MEET OUR TEAM
Proprietor Giorgio Furioso was born in 1948 in the town of Tagliacozzo, Italy, high in the mountains an hour northeast of Rome. As a young man, he immigrated to the United States with his family via Montreal, Canada. Giorgio’s first love was art – he began collecting at the age of eighteen, and eventually found popular and critical success as an artist and professor of art – achieving tenure at 28 and running the Art Department at Ohio University at the age of 30. His works have been procured by private collectors, corporations, and museums.
Growing up, Giorgio watched his father and grandfather, both named Vincenzo, make wine in the basement for friends and family. This led to a lifelong dream of one day owning a vineyard and making wine. That dream has now been realized.
On the road to achieving this dream, Giorgio has branched out from art, but art has always found a way into his personal and professional lives. In New York City and now Washington, DC, Giorgio has followed his passions for art and family in the world of residential and commercial real estate – creating buildings where artists can live and work, and others where art becomes an integral part of a building and living space – rather than an afterthought.
These days, Giorgio also operates Terzo Piano, an art gallery and bookshop in DC’s Logan Circle neighborhood. Created in effect to preserve a platform for the city’s artistic voices, in the face of high real estate prices pushing many art galleries out of the area. Dedicated to showcasing the work of both major and under-recognized artists, Terzo Piano employs guest curators to ensure that it discovers and presents a dynamic array of talents and visions.
Winemaker Dominique Mahé has his roots back in Brittany (France) but, through different careers, spent most of his adult life circling the globe. He stumbled into wine when he moved to Australia in the mid-1990’s. With an engineering background, he studied Wine Science at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales. He enjoyed the flying winemaker life for a few years before getting his first taste of an American vintage in Idaho in 1999. What was supposed to be a two-month gig turned into a full time job there.
In 2002, he came over to Oregon as a member of the harvest crew for Rex Hill Vineyard. That vintage opened his eyes on the amazing potential of Pinot Noir in this (at the time) underrated part of the world. As importantly, Dom felt a strong spiritual connection with the Northwest, the land, and its people.
After 13 years of growing new roots in the Willamette Valley, Dominique is as excited making wine as he was when he first discovered Oregon. As the seed from which Furioso Vineyards will grow, Dominique looks forward to this tremendous opportunity and exciting challenge.
Direct to Consumer Manager Drew Hildebrandt was born in La Grande, Oregon but raised out East in Virginia’s wine country, just outside Washington, DC. An avid fan of all things Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!), Drew earned his Bachelor degree in Geography and GIS from VPI in 2014, but not before taking an introductory “Geography of Wine” course as an elective.
Piquing his interest, this seemingly random elective course ended up leading him back West, to his roots in Oregon, and working his first harvest in 2015. That initial vintage started a string of “harvest hopping” opportunities that took Drew down under to New Zealand and eventually back to where his heart is – the Willamette Valley.
Though his journey in wine began with production, hospitality is where Drew found his true calling. Joining the Furioso team in March of 2018 as a Tasting Room Associate, he is now our Direct to Consumer Manager, overseeing Furioso’s entire hospitality program.
When not in the office, you can often see Drew, his wife Shelby, and their two Great Dane/Weimaraner mixes (often mistaken for small ponies) Pepper and Bleu, adventuring in the area.
Marketing and Sales Administrator Melanie Kinchen is a Seattle native who landed in the Willamette Valley after studying enology and viticulture in Walla Walla, Washington. She loves the Pacific Northwest, and outside of work you can find her hiking, enjoying the many local bodies of water, or cooking for friends and family.
Tasting Room Manager Morgan Holt is a native Oregonian who has grown up entrenched in the local food and wine scene vis a vis her mom’s catering business. After spending several harvests interning with Furioso, Morgan landed in the tasting room – where she excels at leading our team with her bright smile and top tier organizational skills.
Viticulturist and Horticulturist Shea Guevara was raised in Southern California and landed in the Willamette Valley after receiving her degree in biochem. A self proclaimed “outside girl”, Shea enjoys foraging, tending to her garden and house plants, and playing with her Aussie dog, Hass.
Cellar Master Alex Lindblom is a Willamette Valley native who worked his first harvest in Sonoma, and has been in cellars across California and Oregon ever since. When not in the winery Alex is an avid reader and enjoys outdoor sports like surfing and mountain biking.
Events Coordinator, Rayme Ainslie is a Spokane native who, after working a stint at Disney, moved to the Willamette Valley to finish her Masters degree and pursue her passion for hospitality.
Tasting Room Educator, Ryan Chidlaw is an Oregonian who’s first foray into wine was as Furioso’s barback in 2019. He rejoined the crew after working a harvest at Dobbes, and in addition to wine is passionate about Trader Joe’s and burritos. Outside of the tasting room, you can find him experimenting in the kitchen, or making cider.
Hospitality Lead, Ashley Holt joined the Furioso team after spending many years in the hospitality industry, working with her mom’s catering business. She recently bought her first home with her fiance Ben and enjoys spending time in the garden or on new projects around the house!
Wine Liason, Keenan Crosbie joins the team after working a couple of harvests in his hometown of Paso Robles. He runs our after-hours wine bar and when he isn’t pouring wine and discussing obscure grape varietals you can find him exploring Portland’s restaurant scene with his partner, Jes.
Tasting Room Educator, Autumn Harrison joins us by way of her hometown, Sacramento, and comes from an extensive hospitality background. She brings her years of experience at restaurants and bars now to the tasting room, where she’s discovered an infectious enthusiam for the wine industry.
Tasting Room Educator, Megan Fortmeier was raised here in Newberg! After several years working in nursing, Megan switched careers – sparking a passion for wine from a position at Trader Joe’s. Since then, she has worked in fine dining and tasting room sales throughout the Willamette Valley. Outside of wine she loves gardening, crafting, and volunteering at animal rescues.
Born and raised in California’s central valley before making her way to the Willamette Valley, Tasting Room Educator Kasia Jacobsen was exposed to the world of wine at a young age. Her passion for agriculture and sustainable farming led her to the Viticulture studies program at Chemeketa, and now Oregon State to finish her Bachelor’s. She has since left the tasting room full time but continues to return for weekends and events at Furioso!
Barback, Andrea Meija
The Direct to Consumer and Hospitality Team is led by Drew Hildebrandt and includes team members from left to right: Megan Fortmeier, Ryan Chidlaw, Herbert Mueller, Rayme Ainslie, Kasia Jacobsen, Ashley Holt, Emma Sammartino, Melanie Kinchen, Morgan Holt, Keenan Crosbie.
The Production Team is led by Dominique Mahé and includes Shea Guevara, Morgan Holt, and Alex Lindblom.