Meet our Head Winemaker, Mark Beaman
Mark Beaman grew up on a cattle ranch and wheat farm in south-eastern Washington near the wine region of Walla Walla. “My first agricultural harvest was when I was about 5 and, although the crops have varied over the years, I haven’t missed one harvest since 1980. My parents were forensic chemists for crime scene investigations prior to becoming farmers so within the household there was always a respect for science. I also gained a strong value for ethics as I wasn’t going to get away with much mischief with parents who could have been investigators on an episode of C.S.I.”
After graduating from high school, Mark attended Whitman College in Walla Walla and secured a degree in Environmental Studies and Geology. Upon graduation, Mark served in the U.S. Peace Corps from 1997-1999 as an Environmental Educator specializing in preventing erosion, improving agroforestry and promoting village sustainability practices in a remote village of Tanzania, East Africa. At the end of his service, Mark explored the east coast of Africa and discovered a fondness for surfing while in Durban, South Africa.
Mark returned to Washington in 2000 and discovered the agricultural focus of the area had shifted from wheat to vineyards. The appeal of working in an industry that combined his love of agriculture and science with an art that had such a long and geographically diverse history led Mark to his first wine job in 2000 as a lab technician for Columbia Crest Winery. After completing harvest in the Columbia Valley, Mark moved to California and worked with Napa’s Conn Creek and Villa Mt. Eden from 2001 to 2004. He worked both in the lab and as a viticultural assistant checking vines from Mendocino to Paso Robles.
In the summer of 2004 Mark took a position at Mendocino Wine Company whose holdings featured the historic Parducci Winery. Mark started as Enologist and worked up to Associate Winemaker working alongside Bob Swain and Paul Dolan securing numerous 90+ scores and establishing the winery as one of the most environmentally focused in the nation. The Organic and Biodynamic wines of Paul Dolan Vineyards as well as the musically oriented project of Wines That Rock came to being during Mark’s time at MWC.
In fall of 2016 adventure came calling again and Mark along with his wife and two boys moved to Maui, Hawaii. Mark served as winemaker on Maui’s one and only winery making 6 different estate grown varietal wines, several sparkling method champenoise wines along with the well-known pineapple-based wines. During his time on island, Mark was able to write the first ever approved American Viticultural Area designation for the state of Hawaii for the Ulupalakua wine growing area.
In 2019 Sonoma County came calling with the opportunity to return to wine country and Mark took the Senior Winemaker position with Valley of the Moon Winery in Glen Ellen. While at Valley of the Moon, Mark has focused on diversifying styles across the many AVA’s of Sonoma County for a multitude of wines from the old vine Zinfandel grown on the estate to the select blocks of Cabernet from Alexander Valley and Pinot Noir and Chardonnay of the Russian River and Sonoma Carneros regions. When the Valley of the Moon facility sold in early 2020 Mark moved over to work at Beringer for harvest in St. Helena, Napa. Following harvest Mark took the winemaker position at Sebastiani winery where he crafted the famous Cherryblock Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon as well as their numerous other 90+ point wine offerings. In April of 2023 Mark joined the Pernod Ricard family as winemaker for Kenwood Vineyards. Mark and his family live in nearby Glen Ellen.