L’Ecole Team

The talented faces behind the L’Ecole brand.

Martin Clubb photo - Co-owner and Managing Winemaker

Martin Clubb

Co-owner & Managing Winemaker

Marty is Managing Winemaker and Co-owner of L’Ecole N° 41 with his wife, Megan, and children, Riley and Rebecca.  Marty assumed the operation of the winery from Megan’s parents, Jean and Baker Ferguson, in 1989, six years after the winery’s founding.

Today Marty’s primary focus is a hands-on approach to the winery’s viticulture operation.  Along with his Estate Ferguson and Estate Seven Hills Vineyards, Marty personally works with over 30 vineyards located throughout the Columbia Valley.  He collaborates with each grower to optimally manage contracted vineyard blocks to meet the quality requirements established by the winery.

In addition, Marty is a Managing Partner with Gary and Chris Figgins (Leonetti Cellar) and Norm McKibben (Pepper Bridge Winery) in the highly acclaimed Seven Hills Vineyard and the SeVein vineyard development, home to L’Ecole’s newest Estate vineyard, Ferguson.

Marty’s ongoing dedication and commitment to our wine industry is evident in his many leadership roles. He has served nearly 30 years on the Boards of various wine industry associations, including the Washington Wine Commission.  He is currently a Director of the Washington Wine Institute and WineAmerica.  Marty was instrumental in the founding of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, serving as its first President.  He worked with other industry pioneers in the development of the Walla Walla Community College Center for Enology and Viticulture and continues serving in an advisory role.

Constance Savage photo

Constance Savage

General Manager & COO

Constance Savage is the General Manager & COO of L’Ecole N° 41.  Joining the team on the first day of harvest in 2018, she is responsible for managing the business side of the winery including:  sales; marketing; administration; and human resources.  She is a WSET Diploma holder and industry veteran, and holds Masters Degrees from Manhattanville College (Marketing) & CUNY Zicklin School of Business (International Business).

Prior to her employment at L’Ecole N° 41, Constance worked at Kobrand Corporation for over twenty years.  As a VP, she worked directly with Kobrand’s highly-esteemed producers of wine & spirits.  In 2012, she made her first trip to the Walla Walla Valley, and promptly fell in love with the wine, terrain, and people.  She and her family look forward to welcoming you to Walla Walla!

Ben Dimitri - Marketing Manager

Ben Dimitri

Marketing Manager

Ben originally joined the L’Ecole team in 2010, working in different roles throughout eight years, including setting the pace for excellence as Tasting Room Manager, followed by a hands-on crush experience during L’Ecole’s 2018 harvest. He left L’Ecole to further explore the winemaking process, honing his skills while working in wine production in the valley for more than two years.

Ben rejoined his alma mater in September 2021 to embrace a new challenge, taking on the role of Marketing Manager.

When Ben is not at the Schoolhouse, he can be found hanging out with family and friends, playing guitar, cooking, reading, and enjoying life.

Winemaking Team

Marcus Rafanelli - Winemaker

Marcus Rafanelli

Winemaker

Marcus Rafanelli is a Seattle native, with extensive domestic and international winemaking experience. He is a 2008 graduate of the Walla Walla Community College (WWCC) Institute for Enology & Viticulture (EV) program and holds a B.S. in Biology from Boise State University.

While at WWCC’s EV program, he worked as a harvest intern at L’Ecole N° 41, gaining experience in small-lot winemaking. After graduating, he made wine for a boutique Woodinville-based winery for six years, following which his career took him to renowned wineries in Australia & Germany.

He returned to Walla Walla in 2016, taking the role of Instructional Technician at WWCC and Cellarmaster at College Cellars. Marcus has been an active member of the Washington Wine Technical Group since 2009 and holds a place on the Advisory Board of the WWCC EV Program.

When not at work, you can find Marcus outside (hiking, skiing, camping), with his wife Heather in their garden, or out exploring different wine regions of the world.

Tyler Morrison - Assistant Winemaker

Tyler Morrison

Assistant Winemaker

Tyler is a Walla Walla native who grew up farming on his family’s wheat farm.  Driven by wanting to make excellent wine that he could share with friends and family, Tyler enrolled in the WWCC Enology and Viticulture program and graduated in 2018.

At L’Ecole, Tyler is involved in all aspects of the winemaking process from vineyard visits to bottling and events.

He likes hiking, camping, and home wine and beer production.

Collin DeLong - Associate Winemaker

Collin DeLong

Associate Winemaker

Collin was born and raised in Wenatchee Valley, Washington.  Following his freshman year of college, in 2014, he accidentally fell in love with the art of winemaking after getting a job at a zip line course and winery located in Chelan, Washington.  After a few years of winemaking in the Lake Chelan AVA, he uprooted and enrolled in the Walla Walla Community College Enology and Viticulture program.  Shortly after graduating in 2020, he joined the L’Ecole winemaking team where he plans to gain more knowledge about winemaking and to contribute to producing outstanding wines.

In his spare time, Collin loves to travel, hike, and spend time with his family.

Kyle Pritchard - Cellarmaster

Kyle Pritchard

Cellarmaster

Kyle grew up on a cattle ranch near Billings, MT.  He learned to cook professionally in Montana and Alaska, which instilled in him a deep appreciation for wine.  In 2017, he completed the electrical program at WWCC and was the first graduate from their Cellarmaster program.

Outside of work, he loves to cook at home and ski during the winter.

