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Meet the Björnson Team

Mark Björnson
Founder

Mark Björnson along with his wife Pattie founded Björnson Vineyard in 2006.

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Mark oversees the vineyard management working closely with the vineyard team to ensure Björnson Vineyard remains certified Salmon-Safe and sustainable by L.I.V.E. (Low Input Viticulture and Enology).

In addition to Björnson Vineyard, Mark and Pattie acquired the land for Pamar Vineyard in the Van Duzer AVA in 2013 and began development in 2017.  The first 11 acres were planted in 2019.  Pamar now has 19 acres planted with varieties that include Chardonnay, Mondeuse Noire, Trousseau, Gouais Blanc, Pinot Meunier, Gamay Noir, Aligoté, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Cabernet Franc.

While establishing the vineyards, Mark worked as CEO of QualChoice Health Plan Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Common Spirit Health.  Prior to that Mark was at United Healthcare for 16 years as Vice President of Medicare.  Mark retired in 2022 and is now focusing on the vineyards and winery full time.

Originally from Bismarck, North Dakota, Mark attended the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities where he met Pattie Knight. Mark and Pattie married in 1989 and raised four children – Kaitlyn, Kristjan, Claire and Hunter.  In 2020 they became grandparents and are now enjoying their granddaughter Lily. Their second grandchild is due July 2022.

When Mark does find a spare moment, he enjoys bicycling, hiking, skiing, and very rarely, catching a trout in the pond at Pamar Vineyard.

Patricia Björnson
Founder

Pattie Björnson along with her husband Mark founded Björnson Vineyard in 2006.

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Pattie oversees the winemaking with winemaker Scott Sabbadini, as well as the tasting room/hospitality.

After falling in love with the idea of starting a vineyard after a tour of Europe’s wine regions, Pattie studied Viticulture & Enology at Chemeketa Community College Wine Studies Center.

Originally from Owatonna, Minnesota, Pattie attended the University of Minnesota Twin Cities where she met Mark. Pattie and Mark married in 1989 and raised four children – Kaitlyn, Kristjan, Claire and Hunter – and are now enjoying their granddaughters, Lily and Willow.

When Pattie does find a spare moment, she enjoys running, bicycling and yoga.

Scott Sabbadini
Winemaker

Scott Sabbadini joined Björnson Vineyard in 2019 as Head Winemaker alongside Pattie Bjornson.

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Scott got a degree in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis in 2006 after also spending a year at the Enological University of Conegliano in Italy. He then spent three years at Fieldstone Winery in the Alexander Valley of Sonoma making wines from a historic 100-year-old vineyard.

In 2010, after returning from a vintage in New Zealand, Scott moved to the Columbia River Gorge of Washington where he worked with over 30 varieties of grapes at Maryhill Winery.

In 2016, Scott finally made it to the Willamette Valley, a longtime dream of his. He worked at Domaine Roy et Fils in the Dundee Hills for three years before heading to Argentina for a vintage. Upon his return, he was lucky to meet met Pattie and Mark Björnson, and they have been making delicious wines together ever since.

Nancy Morrow
General Manager

Nancy Morrow joined Björnson Vineyard in March 2021.

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Nancy manages the administrative side of the business including policies and procedures, training, payroll, bookkeeping and more.

Nancy and her husband Dan are the owners of The Gallery at Ten Oaks in McMinnville, Oregon. They curate the art in the Tasting Room and have been wine club members since 2017. Native to Oregon, Nancy grew up in the mid-Willamette Valley, graduated from Oregon State University and has been doing administrative and event coordination for over 30 years. She and Dan met at OSU, lived outside of Seattle for 11 years, and then moved back to Oregon to settle in McMinnville in 2000.

Seven years at Microsoft, 15.5 years owning a video store, 11 years of founding and running a film festival, 2 children raised, multiple pets, and now a toddler grandson to enjoy, Nancy now focuses on managing the administrative side of Björnson Vineyard.

Gerry Rasch
Sales & Hospitality Manager

Gerry Rasch joined Björnson Vineyard in 2016 as the Tasting Room Manager and currently works as Sales & Hospitality Manager.

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Gerry studied at Chemeketa Community College earning an Associate’s Degree in Wine Business. He worked in the Dundee Hills before settling at Björnson Vineyard. Gerry enjoys wine and food, and in his off time, he makes jewelry that can be found at the tasting room as well as The Gallery at Ten Oaks in McMinnville.

Born in St. Marie’s, Idaho, Gerry was raised in Moscow, Idaho, where he worked as a police officer after a serving in the military. He married Melissa 41 plus years ago, and they have two adult children, Meggan and Christopher. Gerry and Melissa live in Salem, Oregon.

Alexis Bame
Wine Club Manager

Alexis Bame joined Björnson Vineyard in May 2022.

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Alexis is originally from Novato, California. She attended University of California San Diego in La Jolla and has a Bachelor of the Arts in Political Science – a whole lotta nothing to do with wine! After college, Alexis began working at Trader Joe’s and moved to Oregon with them in 2016. At the Lake Oswego location she started working in the wine department; planning tastings (pre-Covid), ordering the wine, and learning everything she could.

In 2018, Alexis started working part-time at a vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills and was promoted to Tasting Room Manager shortly after starting. She has spent four years in the Willamette Valley wine industry (specifically the Eola-Amity hills AVA) and could not imagine being anywhere else!

Alexis lives in McMinnville with her dog, Mo.

Aaron Svechenko
Tasting Room Manager

Aaron Svechenko joined Björnson Vineyard in 2021 as a Tasting Room Associate and was named Tasting Room Manager in Spring 2022.

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Aaron hails from all over California (Northern, Central, Southern) and has had all sorts of jobs (from J. Crew Stylist to Campus Safety Manager).  In California, he met his now wife, Anna, and she convinced him to move back with her to Oregon.  Once they’d moved, she asked him “What’s your dream job?” and Aaron replied “Working in wine”.

At Björnson, Aaron was able to realize his dream and has been working here since May 2021.  Come visit Aaron at Björnson if you want to talk about music, anime, and The X-Files… or if you’d like to pair some top-tier wines with Aaron’s top-tier dad jokes.