Ultrapremium Wine & Distilled Spirits - Grown, Produced & Bottled in the American Southwest

Flying Leap is a committed team of Arizona family farmers, skilled winemakers & artisan distillers, and a team of passionate wine & spirits retail merchants. Flying Leap is also a full-service, direct distributor of its wines and spirits portfolio to on & off-premise wholesale customers across the United States. We grow a vast portfolio of French, Spanish and Italian winegrapes at our vineyards in southern and southeastern Arizona, and we produce a delicious array of ultrapremium wines and distilled spirits from our harvests.

Flying Leap is also the parent company of Arizona Rub. Arizona Rub is home to a family of premium dry rubs and seasonings that add authentic Southwestern flavor to all BBQ foods, including steaks, chops, ribs, roasts and grilled vegetables. Arizona Rub products are made from the highest quality, premium spices available and contain no MSG or gluten.

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unique story & meet our staff

Our Unique Journey from the Cockpit to the Wine Business

     Flying Leap Vineyards was founded in 2010 by three lifelong best friends: Mark Beres, Marc Moeller and Tom Kitchens, who met as freshmen in their late teen years at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the late 1980s. Following graduation & commissioning, Mark, Marc and Tom served their country as Air Force pilots in multiple theaters of war and in a number of different roles and aircraft. A native of Walla Walla, Washington, Mark flew as a special operations pilot in the MH-53M Pavelow IV and later graduated from the US Naval Test Pilot School, serving as a developmental test pilot for many years. Marc – a native of San Diego, California flew Boeing 757s, serving several US Vice Presidents, First Ladies and Secretaries of State as a distinguished pilot of Air Force Two for many years. Tom “Kitch” Kitchens – a native of Costa Mesa, California flew global airlift missions, flying the Lockheed C-17 for many years in both active duty and in the Air Force Reserve. Our founders performed a tactical rejoin in Arizona following their years of service to found Flying Leap Vineyards, which was incorporated in Vail, Arizona in the Fall of 2010.

     Initially envisioned as a collaborative small business venture, primarily as a small-scale wine grape farming operation, the Company began in earnest developing what would later become its Block 1 vineyard in a small, rural agricultural growing area south of Willcox, Arizona known as the “Kansas Settlement”. These initial vines were planted in April 2011, and developed & trellised over three full growing seasons.

     During these years and as serendipity would have it, a very young, unknown and somewhat disorganized Flying Leap would purchase a small farm winery called “Canelo Hills” located in the heart of Arizona’s most scenic wine country south of Tucson. The purchase of this property in Elgin in February 2013 launched Flying Leap’s wine retail operations, and it was at this exact time that Flying Leap discovered Rolf Sasse – a European native of Bavaria with experience in the alcohol production trades & sciences who had recently relocated to Tucson after retiring from military service with the German Air Force. Initially hired as a tasting room manager, Rolf’s skills as a winemaker become readily apparent and he was quickly moved from sales to production.

     With a new portfolio of ultra premium wines and a place to market and sell them, Flying Leap’s sales soared. The growing demand for the Company’s wines required more planting, more expansion and the creation of more jobs. Flying Leap’s Block 2 vineyard was planted in 2012 and the estate vineyard was restored and expanded from 2013-2016. In 2016, the Company planted the Block 3 vineyard, and Block 4 is already designed and slated for planting in 2020. Recognizing the folly of fruit sales in the small Arizona wine market, Flying Leap chose instead to design and build a distilling capability so that surplus fruit could be distilled.

     The Company began distilling in the Fall of 2016 and opened its distilled spirits tasting room at the winery estate in April 2017. Today, Flying Leap produces between 3,000 and 8,000 cases of wine annually depending on market demand and fruit allocations to the winery and distillery, which share the Company’s annual harvest. Flying Leap operates seven wine tasting rooms and one distilled spirits tasting room in the Arizona market. Our products are grown, produced and bottled by Flying Leap – our wines and brandy-based spirits, including vodka are made from wine grapes harvested by-hand at our southern & southeastern Arizona vineyards. They genuinely express the distinctive terroir of Arizona’s unique growing sites and our microclimate, as well as the skill and patience of our production staff.

Meet Our Team

Founders/Management

President & CEO/Co-Founder

Mark Beres

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Marc Moeller - Flying Leap Vice President
Vice President / Co-Founder

Marc Moeller

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Director of Logistics & Co-Founder

Tom Kitchens

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Vineyard Staff

Stacy Luna - Flying Leap Director
Director, Vineyards

Stacy Luna

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Production Team

Director, Wine & Spirits Production & Cellarmaster

Rolf Sasse

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Rose Suntken - Winemaker & Distiller
Winemaker & Distiller

Rose Sasse

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Tasting Room Staff/ Sommeliers

Sommelier - Flying Leap Winery Estate

Elise Gaynor

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Sommelier - Willcox Tasting Room

Lisa Kaufmann

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Sommelier - Sedona Tasting Room

Tod Young

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Kinsey Wilson - Prescott Tasting Room
Sommelier - Prescott Tasting Room

Kinsey Wilson

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Bisbee Tasting Room

Tom Kitchens

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Karen Rollins - Elgin Tasting Room
Sommelier - Distillery Tasting Room (Elgin, AZ)

Karen Rollins

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Janie Gould - Tucson Tasting Room
Sommelier - Tucson Tasting Room (Plaza Palomino)

Janie Gould

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Julie Kluge - Winery & Tubac
Sommelier - Flying Leap Winery Estate & Tubac Tasting Rooms

Julie Kluge

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Lanny Hardy - Tubac Tasting Room
Sommelier - Tubac Tasting Room

Lanny Hardy

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Sales & Marketing/Events & Promotions

Brand Ambassador/Wholesale Accounts Manager

Greg Maciulla

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Nicole Maddox - Events & Promotions
Events & Promotions

Nicole Maddox

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