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
Madeline Mooney grew up in nearby Butteville and has been an Aurora Colony Vineyards staple since 2014. Maddie’s smiling face has greeted guests, served wine, worked events, and even helped in the kitchen. She loves meeting guests from all over the world and listening to their stories about their wine – and life – adventures. With her friendly personality and her desire to help people fulfill their event’s creative vision, Maddie is a perfect fit as ACV’s event manager.
In addition to being our events manager, Maddie is working on her business and marketing degree at Clackamas Community College.
Maddie is valuable asset to ACV, and her philosophy “I make the world a better place one glass at a time” is one we can all stand behind!
Wine Club Manager / Tasting Room Assistant Manager
Kelly Trout has been an incredible asset to Aurora Colony Vineyards since she started in 2017. Her love of wine began many years ago, and she now has an extensive collection of Oregon wines.
Her love of food and wine makes for a natural fit in our Tasting Room and kitchen. Kelly has a great wine palette and is part of a team which assists our winemaker on barrel selection.
Andrew Kim hails from New York City, has a degree in history from Brown University, and started at ACV in mid-September 2018 – just as harvest was on!
Prior to working at ACV, Andrew had been a bartender for the better part of a decade, but he wanted to experience more of a connection with the wines and spirits that he had been serving. Getting close to the source seemed like an obvious move to him. “I also figured the lack of daily Vitamin D exposure from working inside a bar was probably not so great for my health!”
“I’ve really enjoyed the variety of work I’ve had to do as the only assistant at a winery of our size.” “Bartending can be very repetitive at times, but at ACV I have to do everything from mechanical repair to wet chemistry to wine education, all in the span of a single day.” Andrew has a great spirit, and we’re excited to have his knowledge and enthusiasm at ACV!
Tasting Room Lead
Bailey Aldrich has been at ACV since September 2018 and has been a great addition to our Tasting Room staff, helping out at special events and with food and wine service. Bailey is originally from Southern Oregon, is a student at Portland State University in the Child, Youth & Family Studies program, and plans on being a teacher after graduation.
A fun fact about Bailey is that she was crowned Miss Marion-Polk County 2019 and competed in the Miss Oregon scholarship competition.
“I love working at ACV.” “I enjoy the environment and the people I get to meet. I learn new things every day from the people I interact with and those I work with. I love that you never really stop learning about wine because it is not ever the same. It is unique and an experience in itself.”
Tasting Room Lead
Kaylee Nelson started working in the ACV Tasting Room in April 2019. Kaylee and her fiancee visited ACV on a Friday evening intending to just enjoy a tasting on the patio but got to talking with staff and learned we were hiring. She came in the following Thursday to apply and started that next Sunday!
She says she always wanted to work at a vineyard but the timing was never right – until now.
During the week, Kaylee is a middle school teacher in Salem who teaches career technical education classes. She taught high school math and business courses prior to her current position. Kaylee loves photography and travel and got engaged this past January in Cabo.
“My favorite thing about working at ACV is the awesome staff and getting to interact with all of the people that come to visit.”