Over a few glasses of very good pinot and many conversations, we realized our common desire to form a team that could manifest a vision; both for ourselves and for those we wished to serve. The expertise and the means required would need to be broad and deep, and the desire and dedication, complete. Together, we knew we were ready and able to meet the challenge and Grand Cru Estates was born. It is our pleasure to bring the ultimate Oregon winemaking dream to those who wish to make it a reality!
Laurent Montalieu, with a family heralding from Bordeaux, an interest in viticulture was natural and led him to study vineyard management and winemaking at the Institute of Oenology in Bordeaux. After work in France and the Napa Valley, he came to Oregon as winemaker at Bridgeview vineyards and after, as partner and winemaker at WillaKenzie Estate. With his marriage to Danielle Andrus, the couple launched Domaine Danielle Laurent and Soléna Estate; and have since become co-partners of NW Wine Company, NW Wine Bar and Hyland Vineyards. Laurent brings a rich array of skills and experience to Grand Cru Estates as the managing member.
Danielle Andrus Montalieu
Danielle Andrus Montalieu began her career in the wine industry as a youngster in California at her family’s Pine Ridge Winery. In the 90’s, she moved to Oregon to launch a second family winery, Archery Summit. With her marriage to Laurent Montalieu, the couple partnered on their own Domaine Danielle Laurent and soon opened Soléna Estate, named after their daughter. Danielle is active in promoting Oregon wine with Oregon Pinot Camp, “Salud¡”, the Classic Wine Auction and the International Pinot Noir Celebration. Danielle’s contributions will be many and varied; whether at the estate or behind the scenes, her presence, ideas, energy and skills will enhance members’ experience.
Anthony Van Nice
Anthony Van Nice is an industry veteran with 20 years of proven wine industry experience and with expertise in general management, strategic planning, branding, marketing, and sales. Van Nice will be responsible for all business operation of the winery, including company sales, marketing, and strategic plans. He will work closely with Laurent Montalieu and Danielle Andrus Montalieu, founders and proprietors of Soléna Estate as the President of Soléna Estate and Grand Cru Estates.
Van Nice has a successful track record of developing luxury wine brands and building profitable enterprises. Prior to joining Soléna Estates, Van Nice was the President of Panther Creek, and President of The Four Graces Winery, both in Dundee, Oregon. He currently serves on the board of Oregon Pinot Camp and on the Board of Alumni of Lewis and Clark College. Van Nice holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in International Affairs from Lewis and Clark College and a Masters of Business Administration from the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University.
Bruno Corneaux is French by birth, having grown up in a family vineyard of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Hautes Cotes de Beaune. He gained extensive scientific knowledge by working 10 years in laboratory analysis and then received his degree in Enology from University de Bourgogne, Dijon France. He enhanced his international experience working in vineyards and wineries in France, South Africa, California and Washington and because he loves challenges, Bruno successfully developed a 10 acre vineyard and produced award winning wine in the tropical islands of Tahiti. Bruno served as winemaker, vineyard manager and consultant for operations ranging from 1,000 cases to 25,000 cases. He discovered and fell in love with Oregon in 1996 while working for Domaine Drouhin. He brings his passion for the Willamette Valley and knowledge of Pinot Noir as the natural and necessary link between the vineyards and the winery, supervising all stages of the production, being Grand Cru Estates vineyard manager and resident winemaker.
April Yap-Hennig is a wine lover and marketer with 13 years of experience in International Marketing and Communication in Europe and the United States, and life experience also in the Caribbean and South America.
She holds a Masters in Viticulture and Enology from the University of La Rioja, Spain, an MBA from Purdue University, and B.A. from University of Utah. She is also a Certified Wine Sommelier from the International Wine Guild in Colorado. April was born in Utah, raised in the Dominican Republic and Ecuador and has lived and worked in The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Spain. Her love of wine started when she studied in La Rioja, Spain during her undergraduate studies. This is where she fell in love with the country, the region, the people, the culture, and finally the wine. Thus changing her life and eventually her career. She is forging a new future in Oregon as our Director of Marketing and Hospitality as well as a wine and travel writer for SacredDrop.com.
Growing up in Sonoma County Claire Feikert always knew she wanted to work in the wine industry, but didn’t know in what aspect. After receiving her B.S. in Wine Business at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, she embarked on a five year journey of working in wine production. She spent several harvests working in Australia, several in the vineyard, until finally settling down as a full time winery lab/cellar manager. After an opportunity arose to move to Oregon, she seized it and soon started working for Laurent and Danielle as their office manager. She loves her position as it blends her love of business and wine.