OUR PEOPLE

Winemaking Team
Global Sales
Estate Sales
Administration
Farming Team
Founders

Stewardship: the job of supervising or taking care of something, such as an organization or property.

At Cristom, all of our employees are stewards of this place and the land.

Winemaking Team

Tom Gerrie - Owner and Winegrower

Tom Gerrie – Owner & Winegrower

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Tom Gerrie is the Winegrower and second-generation owner of Cristom Vineyards. Originally hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Tom’s parents, Paul and Eileen Gerrie, founded Cristom in 1992, and moved the family west to the Willamette Valley.

After graduating from the University of Washington, Tom went on to work harvests at a number of wineries that have inspired and influenced him, including: Bethel Heights Vineyard in the Willamette Valley; Domaine François Mikulski of Meursault in Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune; and Brian Croser’s Tappanappa Wines in the Adelaide Hills and Medhurst Wines in the Yarra Valley of Australia.

Tom joined the Cristom Vineyards production team full-time in 2007 and became majority owner in 2012, at which time he began overseeing all aspects of production, both in the winery and in the vineyard. He began transitioning the estate to Biodynamic farming in 2017, and is working hard to lead and build on the foundation of the great winegrowing team his father assembled, and inspire innovation to drive the company forward with a 100-year vision.

Daniel Estrin - Winemaker and Vineyard Manager

Daniel Estrin – Winemaker & Vineyard Manager

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Despite growing up in the Willamette Valley Daniel had no early exposure to wine until 2000 when his car broke down in LA and he took a job stocking shelves at The Wine House. With a little help from his Uncle Mark (founder Red Car Wines) Daniel developed a passion for the craft. After a couple of harvests at Red Car he found his way to Craggy Range in New Zealand where he became intoxicated with the idea of making wine as a life-long pursuit.

In 2012, he graduated from Cal Poly,San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Viticulture, and minors in Soil Science and Plant Protection. Soon after, Daniel accepted a highly coveted internship at Littorai wines. It was at Littorai that Daniel truly found his place in the wine world. For seven years Daniel worked under Proprietor/Winemaker, Ted Lemon. Rising through the ranks Daniel became Associate Winemaker and helped push forward Littorai’s biodynamic program by bringing animals to the property and creating fertility on the farm. In addition to Littorai he has been grateful to have worked at Mount Langi Ghiran, Domaine de la Cote, Bodega Chacra and Burn Cottage.

In July 2019, Daniel returned to his Oregon roots with his wife and two pups to work for Cristom. Through partnership with an incredible team, he hopes to make Cristom a more self-sustaining farm and craft wines to tell that story.

Steve Doerner - Winemaker

Steve Doerner – Winemaker

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Steve did not expect winemaking to find him as he pursued his Biochemistry degree at U.C. Davis. Upon graduation, he serendipitously connected with Josh Jensen, proprietor of Calera Wine Company ​​​​​(a California Pinot Noir producer) who was looking for ​​a winemaking protégé that was comfortable with a minimalist and natural approach to winemaking.  Steve was hired ​​to help make Calera’s first Pinot Noir Vintage in 1978.  After several years, Steve took over the winemaking duties, and ultimately, spent 14 years honing his craft at Calera.  At this time, he was ready for a change. While he did not know where he wanted to go, he was certain he wanted to continue his journey with Pinot Noir.

Paul Gerrie, founder of Cristom, was looking for a winemaker. He was taken with the wines of Calera, noting them to be the greatest examples of Pinot Noir in the New World, and a reflection of Domaine Dujac wines, whom he believed were the finest expressions of the varietal in the world.  In 1992, Paul convinced Steve to head north to Oregon and start the story of Cristom Vineyards.

Steve has been lauded for his minimalist winemaking style over his 40-plus ​year career, focused on whole clusters and native fermentations.  He has traveled and studied winemaking ​from many other wine regions around the world.  He says that his work is influenced by the seasons and a constant desire to meld the art of winemaking with the terroir of the Willamette Valley.

