Flaneur Wines | Our Story

Craftspeople

Marty Doerschlag – Founder

Flâneur—it’s the life I lived between selling my first company and starting Flâneur Wines. I observed the world, went slowly, traveled without a map, and noticed small details. This carefree time eventually led me to Oregon and some of the finest lands for cultivating grapes.

Growing up in Dublin, Ohio, I was surrounded by farms and learned to appreciate that hard work yields exceptional results. In college, I gravitated toward friends who worked in restaurants and was the cheerful beneficiary of their cooking experiments. I learned how to pair wines with food and began to understand how wine elevates the experience.

In 2005, I sold my shares in WD Partners, Inc., a design, architecture, and construction management firm started by my father. I was burned out. Our firm had grown from 13 people to 600 and we had been named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2004. All the while, I made sure that our company retained the feel of a small, personal business. But I was ready to pursue happiness somewhere else.

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That somewhere turned out to be farming grapes—pinot noir specifically—and nowhere are conditions better than in the Willamette Valley. I’ve assembled a world-class team for each stage of the process—farming, winemaking, hospitality—each part of equal importance. Our tight-knit group works together toward our shared goal: building one of the top wine brands in the world.

To me, Flâneur Wines means delivering excellence in everything and for everyone, whether employee, guest, distributor, or retail partner. I invite you to visit Flâneur Wines and experience what I mean. Once you come here, you’ll want to return again and again.

Favorite Flâneur Wine Experience: Winemaking is incredibly sensory, so every experience at Flâneur has a special place in my memories. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing our vineyards full of ripened grapes ready to be turned into wine, or experiencing the mouthwatering smell of the winery during fermentation.

Grant Coulter – Winemaker / Director of Vineyards

Wine has always been a big part of my life. Growing up, my family made many trips to Napa and Sonoma but I had no idea I could be a “winemaker”. It’s not the kind of career choice that’s suggested by high school guidance counselors. As I got older, I became intrigued by the idea of creating something from nature through a process that merged tradition with provocative ingenuity.

My career in winemaking began in California and Australia but I found my true calling in the organic and biodynamic vineyards of Oregon. I started as an assistant winemaker for Hamacher Wines and then moved to Beaux Freres, assisting the owner and winegrower Michael Etzel. There, I worked in every facet of winegrowing and winemaking, and after 6 years was promoted to full winemaker. One of my proudest accomplishments is making the 2014 Beaux Freres, Beaux Freres Vineyard, which was named Wine Spectator’s #3 wine of 2016.

I fell in love with the vineyards at Flâneur. With the phenomenal range of raw materials and the freedom to express my artistic vision, I’m able to take risks and guide the wines in different directions without chemicals and manipulation. In the vineyard, I oversee all operations and picking decisions. In the winery, I supervise all winemaking from harvest and fermentation through élevage, blending, and bottling. I take the time to understand the idiosyncrasies of the vineyards and work to amplifying their unique characteristics in each wine.

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Artistic creation runs in my veins. Whether making wines, painting, or designing I am always listening to and observing my environment, soaking in my surroundings and spending time with those I love.

Favorite Flâneur Wine Experience: To help cultivate the new harvests each year, we welcome a crop of interns. I have thoroughly savored getting to know all of these helping hands, who inevitably leave their indelible marks on the wines—and on me.

Anthony Sereni – Assistant Winemaker

Exploring the restaurants, farmers’ markets, and diversity of Philadelphia exposed me to new flavors and combinations, and is what first got me interested in food and wine.  My favorite wines from the beginning were Alsatian Riesling, and Oregon Pinot Noir.  

My wife and I wanted to learn more about agriculture so we traveled through New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, and Spain; we worked and volunteered on a variety of farms along the way. In New Zealand we worked for two vineyards producing some amazing Pinot Noir. There I fell in love with the process of winemaking, and the amazing hard working people it takes to produce great wines.  

In Spain we worked on two farms producing small amounts of wine without any modern equipment. I loved the problem solving and creativity it took to make it happen. When one of the farms had a bad crop yield I found myself climbing the old oak trees which were growing through stone posts and rusted cordons of a long abandoned vineyard to pick wild grapes so there would be enough wine to fill the barrels.  

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When it was time to return in 2012 we found our way back to Oregon, looking to make the wines that made me fall in love with wine and that had started this journey. I worked every job I could in the cellar, lab and vineyard. Oregon Chardonnay had become a new passion of mine and in 2014 I started my Master’s degree at Oregon State University doing research on the mouthfeel of Chardonnay. I completed my thesis in 2016 and got a job at Archery Summit shortly after, where I continued to learn and make world class wines until a great opportunity arose to work here at Flâneur.  

I was drawn to Flâneur. The word, the vineyards, and the people. The tasting room at the grain elevator even has a little piece of Philadelphia history inside. I hope to never stop learning, and create something beautiful from year to year.

