Mark Beres – President & CEO, Flying Leap Vineyards & Distillery
A Washington state native, Mark grew up in Walla Walla, one of Washington’s most exclusive winegrowing regions – his formative years spent steeped in agriculture and ranching.
He has years of successful large-scale commercial viticulture experience, including all aspects of vineyard development, operations and harvesting. These include land preparation, efficient vineyard design, surveying, heavy equipment use, project scheduling and commercial planting. Mark has extensive experience in managing grapevines throughout their life cycle, from nursery to setting of fruit to all aspects of annual vine canopy management and harvest.
A highly successful entrepreneur, Mark leads Flying Leap’s core teams – agriculture, production, sales and marketing, and investor relations. Among his chief responsibilities are establishing and executing the company’s business strategies, organizing its infrastructure and promoting Flying Leap’s brands. Mark is also Flying Leap’s Master Distiller and Chief Winemaker. In these roles, Mark leads the company’s wine and spirits production teams, guides new product development, establishes the annual wine and spirits blends and manages Flying Leap’s wine cellar and whiskey and brandy barrel houses.
He’s an accomplished culinary whiz kid, fully embracing the minimalist, farm-to-table philosophy of simple, elegant preparations with an emphasis on flavorful, wine-based dishes with traditional rustic origins. These hail to his rural upbringing where garden fare and simple but hearty, flavorful meals were served around the family dinner table, and where perpetual scarcity and limited resources meant learning the basics of cooking wasn’t just a family tradition, but both a rite of passage and means of survival.
Mark’s freezer is well-stocked with all sorts of wild game, local meats and homemade sausages, and his pantry with fresh-ground flours and garden spices. Combined with a love for wine, his expressions of regional flavor and rustic deliciousness present guests with a truly extraordinary culinary experience.
Mark and his wife, Michelle share their lives with a team of Siberian huskies and one feisty parrot named Sparky. An accomplished engineer, cello virtuoso and public speaker, Mark enjoys product design work, writing, cooking, the arts – especially classical music – traveling the world, exploring the American southwest and building fine furniture in his woodshop.