Chris Butler - Assistant Winemaker

Chris Butler – Assistant Winemaker

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Chris’ path towards the world of wine began from an unlikely place: a History Channel show on the history of beer. Inspired, he bought a handful of books on brewing, and after a sufficient amount of reading, he proceeded to destroy his parents’ kitchen. A few years of homebrewing led to the pursuit ofa B.S. in Fermentation Science and a B.S. in Microbiology from Oregon State University. There, Chris attended classes on winemaking and wine analysis, and being taken by the seasonal nature and variability of the wine industry, his focus shifted towards winemaking.

After graduation, Chris worked harvests in Washington and New Zealand’s Marlborough region, before enrolling at UC Davis in theViticulture and Enology Masters program. Since completing his coursework and research thesis at UCDavis, Chris has worked harvests at Selbach-Oster in Germany, Leeuwin Estate in Australia, and Chehalem Winery here in the Willamette Valley.Chris and his partner have finally planted roots in the Willamette Valley, and they are thrilled to be apart of the passionate winemaking community here. Chris joined the Cristom winemaking team in 2019 as our Enologist and Cellarmaster and was quickly made Assistant Winemaker. He looks forward to continuing the Cristom tradition of crafting wines that are expressive of time and place.

Andy Zorzi of Cristom Vineyards

Andy Zorzi – Assistant Winemaker

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My first harvest with Cristom was in 1996. I met Paul Gerrie at the coffee shop I used to manage in McMinnville. We bonded over a shared love for sports and dogs.

After working as a harvest intern I became Assistant Winemaker.  Even after all these years at Cristom, I’m still excited. I love chatting with visitors to the winery and like to point out the songbirds or hawks circling above the vineyards. I am very proud of the great Cristom wines we produce every year.

Alana Birkeland - Cellar Master and Farm Hand

Alana Birkeland – Cellar Master & Farm hand

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During her time spent at the University of Oregon earning her degree in Environmental Science with a minor in Biology, Alana became interested in the life of the soils underneath her feet. She joined the Krista McGuire soil microbiology research lab and began studying vineyard soil microbiomes. After visiting dozens of acclaimed vineyards throughout the Willamette Valley, she became interested in the industry and took her first internship as the Harvest Enologist for Penner-Ash Wine Cellars in 2018. In 2019 after vintages in the Southern Hemisphere at Craggy Range in New Zealand and Giant Steps in Australia’s Yarra Valley, she returned to her home state of Oregon to work a harvest at Cristom Vineyards. It was here where she was exposed to work beyond the cellar, learning more about biodynamic practices, vineyard maintenance, and shepherding.

The balance of work between the farm and winery is where her passion lies. She believes that the best wines come from a well rounded farm, and for this reason a connection to the land is vital. Her goal is to continue making the Cristom estate more than a winery, but an ecologically diverse property that will continue to give back to the community and the land on which it was established for years to come.

Global Sales & Marketing Team

Randy Ford - Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Randy Ford – Vice-President of Sales & Marketing

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Randy comes to Cristom after spending 10 years with one of the Pacific Northwest’s leading wine producers, most recently serving as Senior Vice President of Sales.  He began his wine career in the restaurant business before spending 12 years in distribution, earning a Master Level wine certification in 2004.

Randy brings tremendous passion for fine wine, and a natural ability to teach, guide and grow markets.  He is a relationship builder, and outstanding communicator with a knack for telling the stories that create attention, relevance and staying power in the international market. Randy currently serves on the International Marketing Committee of the Oregon Wine Board where shares expertise in international sales.

Everywhere Randy has worked, he has left growth, success, and deep working relationships in his wake; sincerely, he is one of the finest wine executives in the country.  Based in Florida, Randy is a presence on the east coast further developing some of the strongest business relationships we have in the country.

Cameron Scott

Cameron Scott – Regional Sales Director Eastern United States

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Cameron R. Scott, Director of Sales Eastern U.S. lends 32 years of highly successful wine sales, distributor management and extensive hospitality experience to his role at Cristom Vineyards. As a longtime veteran of our industry, Cameron displays an in-depth understanding of all levels of distributor management; equally adept at management, from executive levels of our largest distributor partners through the mid-tier distributor level to our valuable individual broker network; with a proven track record across the board. His experience in all channels of market sales has chiseled Cameron into a true champion for Oregon for the past two decades, while forging strong relationships throughout the Country.

