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, 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.
Director of Events & Business Development
Leslie’s interest in wine began at a young age, as her family embraced very European values and customs, and wine was integral part of daily life. Shortly after she first moved to Tucson in the 1970’s, her family purchased the Hidden Valley Inn, where she began to learn even more about the restaurant industry. Leslie attended the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, in the Undergraduate Flow Cytometry Internship and the Graduate/Undergraduate Hematology & Molecular Biology program. She also received a Bachelor of Arts from Florida International University. After working for Williams-Sonoma and in Corporate Marketing in the Biomedical industry, Leslie served as Marketing and Wine Director of Kala’s Wine Bar in Ft. Lauderdale for two years, and her efforts were integral in The New Times selection of Kala’s as “Best Wine Bar” in 2006. She has also served as Wine and Beverage Department head of a national specialty retailer. Passionate about wine and food, she is an advocate for Southern Arizona's bountiful culinary offerings, enjoys studying wine, and looks forward to gaining more hands on experience. She is also an Associate Member of the Sommelier Guild, Inc. We are excited to have Leslie join the Flying Leap team and having her experience in coordinating our events, tours, vineyard wedding programs and brand expansion.
Michelle is a Tucson native, who attended the University of Arizona. With a passion for design and a high skill level in organization, Michelle naturally became an event planner as well a successful Interior Designer. She has created dozens of memorable signature events in the lovely homes she has designed for her clients. Her extensive experience in events consists of business and personal anniversaries, brunches, intimate dinners, open houses, holiday, and of course weddings - she has been the Wedding Coordinator for both Hacienda del Sol and the Tubac Golf Resort and Hotel. She was also Marketing and Events Coordinator Sunflower Farmers Market. Her extensive background in offsite events, private estates, ranches allows her to easily create parties for 15-225 people. Michelle's exquisite eye for design and event planning experience is vast and strong: as Flying Leap's Wedding Coordinator, she looks forward to sharing it with you to plan Vineyard Wedding of your dreams!
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 – 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.