February 01, 2013
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OWB Welcomes New Directors

On January 9, Gov. John Kitzhaber appointed two new directors and reappointed two current directors to the Oregon Wine Board (OWB), a semi-independent Oregon state agency managing marketing, research and education initiatives that support and advance the Oregon wine and winegrape industry.

Both Steve Thomson of King Estate Winery and Juan Pablo “JP” Valot of Silvan Ridge Winery were selected to three-year terms. Leigh Bartholomew of Archery Summit and Dominio IV winery, and Michael Donovan of RoxyAnn Winery were re-appointed to new terms. In addition, Bartholomew was elected by the board to succeed Donovan as chairwoman; making Donovan chairman emeritus. Bill Sweat of Winderlea Vineyard & Winery was elected vice chairman and Ellen Brittan of Brittan Vineyards was named treasurer for the 2013/2014 fiscal year.

New director Thomson is executive vice president of King Estate Winery near Eugene as well as a partner in Octave Vineyard in Walla Walla, Wash. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois and joined King Estate (in 1999), where he has held numerous sales and marketing positions. He is also on the boards of Wine America and the Northwest Wine Coalition as well as the advisory committee of Chemeketa Community College’s viticulture and enology program.

Valot is a native of Mendoza, Argentina. He has a degree in agricultural sciences with a focus on enology and viticulture from the National University of Cuyo in Mendoza. He came to Oregon in 2001 and has been in the wine industry 15 years in Argentina and Oregon. At Silvan Ridge, he has served as winemaker and vineyard manager and has taught classes at Chemeketa. He was named winemaker at Silvan Ridge in 2012, his seventh year at the South Willamette Valley winery.

Note that when members are appointed to the OWB, they are dually appointed to head the Oregon Winegrowers Association (OWA) but with a set of different titles. Inside the OWA, Bartholomew is the president, Donovan is president emeritus, Sweat is vice president and Brittan is treasurer — no name change.

                                                                                     
Juan Pablo "JP" Valot   Steve Thomson