National & International Sales

Matt Rice photo

Matt Rice

National Sales Manager, East

Matt joined the team in September 2019.  Centrally located in Kansas City, Missouri, to readily service the broad expanse of L’Ecole’s Midwest markets and beyond, he brings a deep understanding of the Pacific Northwest wine industry to his role as National Sales Manager.  Previously Matt served as National Sales Manager for Owen Roe Winery for 12 years, managing 44 markets nationally and internationally.  There he gained hands-on knowledge of all facets of the wine industry, including harvest work, wine production and overseeing all sales channels.

Matt is a graduate of The University of Kansas, and enjoys spending time with his wife, Britta and their dog, Poppy.  An avid reader and record collector, Matt also loves cooking to share meals and wine with friends and family.

Annie Wallace Cox - National Sales Manager, West

Annie Wallace Cox

National Sales Manager, West

Annie’s background includes twenty years of experience in the wine industry. Originally from Portland, she began her wine career with a sales position for a prominent Oregon winery, followed by extensive sales and management experience at the distributor level. For nearly a decade before joining L’Ecole in May 2022, Annie worked at Vias Imports Ltd, managing sales of a respected portfolio of Italian wines across a six-state territory.

After moving to the Seattle area in the mid-2010s, Annie fell in love with the Northwest for all its beauty and its world-class wine. When she’s not enjoying the pleasures of the food and wine scene, you can find her out on the hiking and Nordic ski trails with her husband and two black labs.

Sara Ritchie - National Sales Associate

Sara Ritchie

National Sales Logistics Manager

Sara joined L’Ecole in September 2020 as a part-time DTC/Wine Club Associate where she assisted in the execution of wine club shipments and built meaningful and lasting relationships with customers. Sara’s attention to detail and commitment to L’Ecole meant she was immediately earmarked for a promotion to the newly-opened position of National Sales Logistics Manager.

A Walla Walla native, Sara has always been surrounded by the valley’s wine culture, yet her first foray into the wine business was upon joining L’Ecole. She quickly became a valued team member and a trusted consultant to fans of L’Ecole’s wines.

Outside of work, she enjoys spending time collecting and caring for her exotic houseplants and hanging out with her cute cats.

Consumer Direct and Wine Club

Jaime Chalk

Jaime Iseminger

Wine Club & Direct to Consumer Sales Manager

Jaime moved to Walla Walla in 2001 for her previous role as a Training Instructor for Deere & Co.  A glass of L’Ecole Schoolhouse Red was enjoyed with dinner her first evening in town and the rest is history.  She joined the L’Ecole team as the Shipping Manager in 2005 and today oversees Wine Club and DTC activities with a focus on providing optimal service for our customers.  Jaime and her husband have a small farm east of Walla Walla that occupies most of their time away from work.  You will also find her horseback riding, hiking, kayaking, and cooking for friends.  She is a graduate of The Ohio State University (’98, ’00).

I am nuts for our Semillon especially with cedar plank salmon or fresh chevre spread on a baguette. On the red side, I love the Columbia Valley Syrah with a grilled elk loin.”

Ciera Roop - Retail & Hospitality Manager

Ciera Roop

Retail & Hospitality Manager

Ciera is a Walla Walla Valley native who was born and raised on her family’s farm, where her love for agriculture originated. She joined the L’Ecole team in early 2019 on the tasting room floor, after working at various local wineries and restaurants over the past decade. Connecting with and delighting guests are her favorite parts of life in the tasting room. Ciera was recognized as one of Washington Tasting Room Magazine’s 2022 Movers, Shakers & Winemakers.

Ciera is a mom to three young daughters and she and her husband spend their free time relishing their growing family. She is an animal lover with three rescue dogs that keep life interesting. Baking and cooking count amongst her favorite activities, along with regular visits to her family’s farm.

Business Office

Cynthia Dahlinger Koby - Office Manager

Cynthia Dahlinger Koby

Internal Support & Community Relations Manager

Cynthia has lived in the PNW for 17 years. Her career has afforded her the chance to wear many hats over the years with the last few being in hospitality and catering. She joined the wine industry in 2017 managing a tasting room in Walla Walla, before she joined the L’Ecole team in 2019.

Cynthia enjoys her time away from the winery collecting a jungle of indoor plants, fermenting garden veggies, exploring the great outdoors, listening to live music, and spending time with her husband, friends, and family.

Nanci Crowley

Nanci Crowley

Controller

Nanci joined L’Ecole in 2000 as part-time accountant.  As the winery grew, her position also grew to address the financial complexities of the evolving wine industry.  Nanci was named controller in 2009.  In addition to her financial responsibilities, she manages compliance and provides human resources support.

Nanci is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound.  She loves time with her family, cooking, sports, and fine wines.

“Nothing better than a Seahawks game, popcorn and L’Ecole Chardonnay!

Go Hawks!”

John Moreau, Shipping and Inventory Manager

John Moreau

Shipping and Inventory Manager

John, a Walla Walla native, was introduced to the wine industry at a young age helping pick grapes during harvest for a local winery. He attended both Walla Walla High School and Walla Walla Community College. He joined the L’Ecole team in 2019 as a Hospitality Associate and transitioned to Shipping Associate in 2020. In December 2021, John was promoted to Shipping and Inventory Manager.

When he’s not at the winery, you can find him hiking in the Blue Mountains with his Chocolate Lab, Mars, or snowboarding in the winter.

Acclaim & Accolades

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Wine & Spirits Top 100 Wineries Award Logo
Best Bordeaux Blend in the World 2011 Estate Ferguson Decanter Wine Awards logo
Best Bordeaux Blend in the World 2013 Estate Ferguson 2016 Six Nations Wine Challenge logo
Best Washington Wineries to Visit Food & Wine

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