Our Winery Family
Owner / Proprietor
Tasting Room Manager / Chef
Chef Vance isn’t just a local, he came with the land when John purchased it! His parents and grandparents owned the land before Aurora Colony Vineyards was established, so he has wonderful stories about the farm and surrounding area. Vance knew he wanted to be a chef at a young age but decided to take the long route to get there. He started cooking with his grandmother and learned the down to earth cooking style that he prefers.
After traveling Asia and many other parts of the world, he stopped in Europe, classically trained at The Cordon Bleu in Paris, and worked as a chef in Germany for 15 years. Now he brings his culinary magic to The Kitchen at Aurora Colony Vineyards – a place he calls home!
David Anderson, who was born in Eugene, Oregon, was working toward his degree in design in the early 1980s when he took a summer off to bicycle through Europe. The experience had a profound effect on his life – meeting new people, visiting wineries, museums, and cycling through beautiful countryside.
It was this experience that led him toward his path in the wine industry. Now with 20 years of extensive study and winery experience including work in Oregon, California and New Zealand, David brings his incredible winemaking skills to Aurora Colony Vineyards.
His approach or philosophy to winemaking starts in the vineyard – healthy vines and correct grape yields makes for better juice and wine.
“As a winemaker, my work is part science and part artist. We work with mother nature to ripen grapes and capture the flavors of this unique vineyard. From vineyard to bottle every harvest is like a new adventure with a lot of fun and hard work. Much of the artistic part comes from integrating different techniques which affect wine style and taste. I look forward to seeing you in our tasting room, come raise a glass a enjoy our chef-prepared foods. Cheers!” – David
Suzanne Newell hails from Salem but dipped her feet into the sunny California lifestyle for several years before returning to Oregon and bringing her incredible design, marketing and event planning skills to Aurora Colony Vineyards. Her creative background, which includes interior design, gardening, cooking and entertaining, eventually led to an interest (some might even say passion) in wine. While in California, she gained knowledge in oenology and viticulture from several wineries in Napa, Sonoma, Temecula and Santa Ynez Valleys.
When she returned to Oregon to be with her family, she continued with her design career, working for seven years as a florist at Fred Meyer while also following her passion for wine by working at a local winery. After settling in Charbonneau, the Event Manager position at Aurora Colony Vineyards presented itself to her and she was hooked!