Prior to joining the Cristom team, Cameron played a pivotal role for another leading Willamette Valley producer spanning 7 years learning about Oregon wines while managing sales in the Southeast United States. Preceding his Oregon experience, he spent 1 year with the Kobrand Corporation managing South Florida account sales. Cameron began his beverage industry career with Republic National Distributing Co. in Florida; first as a on premise sales rep, then on premise sales management in South Florida. 

Cameron is a classically trained chef having honed his skills post culinary school at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, where he spent 12 years as Chef.  He then embarked on the hospitality trail after leaving Disney accepting a position as Executive Chef for Levy Restaurants for 2 years followed by the Marriott Hotel Company as Executive Chef/Food and Beverage Director, going on to lead 13 new hotel openings in Indianapolis, Chicago, Austin and South Florida. Cameron went on to open a successful Ft. Lauderdale restaurant in 2012 that is going strong today. 

Cameron who is a Northwest Indiana native and his wife Amanda, along with their daughter Addison currently reside in South Florida and are all very active in the community. Wine collecting, competitive swimming, golf and biking are just part of their family personal interests. Cameron keeps his culinary skills sharp in many ways, including competitive BBQ and NFL tailgating where you can find him hosting hundreds of fans on any given Sunday for Miami Dolphins games.

Nancy Vuylsteke - Cristom Marketing Manager

Nancy Vuylsteke – Director of Marketing and Public Relations

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“I am thrilled to be part of the team here at benchmark producer Cristom where the Land is the star of the show!”

Nancy’s career spans over 20 years dedicated to the world of food + wine. She describes herself as a lover of all-things-culinary as evidenced through her pursuits. Nancy is a trained chef and has been an entrepreneur and winemaker as the founder of a boutique wine brand. Previous roles range from Culinary Development to Marketing and Commercialization.

While her interest in food was nurtured from an early age through her immigrant mother’s cooking, her passion was ignited in college. A World Cuisine class proved pivotal- she realized that the table is a place of study, conviviality, unison, AND replete with limitless stories. Internships with niche Oregon agriculture companies opened her eyes to future possibilities. Naturally, her appreciation for food evolved to wine, even more so when she met her future husband who happened to be a winemaker.

Nancy holds a BS in Nutrition & Foods from Oregon State, an MBA from George Fox University, and a Culinary Arts degree from Oregon Culinary Institute. The last degree was a bucket list item and completed while raising two small children and growing a business! Professional courses at the CIA in Napa Valley and wine certifications through WSET have provided a deeper dive.

There is no question that her most rewarding role of all is that of Mom. In her free time, she enjoys experimental cooking projects and outdoor adventures such as crabbing and skiing with her family. Nancy also devotes time to select causes she champions, related to education and inspiring youth.

Estate Sales & Hospitality Team

Gaironn Poole - Director of Membership and Education

Gaironn Poole – Director of Membership & Education

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Growing up with her Father in the Texas wine industry, Gaironn thought she knew wine. It wasn’t until 2002 when started coursework for her Sommelier that she realized she didn’t know much at all. Her BS in Zoology from Texas A&M can at times be helfpul, though it’s more often  her experience in managing a retail wine department, running a wine program for some of Portland’s top restaurants as a Sommelier, selling wine for Oregon’s most prestigious wholesale distributor, and finally co-running a winery with a sales focus, that gives her a wide perspective most days. With an eye for numbers, a logical mindset, and plenty of passion, she delights in helping launch new programs while extending the warm hospitality our region is known for. She is thrilled to be part of the Cristom Vineyards team as she sees it as “the North star of the Valley”.

