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
Three's a Company: Mark Beres and Marc Moeller became close friends with another pilot, Tom Kitchens. Tom is the creative source of Flying Leap’s logo. Its three elements stand for the three partners, but it also resembles three vine leaves, an airplane propeller, and a variation on the Celtic Knot, a symbol of friendship and tradition. It’s done in copper, to represent Arizona. Tom can be found almost anywhere around our enterprise - pouring wine, talking about Arizona Rubs or just being - as he likes to joke - an overage intern.
Distiller, Wine Maker. Director of Distillery Operations
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 – Elgin Winery
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.
Assistant Distiller & Winemaker, Tasting Room Associate, Elgin
Rose Suntken originally comes from Michigan working her way through college as an EMT. She then fell in love with sunny Arizona and with a natural affinity for wine, malt, and all things fermented- accepted an apprenticeship with Rolf Sasse. Rose is also a professional artist and her work is featured in several Flying Leap tasting rooms through our partnership with Trust Gallery.
Tasting Room Associate - Elgin Winery and Tubac
Julie loves to discover new places, foods, and wine whenever possible. Originally hailing from Detroit, she has called Tucson home for over 15 years. She brings her enthusiasm for all the good things in life to Flying Leap and she looks forward to pouring you a flight of our outstanding wines.
Tasting Room Associate - St. Philips Plaza
Janie spent 30 + years working with one of the largest Wine and Spirit Wholesalers while living in Texas. After moving to Arizona to be with her family and missing the business she went to a Flying Leap Vineyards wine tasting and fell in love with the wines, commenting “These were some of the best I had ever had!” Julie became fascinated with the Arizona wine industry and loved the passion Mark, Marc and Tom had for their business. Julie holds several wine certifications and she is also a Certified Spirit Specialist from the Society of Wine Educators.
Tasting Room Associate - St. Philips Plaza
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
Lanny was born and raised in Wisconsin, so he’s a true cheese head. He’s even named his golden retriever - Lambeau. Over the years, Lanny has held leadership positions with a number of national membership organizations including the American College of Occupational Medicine, American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society on Aging. More recently he and his wife have owned a restaurant and managed a historic hotel in Northern California. Lanny is an avid runner and this past year completed both the Chicago and Boston Marathons. He and his son are now training for a 50-mile trail run event.
Tasting Room Associate - Elgin Distillery
Karen was born and raised in the south and after het father retired from the military, he moved the family to NH. Her work experience ranges from managing a martial arts studio to telephone company lineman and even a dental assistant. Though she remained there for most of her life and worked outside Karen never fit in to the New England lifestyle nor the climate. In 2010 Karen fell in love with AZ after a vacation here with her youngest son. She bought property and waited 7 years until she retired and was able to build her home and move here. AZ is Karen’s little slice of heaven on earth.
Tasting Room Associate - Prescott
Kinsey is an Arizona native and wine enthusiast. Her passion for wine started right away, growing up in a family of huge "winos." After spending a semester working for The Walt Disney Company and frequently attending the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, she was able to try wine from around the world. Because of this experience, she knew that she needed to further her education about wine and now hopes to study Viticulture. Spending most of her life in the Phoenix Valley, Kinsey decided to escape the heat and head up North to Prescott, AZ. Much more accustomed to small town living, she now runs our newest Flying Leap Vineyards tasting room located in historical Downtown Prescott.