Matt Vuylsteke is a rare creature: a born and bred Oregonian! His ancestors were Oregon pioneers, arriving in Forest Grove in 1879, He grew up in the West Hills of Portland, minutes from downtown. At Oregon State, he discovered his love of winemaking when he had the privilege of learning the craft from legendary wine industry veteran Barney Watson at Tyee Wine Cellars. He graduated with a B.S. in Fermentation Science and Chemistry and went on to work with esteemed wineries in Oregon and Washington. Not one to remain idle, he decided to expand his scope of experience and transitioned to the supply side of the wine industry. It was during this time he developed expertise in filtration, processing, and sales while concurrently completing his MBA and starting a consulting company with his wife and business partner, Nancy.
It may have been inevitable that winemaking found way into Matt's heart, because it is literally in his blood. Back in the early 1900s, his great-grandfather, Leonard Vuylsteke, was a French born winemaker (of Belgian descent) in the Saint-Émilion region of Bordeaux. And of course, there's the influence of his Aunt and Uncle who founded one of Oregon's first wineries.
Chief of Everything Else
Nancy Vuylsteke hails from beautiful Southern Oregon where she ate her weights worth in Rogue River salmon every summer. She has always been obsessed with flavor and culture, which led her to complete a B.S. in Nutrition & Foods at Oregon State. Her career has been focused in product-culinary development, public affairs, and marketing for NW food companies. She completed her MBA from George Fox University while working full time, and, more recently, completed a Culinary Arts Diploma from Oregon Culinary Institute because it was a long held goal.
The Vuylstekes started their own consulting company in 2003 where the initial focus was vineyard management and custom winemaking. 51Weeks was introduced in 2013.
They like to share that their greatest adventure to date is that of parenthood to Irish twins, who just happen to be 51 weeks apart (to-the-day!) in age.