Ryan Harms,
Owner + Winemaker

My name is Ryan Harms, and I founded Union Wine Company.

I moved to Oregon in 2001 and embraced wholeheartedly the region’s unique spirit and passion for craftsmanship, finally deciding in 2005 to satisfy that entrepreneurial bug that had been nagging me to start something that I could be proud of.

I’ve worked for some great Oregon wineries throughout my career. In so many cases, my friends wanted to support us, but simply couldn’t afford to. I decided that I wasn’t going to accept that wine made in Oregon had to be expensive. So, Union is about creating something that I can share with friends and family and make accessible, without sacrificing quality.

We opened up shop and made it our mission at Union to pay close attention to the details, while leaving the fussy parts behind. By being efficient about everything, from how we set up the winery to how we make wine, we knew we could successfully create that marriage of craft and small-scale manufacturing. We chose the name Union to honor and bring together the diversity, spirit and character of Oregon that we love.

At the end of the day, wine is just a beverage. And then it becomes part of something greater. It brings people together over a meal, for celebrations big and small. And that’s incredibly satisfying to me, and to all of us at Union.

JP Caldcleugh, DIRECTOR OF WinemakING

JP’s love of wine and his early career in the industry started in New Orleans where he worked at his family’s wine shop and later for a wine distributor. Once he realized his passion for wine could become a long-term profession he focused his studies on horticulture at Louisiana State University and later earned a Masters degree in Enology from the University of Adelaide. JP fell head over heels for the art, the science and the profession and in the past 12 years has worked for leading wineries and winemakers in California, Australia, New Zealand and in the last year has started the next chapter in Oregon with Union Wine Co. JP will lead day-to-day winemaking operations and continue to help Union find that perfect balance between craft winemaking, small-scale manufacturing and producing Oregon wines that are accessible, innovative and high quality.

RICK DURETTE, Vice President of global sales

After more than a decade of growth, it was time for Union to find itself a top-notch leader to oversee the growth of it’s small, but mighty sales force. An extensive search for a savvy, yet down-to-earth VP eventually led Ryan to Rick, and it quickly became clear the search was over. Rick’s passion for wine has taken him all over the globe, but the casualness of the west coast has always felt most like home, and Union’s unpretentious commitment to quality without the fuss drew him to our motley crew. Drawing on over 30 years of industry experience (by way of leading roles at King Estate, Boisset Family Estates, Wilson Daniels, Artisan Brands, Regal Wine Company, Young’s Market Company and Mesa Distributing), Rick will oversee all of Union’s domestic and international sales through distributor partnerships. While he spends a lot of time traveling coast to coast spreading the Oregon love,  Rick’s home base is in Oceanside, CA, where he lives with his wife and three kids and soaks up the ocean air by way of surf board, golf course, or mountain bike.

Justin Hoffman, Western REGIONAL Manager

On the road half the year, Justin has the difficult job of getting people to believe that it’s possible to get a great bottle of Oregon pinot at an entry-level price. It’s no easy task because of Oregon’s reputation for great wine at elevated pricing, but he’s winning over hearts and glasses in 40 domestic markets. As the first Union Wine Co. employee, a travel buff and outdoor enthusiast, Justin’s perseverance and passion for Union and all things Oregon have been important to the company’s success today. His prior winery experience tells him that brilliant winemakers don’t just do wine, but are invested in everything that comes with running the best business. Which is why he keeps on keeping on for Ryan and his team.

Matt Perrone, Eastern REGIONAL Manager

When Ryan was looking for an Eastern Sales Manager, he found Matt, another perfect fit for the Union crew who was ready to shed his ego like the rest of the team, and get down to work.  From Maine to Florida, this Louisville, KY native who now lives in Atlanta, GA is excited to get up every morning and work for someone like Ryan, who’s always looking for ways to improve as a team and as a voice for Oregon wine. Recently introduced at a sales meeting as Matt, “from the extremely easy to sell wine company,” he was excited that the response has been incredible to the high quality and value of Union wines. One of 10 kids, this family guy knows the value of sticking together and is on board with the Union family in the pursuit of Oregon wine greatness.

