe shared the vintage at Eola Hills Wine Cellars in Rickreall, Oregon. In 1990 Joe took over winemaking at Hinman Vineyards in Eugene. He turned around the image of the brand and created a second reserve label while winning numerous best of show awards and garnering many accolades through 1995. After consulting for Willamette Valley Vineyards, Joe moved to Salem and took over as Willamette’s head winemaker where he made his mark producing distinctive and exciting wines through 2001. In 2002 Joe started his own multi-faceted winemaking company, Wine by Joe, LLC. in Dundee, Oregon. Wine by Joe grew to be one of the largest wine brands in Oregon and was named the Number 1 Hot Brand” in the United States in 2011 by Wines Business Monthly. In 2017 Joe stepped aside to form Dundee Mobile Bottlers. In 2018 Joe realized a dream by purchasing a 21-acre vineyard and estate home on the west bench of the Amity-Eola Hills where he makes organically grown, highly distinctive Pinot Noir and Chardonnay under the brand name Iterum.
Dennis Bunner’s pre recorded session