Mitch Conley - Assistant Hospitality Manager

Mitch Conley – Hospitality Manager

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Coming Soon

Margo Caramella - Director of Estate Sales and Experiences

NO LONGER AT CRISTOM, USE TO ADD NEW EMPLOYEE

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Born in Central Oregon, by the time I was 21 I traveled to 21 different countries. This all started when I was 8, my parents took my brother and I to visit our relatives in Northern Italy. That trip consisted of backpacking through 10 countries around Europe and learning the local cuisines and cultures. Wine was always an extension of the meal. I remember I was allowed to taste wine during those long multi-course Italian afternoon meals. Italian wines have always been my go-to besides Pinot.

When I moved to the Willamette Valley, I learned there was a local winegrowing industry in my backyard. I jumped right in by taking a food and wine pairing class at the local University. Luckily I didn’t have to be 21+ to take this class as a school credit. I was 20 at the time and was able to taste the flight of wines, write notes, then take the wines back to the culinary arts kitchen and create recipes. Each class ended with a wonderful plate of food and the same flight of wines to pair and take more notes. I always thought I hated mushrooms until paired with a glass of Oregon Pinot Noir. I was hooked! I enrolled in viticulture classes, soils & plant nutrition, winemaking, as well as wine marketing.

I immediately started working for a local winery and worked my way up learning many aspects of the business. For the past 6 years I have been hosting educational wine experiences, assisting with wine club management and general operations of a small winery in the Dundee Hills specializing in whole-cluster Pinot Noir. I began with Cristom Vineyards in July 2019 and enjoy taking long adventures in our many vineyards on the estate. I always knew I would end up in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA where the winds rush from the pacific into the Willamette Valley. I love sharing the history and geography of this amazing wine country when guests visit the winery from far and near.

Administration

Steve Thomson - CEO

Steve Thomson – CEO

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Steve has 31 years of wine industry experience, following a successful 12-year career as a Restaurateur and Hotel Industry Food & Beverage Director. Steve joined Cristom in 2015 after 17 years with Oregon’s King Estate Winery, from 2007 as Executive Vice President. Prior to that he was a General Sales Manager and a Regional Director for two of America’s leading wholesalers based in the Midwest. A native of the Chicago area and graduate of the University of Illinois, Steve has also studied at Wharton, The Harvard Kennedy School of Government, UC Davis, and has served as a senior advisor for Scion Advisors, a top wine-industry consulting firm.

Successful 21st century wineries must engage and compete in a complex global world of markets, industry structure, and regulation, and this responsibility falls especially on the CEO.  Steve has spent 25 years honing his practice in these areas. Appointed by the Governor of Oregon to the Oregon Wine Board in 2012, Steve served as Chairman of the Oregon Wine Board, and President of the Oregon Winegrowers Association in 2017 and currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Export Committee. From 2006 to 2016 Steve served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Wineries. Since 2005 Steve has occupied one of Oregon’s 3 seats on the Northwest Wine Coalition, and since 2004 has served on the Advisory Committee for Chemeketa College’s Northwest Center for Wine Studies.

Steve has a deep interest in Trade Regulation and in 2011 represented the US Wine Industry in testimony before the US Senate Finance Committee on the topic of global competitiveness. In 2013 he was appointed by Oregon’s Governor to represent the Oregon wine industry on the Governor’s Task Force for alcohol privatization. In 2013 Steve successfully petitioned the US Treasury Department’s TTB, for the first and only extension of Oregon’s Willamette Valley in the AVA’s 40-year history. Thomson has been a speaker or panelist at global wine events such as Vinexpo Asia-Pacific (Tokyo, 2002), Vinexpo Europe (Bordeaux, 2003), The London Wine Trade Fair (2008), VinItaly (2011), Prowein Europe (2013), and Prowein Asia (Shanghai, 2014) as well as the WSWA’s Council for Leadership Development in 2009 and 2015.

In his spare time Thomson and his family grow Bordeaux varietal wine grapes in their small Walla Walla Vineyard, ‘Octave’, and produce small lots of very highly regarded Cabernet Sauvignon. To this day Steve still gains immense satisfaction from watching the daily marvels of a farm, passion for craft in work and play by others, and the joy people experience daily at the table with food and wine.

