President, Co-Founder, Viticulturist, Engineer
A native of Washington State, 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 several 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.
Vice-President, Co-Founder, Wine Maker, Winery Operations
Marc is a first generation American who grew up with deep and diverse connections to his family in Europe. The artistic side of his family in Switzerland is part of the “old-world” wine culture. His family owns a small private vineyard and has produced wines for many generations. Marc’s experiences working with his family and learning the craft first-hand have left an indelible impression on him. Throughout his life his regular family visits abroad have cultivated a knowledge and appreciation for the traditions of winemaking creating a passion that has come back full circle with Flying Leap. Marc completed the Winemaking Certificate Program from the University of California, Davis in the autumn of 2012.
Marketing and Events
Tasting Room Director, Assistant Wine Maker
Rolf joins Flying Leap from Schliersee, Germany, a small lakeside village about 30 miles south of Munich in the Bavarian Alps of southern Germany. He served in the German Air Force, and was stationed in El Paso, Texas for many years before relocating to Tucson with his wife, Carrie. He has returned to the wine industry here in the US, and is now in charge of all of Flying Leap’s tasting rooms. Rolf is steadfastly dedicated to providing all of our customers with a first class wine tasting experience in all our tasting rooms, as well as enhancing our customer’s understanding of wine, wine & food pairing and the Arizona wine industry at large.
Tasting Room Associate - St. Philips Plaza, Tucson, AZ
Cindy’s introduction to wine making came when she was in high school using Concord grape juice and baker’s yeast. Fun, but according to Cindy “it tasted terrible!” Needless to say Cindy’s tastes and knowledge of wine has increased dramatically over the years. Though briefly contemplating U. C. Davis’ Enology program Cindy decided on a B.S. in Microbiology and Chemistry from the University of Arizona, followed by graduate course work in Immunology. While raising her family and teaching Agriculture Science, Cindy began touring Arizona farms and vineyards, falling in love with grape vines all over again. Cindy is a wonderful addition to the Flying Leap Family and her presence brings joy to our hearts!
Tasting Room Associate – Tubac, AZ
Beth became interested in fine wines after her first trip to Napa, about 20 years ago. She toured several wineries and learned how to "taste". Since then Beth has visited the wine regions of Southern and Central California, Napa, Sonoma, the Russian River Valley, Oregon, Washington and New Zealand. Originally from Connecticut, Beth has been living in Arizona going on 12 years. Along with her appreciation for fine wines she is passionate about travel, her herd dogs, cooking and reading. Beth has spent over 30 years in the mortgage industry and now it's time to do something fun!
Tasting Room Associate – Bisbee, AZ
Keith Allen Dennis is a Bisbee local, having lived in town for nearly eight years. A year ago he left behind a career as a land use planner in local government to pursue a Master’s degree through Western New Mexico University. He began his time with Flying Leap Vineyards and Distillery in early 2015, and is much happier dispensing red wine than red tape.
Keith is a local musician and sometimes stand-up comic, and is active in the Bisbee community as a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission and Board of Adjustment. He enjoys making people happy by pouring some of the best wine Arizona has on offer, and is excited to be part of a growing business driven by passion for great wines. As one of the newest sommeliers to join the Flying Leap team, Keith runs the tasting room in Bisbee, and enjoys his role both as an advocate of quality wines and as an ambassador to the many tourists who visit the town.
Tasting Room Associate – Willcox, AZ
Roberta spent over 20 years doing fieldwork in archeology and cave research. Now, she does research on a collection of historic photographs she has inherited and writes a book series on them. All this AND she works in the Flying Leap Vineyards tasting room in Willcox, AZ! Roberta has loved wine since she was way too young to drink it and keeps wine tasters entertained with stories of when she fermented batches of wine (in her closet) in gallon milk jugs during her high school years!
After graduating as a viticulturist from Yavapai College, she joined Flying Leap Vineyards and Distillery at one of their beautiful tasting rooms – this one on historic Railroad Ave. in Willcox - where she keeps company with Warren Earp in the historic Headquarters Saloon building.
Tasting Room Associate – Elgin, AZ
Kelley’s appreciation of wine dates from his undergraduate days abroad in Valencia, Spain. The large Spanish family he boarded with always had red and white wines on the lunch and dinner tables. In the Spain of the 1980’s, Monday through Friday at 10 a.m., the country’s adult population took a half hour break to enjoy la merienda. La merienda was observed in neighborhood bars with tortilla a la Espanola and a glass of wine or beer. Kelley visited local vineyards with the patriarch of the family to fill their two, twenty-liter containers with Monastrell (Mourvedre) and Merseguera wines from a spigot on the side of a concrete wine tank! Kelley is proud of the fact that the Sonoita/Elgin and Willcox areas are ideally suited terroirs for growing Spanish grapes and in particular that Flying Leap Vineyards produces some of the finest Tempranillo, Garnacha, Monastrell and Graciano varietals and blends in the United States.
Tasting Room Associate – Tubac, AZ
A veteran singer and entertainer, Robin holds a Bachelor of Music in Operatic Performance from the University of Arizona. His love affair with wine began when he was helping found the Arizona Opera Company in 1971. “All those champagne receptions and fundraising events definitely spurred my interest in learning more about wine.” Robin has since travelled extensively, singing and visiting wine regions across the US and in eight foreign countries. He loves to share wine stories and considers pouring wine for delighted customers to be a wonderful performing venue.