Matt Vuylsteke is a rare creature; a tried and true Oregonian who ancestors arrived in Forest Grove, Oregon in 1879. He grew up in the West Hills of Portland, just a stone's throw from downtown. After graduating from Jesuit High School, he attended Oregon State where he discovered his love of winemaking. Matt's first harvest dates back to 1997 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 then went on to work with esteemed wineries in Oregon and Washington. Not one to remain idle, Matt decided to expand his scope of experience and transitioned to the supply side of the wine industry. Here he was able to hone his expertise in filtration, processing, and sales while concurrently completing his MBA degree 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 from OSU. Her career prior to wine immersion was focused within product-culinary development, public affairs, and marketing for NW food companies. She also completed her MBA and several professional culinary courses while working full time.
The Vuylstekes started their own consulting company in 2003 where the initial focus was vineyard management and custom winemaking. An extension of their skill-set, the couple released their own wine label, 51Weeks, in 2013. They make all of their wines and run all facets of their business.
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.