Mark Vlossak is founder, president, and winemaker of St. Innocent Winery in Salem, Oregon. Mark's exposure to wine began at the age of seven when he began tasting wines daily with his father, a wine educator and importer. During his university training, he developed a love for Champagne. He was inspired to make wine after reading an article in 1983 suggesting that Oregon was an ideal place to make sparkling wine. From 1987-1989 Mark apprenticed with Fred Arterberry, Jr., one of the first Oregonians to make vineyard designated Pinot noir, as well the first to make Oregon sparkling wine. In 1988, he studied wine analysis under Lisa Van de Water at the Wine Lab in Napa, CA.
Mark founded St. Innocent, Ltd. in 1988 and has been its winemaker and president since its inception. He also served as winemaker for Panther Creek Cellars from 1994 through 1999. At the 2001 Unified Symposium for Viticulture and Enology, Vlossak represented Oregon on the International Focus on Pinot noir panel. Mark was honored by the Wine Advocate in 2002 and again in 2004 as one of their "Wine Personalities of the Year."
At St. Innocent, Mark produces 10,000 cases per year. This includes Chardonnay, Pinot gris and Pinot blanc. However, Mark is best known for an impressive portfolio of single-vineyard Pinot noirs. In 2002, three of these Pinots earned 94-point scores from The Wine Advocate. This recognition was instrumental in helping St. Innocent reach the audience it has today. In 2006 St. Innocent purchased a 25% interest in Zenith Vineyard (formerly O’Connor Vineyard) and opened a new facility onsite in 2007. He produces wine under both the St. Innocent and Zenith Vineyard label. In addition to his love of wine, Mark is passionate about food and family. He spends time traveling to connect with customers. He travels to France each year to learn both new techniques while versing himself in old world traditions. He lives in Salem, Oregon with his wife Vickianne and they have three girls.
WineClub and Internet Sales Manager
While working in the world of IT, Felice and her siblings would often go on wine excursions together. In 2007 she decided to make a career change and get into the wine industry herself. She has never looked back, often bragging to customers that, unlike IT, she has “never had a bad day in wine”. When she isn’t selling or tasting wine you can find Felice playing volleyball, race walking, and dancing.
Tasting Room Manager
Michelle, the newest member of our team, is intimately familiar with the Oregon wine industry. Longtime St. Innocent vineyard source, Vitae Springs, is owned and managed by her husband Joel and his family. Her industry roots, along with her twelve years as a Nordstrom executive, has allowed her to hit the ground running in this role. She is passionate about wine and its ability to bring people together. Away from the winery, Michelle enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons. She is happiest when cooking and entertaining friends.
Business Manager & Special Events Coordinator
Vickianne is a native of southern Missouri where she grew up drinking beer at her home on Table Rock Lake. She started her career as a registered nurse. She then moved to Oregon to attend Willamette Law School. After practicing law for many years, a mutual friend introduced her to Mark in 1998. They were married a short time later in early 1999. After marrying Mark, her wine “learning curve” looked more like a 90-degree angle! She joined St. Innocent Winery in 2013 on a full time basis. Her multi-faceted experience make her an invaluable part of the team. Her responsibilities include supervising the Tasting Room, legal duties, and HR tasks. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. She is passionate about St. Innocent’s charity events, professional education, and wine dinners.
Rich moved to Oregon from Pennsylvania in 2004. Here he discovered that there were little, magical fermenting bugs capable of turning simple grapes into wonderful wine. This sparked a new passion and career. In 2011, he received a degree in winemaking from Chemeketa Community College and shortly thereafter became the Assistant Winemaker at St. Innocent Winery. He enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and two children, drinking micro roasted coffee, and chasing after his musical muse. His band, Seahorse, has released two albums.
Jack of All Trades
During the summer of 2009, Alana moved here from Connecticut in order to pursue a career in our wine industry. Having completed the WSET Intermediate and Advanced wine education courses prior to her move, she was seeking an opportunity to participate in winemaking. Being known as the Jack of All Trades makes her a valuable part of the team. She contributes actively in the cellar; travels nationally to sell wine, works as part of our social media marketing team and also cooks for special events! When she's not busy working, you'll find her practicing martial arts, playing sports or baking.