Russell Lichtenthal – Director Hospitality & Sales

Growing up watching cooking shows and reading chef memoirs, I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in food. I gravitated to the kitchen, earning my culinary degree from Johnson & Wales University in Providence and a degree in hospitality management from Le Cordon Bleu in Australia.

But I quickly realized that life in the front of the house suited me better. I developed a passion for wine, and coupled with my love of guest interactions, I took numerous wine courses on my days off, giving me a wonderful foundation of knowledge to build upon.

For eight years, I lived the life of the flâneur, traveling from country to country, soaking up the exciting cultures and each unexpected experience. I worked at famed hotels and restaurants—the Pierre Hotel in New York City, Terroir Wine Bar, and the Four Seasons in DC—and worked nine months of harvest in Germany, Italy, and Slovenia. I also worked for wine importers in China for three years.

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Landing at Flâneur Wines was the fulfillment of a vision. I believe wholeheartedly in our mission and approach to wines because that’s how I like to live my life: simply and driven to excel. As Director of Hospitality & Sales, I am responsible for leading guest relations and helping grow the Flâneur winery. When I’m not traveling and forging new sales partnerships, you’ll find me splitting my time between hosting guest tastings and designing the Grain Elevator—or watching Seinfeld or playing guitar.

Favorite Flâneur Wine Experience: For my last interview, I came out to Oregon for two days to explore the vineyards and the Grain Elevator. For me, it was like looking into the future at what my life could be.

Amelia Dobbes – Director of Marketing

Growing up the daughter of a winemaker, I became immersed in the Willamette Valley wine culture from a young age. I grew up speaking its language, admiring our region’s creative wine professionals and tasting my way through the Willamette Valley, developing my palate along the way.

My summer months home from college were spent working for my Father’s companies, Dobbes Family Estate and Wine by Joe. Upon graduating with a degree in Marketing and International Business from Oregon State University, I joined the family business full time. I eagerly absorbed as much as I could while working in all facets of the business, from back of house cellar work, front of house tasting room, national sales support and marketing. 

I craved a holistic understanding of wine which brought me to work for Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits as a Sales Consultant for the State of Nevada. There, I managed a book of business consisting of 400+ on and off premise accounts where I sold beer, wine, and liquor.

Following my time at SGWS I interned at the Carlton Winemaker’s Studio where I worked for multiple boutique luxury labels. During that vintage I spent most of my time with Winemaker Isabelle Meunier as her vintage intern. 

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I joined the Flâneur team at the start of 2022 as the Director of Marketing. Every day I get to work with stunning wines, sustainably farmed vineyards (with views that cannot be beat), and wonderful humans. I not only love working with this hard working team, but a brand and establishment that fully embodies the Flâneur lifestyle. I am constantly reminded to pause, take in the beauty around me, and allow myself to draw inspiration from these moments along the way.

I’ve discovered my own obsession with this craft and all that it represents. Artistry, working with your hands, culinary parallels, agriculture, sustainability, and business. I can’t think of a future that melds such diversity and excitement together and leaves me convinced at the end of each day that the lines of work and play are truly undefined with a career in wine.

Kellie Campbell – Wine Club & Direct Sales Manager

Born in South Oregon with the spirit of the flâneur, I’ve traveled to more than 15 countries where I’ve immersed myself in local culture and traditions. It’s this thirst for exploration and friendship that brought me to Flâneur Wines and continues to feed my enthusiasm to create a personalized experience for every guest. 

My knowledge of wine began in a small Italian restaurant in Australia. The all-Italian staff painted a vivid picture of what wine meant to them: family, memories, and traditions. Back in Oregon, I dove into a career in wine at Domaine Drouhin Oregon. This deep connection to wine to led me to undertake the rigorous WSET Certification Course, completing Levels 1-3. 

At Flâneur, I’m readily recognizable by my peals of laughter but I’m also known for my passion to understand individual palates and match each person with the perfect wine. I take pride in educating our visitors and future staff members on the Willamette Valley and our wines, as well as the meaning of the flâneur. Along with our tight-knit team, I create new and diverse experiences for our wine club members. 

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I love a challenge (I studied Modern Greek just so I could learn the alphabet). I want people to come to our winery for experiences that create lifelong memories, ones that will bring them back to our Willamette Valley at every opportunity for years to come.

Favorite Flâneur Wine Experience: During my first moment tasting Flâneur wines in the cellar—even before working here—I fell head over heels. In their youth, the wines tasted outstanding. But Grant’s vision and passion for their potential was flooring, and I could taste this in each sip.

Madeleine Fouch – Tasting Room & Hospitality Manager

Born and raised in Texas to parents who met in culinary school, it was fitting that I would trek a similar path on the onset – I was encouraged to attend the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, where I developed a deep passion for all things food. 

After completing my Associates, I found myself in the Wine Studies course only to find out wine was more than just fermented grapes. It was history, geology, art, science, a time capsule, and most importantly, a lifestyle. 