Pam Priest - Director of Admin and Accounting

Pam priest – Director of Administration & Accounting

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My official title is “Office Manager” only because “Full Time Multitasking Ninja” is not an actual job title. 

Being an Oregon native, it almost seems natural that I’m part of such a fine winery as Cristom.

I love coming to work and seeing the sun rise over Mt. Jefferson, or stepping out our front doors and tasting our grapes while they’re still on the vine. That’s when it hits home that this is what Cristom – and winegrowing — is all about.

For me wine and travel seem to go hand in hand: culture, people and caring.

Come out to Cristom and see for yourself.

Holly Flowers - Operations Coordinator

Holly Flowers – Operations Coordinator

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Holly joined Cristom Vineyards in 2021 after many years spent in the security and access control industry. Over the years she has held roles throughout Customer Service, Finance and Sales Operations. In 2019, she completed her associates degree in Winemaking with Chemeketa Community College, with the dream of someday pursuing a career within the wine industry. Her professional experiences, combined with her love and knowledge of wine, made for the perfect pairing to support Cristom’s operational needs. During her time away, you can often find her tending to her lavender fields or taking care of her many farmyard companions.  

Kevin MacDormand

Kevin MacDormand – Shipping, Compliance & Club Coordinator

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Originally from New Hampshire, Kevin found his way to the Willamette Valley in 2011, in search of greener pastures and an opportunity in the wine business.

Having spent a successful career in the restaurant industry, including opening two award-winning restaurants and serving as Director of Restaurant Operations for a Marriott hotel in the Boston area, the wine business seemed like a natural transition.

After working harvest in 2012, he was given the opportunity to manage a tasting room in McMinnville where he was able to transform the space into a downtown destination. From there he transitioned to wine club and compliance operations, overseeing one of the largest wine clubs in Oregon before landing at Cristom Vineyards.

Cristom offers the best of both worlds for Kevin – world class wine and hospitality within a small and intimate setting.

When he is not deep in the world of shipping and wine club, Kevin enjoys being at home in the kitchen, creating food and wine pairings for friends and family. He also enjoys exploring the beauty of Oregon on mountain bike and foot.

Farming Team

Salomon Orozco - Vineyard Foreman

Salomon Orozco – Vineyard Foreman

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Salomon Orozco has been with Cristom since 1992, acting now as vineyard foreman and is responsible for many things. Without his focus on cohesion among our vineyard crew and year-round efforts in the vineyard, Cristom would not be able to produce the high quality fruit that we currently do.

Jorge Orozco - Vineyard Team

Jorge Orozco – Vineyard Team

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Coming Soon

Luis Armando Orozco - Assistant Vineyard Foreman

Luis Armando Orozco – Assistant Vineyard Foreman

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Coming Soon

FOUNDING FAMILY

Cristom Vineyards sunrise

PAUL & EILEEN GERRIE – FOUNDERS

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After graduating from University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Engineering, I became interested in wine. I started with French bottles (with the occasional California jug tossed in) and can still remember my first exceptional Pinot noir. It was a 1980 Echezeaux and it was astonishing. From that point on I was hooked on Pinot!

Around 1990, I started looking for a career change that would be interesting and challenging. Despite the fact that I lived on the East Coast, the first thing that came to mind was the wine business. Around that time, some friends invited my wife and me to attend the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) in McMinnville, Oregon. During our 1991 visit, we fell in love with Oregon and began to think it would be a good place to raise our young family. Soon after, I was introduced to Mike Etzel who helped me to find land that would produce great Pinot noir grapes. Mike found the site that is now Cristom.

In the summer of 1992, my wife Eileen and our children, Christine and Tom and I moved from Pennsylvania to Oregon. There has been no looking back. Through serendipity and good fortune, we were able to hire Steve Doerner as our winemaker, and Mark Feltz as our vineyard manager. Our first vintage was in 1992 and we were up and running. Almost thirty years later, we are still trying to make the best Pinot Noir on the planet!

-As Told By Paul Gerrie, Founder
Cristom Vineyards sunrise

CHRISTINE GERRIE – CO-OWNER

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Coming Soon

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