Lisa taAffe, central REGIONAL manager

Even though she is a Chicago native, Lisa knows a thing or two about Oregon wine. For many years Lisa has been an enthusiastic advocate of the Oregon wine industry and represented premium wineries from the state. When she first met the Union Wine Co. team, she knew she had met a team that could match her passion for Oregon wine. Today Lisa represents Union Wine Co. throughout the central US and believes she has found the perfect job; selling Union Wine Co. wines, educating people about how great wine can be affordable and why Oregon is one of the best wine growing regions in the world. Lisa holds a level one certificate with the Court of Master Sommeliers, is an active member of Women for WineSense and a graduate of Loyola University Chicago.

SHANNON EASTMAN, SOUTHEAST REGIONAL MANAGER

The southeast may be at the opposite corner from the Pacific Northwest, but Shannon understands what it means to bring Oregon to consumer’s tables, no matter where the table is. Although Shannon’s current focus is on sharing the Union value proposition with our distribution partners throughout the southeastern states of the US, her passion for the wine and spirits industry has taken her all over the country. Throughout her 15-year career, Shannon has worked for some of the country’s most reputable brands, most recently as Director of National Accounts on Premise for Santa Margherita USA in Miami, Florida. She’s also worked with J Vineyards & Winery, Luxco Spirited Brands, Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) and Glazer’s, where she learned how to deftly navigate her way around on and off premise beverage programs. When she’s not on the road spreading the Union love, Shannon loves traveling for fun, hiking, and watching the Dallas Cowboys with her husband, though word on the street is her 10-year-old Chihuahua might be the biggest football fan in their family.

 

DEVIN SAVANO, SOUTHWEST REGIONAL MANAGER

Devin cut his teeth in the wine biz early on, learning the beverage sales ropes over the course of a decade at Kendall-Jackson. He later went on to broaden his view of the industry with leadership roles for Foley Family Wines and J Vineyards & Winery. Oregon eventually called his name (we understand its allure!) and he landed here in the Willamette Valley, where he most recently served as Western Region Sales Director for Domaine Serene. We spied his desire for a less fussy way to share his passion for wine, and brought him on board to head Union’s sales efforts throughout the southwest. When he isn’t making his way through California, Arizona, or Hawaii, he is the devoted dad and coach of two sports-playing sons and finds his way to the golf course with his wife in those rare spare moments for relaxation.

 

eric harms, DIRECTOR OF FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING

Yep. That last name does sound familiar. But nepotism has nothing to do with this second Harms brother’s role at Union – his impressive financial chops earned him the job of finance manager all on his own.  Eric has always held the spark of entrepreneurial spirit, hawking walnuts with his older brother Ryan throughout their childhood streets of Holland, MI. Being the numbers guy, he’s a whiz in the financial world and knows his way around an Excel spreadsheet like none other. Drawing on his 10+ years of experience as a financial analyst in multiple industries from healthcare to wine, Eric has added strategic leadership to Union’s growing finance team and is helping to support growth of the business with true family spirit. When not traveling to sunny or snowy locales on the weekends, he and his wife have recently made Oregon their official home and we are happy they are finally here to stay.

 

Heather Wallberg, MARKETING MANAGER

From day one, Heather fit in perfectly with the Union team. What started as a part-time bookkeeping gig led to her now holding down the fort at Union’s winery in Tualatin, OR.  On top of keeping all things marketing related in order, this jack-of-all-trades ships orders, plans wine events, and also recently learned how to drive the company forklift.  Heather is passionate about working so closely with the team, and loves that they not only share the same common family values, but collectively strive to create something authentically Oregon that can be shared and celebrated.  A native Oregonian, Heather knows a little bit about putting your soul into everything you love, so working with these folks is what we might call a perfect pairing.

THE REST OF THE PLAYERS

It takes a village to make good wine.  And we’re lucky to have quite the seasonal crew helping us out with harvesting, bottling, and anything that makes our process more efficient and streamlined.  Our extended family is just as passionate about our finished product as we are, and is excited to share their hard work with the world with each and every vintage.

Union Wine Company Crew
Union Wine Company Crew
Union Wine Company Crew
Union Wine Company Crew
Union Wine Company Crew
Union Wine Company Crew