After finishing the CIA with my bachelors in Hospitality & Restaurant Management, I decided to head to the city of endless culinary diversity: New Orleans. However, I still wanted my foot in the wine door, so I took a part time job at a self-serve wine bar called WINO, whereas as a broke culinary student, I had the chance to taste a plethora of wines in a short period of time. Eventually, I was entrusted to manage and buy for this little powerhouse wine bar. 

After 3 Mardi Gras, I decided to take my career to the next level and motivated myself to move across the country to Oregon Wine Country. For a brief time, I worked at a champagne bar in Portland, before getting an amazing opportunity to work at Domaine Drouhin Oregon in the Dundee Hills. Here, my involvement in the wine industry was cemented as a career. 

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In June 2022, I accepted the position as Tasting Room Manager at Flâneur Wines. Here I get to cook, spend time in the vineyard, pour bubbles, and hang out with amazing people in an amazing place all day. Come on by, and let’s talk cheese, wine, and restaurants! 

PS – I go by Madeleine, not Maddie 😉

Mindy Casteel – Assistant Hospitality Manager

The Willamette Valley is ingrained in many facets of my life. It has been a part of my journey every step of the way. My father planted many vineyards in the region in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. He is such a pioneer and an inspiration in my life and how I fell in love with wine and the valley. Wine has always been on the table and represents a sense of community and joy. After graduating from Arizona State I went to England to learn to make Beer and upon returning, my father and I opened a brewery in Arizona called Old Bisbee Brewing Company. We did not stop at beer and now have a distillery focused singularly on gin. I have been in the Oregon wine industry since 2011 and feel honored to have worked at Bethel Heights for many of those years and cherish my family there.

I have two beautiful daughters who remind me everyday that life is about growth and adventure, pushing me to always be the best version of myself.
 
If you have noticed all of the crystals in the tasting room, they are there to manifest positive energy! I have been told that my laugh sounds like a cackle (it is very loud), so you will definitely hear Kellie and I from a mile away.
 
Flaneur isn’t just a winery, it is a family, and one that welcomes our guests wholeheartedly with beautiful wines, a cozy space and enlightening conversation.
Sandy Willats –  Hospitality Associate
Jackie Middleton – Hospitality Associate

I moved to Oregon on August 21st, 2017. Why do I remember that so specifically?? Because it was the day of the total solar eclipse, and to me, a sign of good things to come. I worked in Napa for nearly a decade before switching to Team Pinot, and now, many years later, have no regrets about that decision.

My love for Flâneur wines started shortly after my arrival in the Willamette Valley. It was one of the first places I went wine tasting. I visited our former location and winemaking space over on Kutch St. in Carlton, pretty modest digs considering our home now. Russell hosted me, and I believe it took just a few minutes and a few sips of wine before I had a little golf pencil in my hand and was filling out the wine club form.   

I spent the next few years with McMinnville as home base, traveling throughout Europe, following bands, and working on my tan. And, of course, enjoying my club allocations when I was back in town. Then came the screeching halt of 2020…

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Fast forward to restrictions being lifted and life returning to a semi normal state. The Grain Elevator was seeing more guests, the patio full most weekend days, and the gang needed a hand. My occasional helping out on the weekends stuck, and has evolved into my current position and privilege, hosting our club members and guests at our beautiful La Belle Promenade Vineyard property. 

Jaime Cantu – Vineyard Manager

Growing grapes didn’t start as a passion for me; at first, it was just a job. But the more I did it and the more I learned, the more I became personally invested in the land and the vines. I made vineyard management my career and I’ve never considered anything else.

With 29 years of industry experience, I’m fortunate to have worked in such well-recognized wineries as Domaine Drouhin and Stoller, Lone Star, Spirit Hills, and Knudtson Vineyards. Working with a variety of growers and winemakers, I’ve absorbed techniques and knowledge that you can’t learn from any textbook.

The boutique approach of Flâneur and the opportunity to work closely with the owner and winemakers were things I could not pass up. I wholly embrace the mission of organic farming and the challenge to have our vineyards recognized as some of the best organic farms in the valley—if not the world.

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Perhaps my favorite part of working at Flâneur is the team spirit. We all work hard, but then, like the flâneur, take time to relax over a meal, enjoy each other’s company, and breathe in the pure Oregon air. I believe that our collective desire to create the finest wines and hospitality experiences is what distinguishes Flâneur from other wineries. And as a pilot in my free time, there is nothing I enjoy more than the beautiful site below when flying over our vineyards.

Favorite Flâneur Wine Experience: It is difficult to pick one favorite moment when my Flâneur experience has been a collection of memorable times. But the hard work that unites us during harvest is particularly striking, and I cherish how we come together for family-style lunch even on our longest, toughest days.

Juan Corona –  Vineyard Assistant

I am very happy to be part of a company that treats their employees like family. Starting from the owner, Marty to my childhood friend Jaime Cantu, who recruited me here to do what I love most, be in the vineyard.

I have had such great experiences working with the whole Flâneur team. It’s such a great feeling being part of this company and I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else but here.

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