Welcome to Flying Leap!
Flying Leap is a vertically integrated American wine and spirits producer headquartered in Tucson, Arizona. We have wine production facilities located in Elgin, Arizona and collaborate with the Hoffmann & Girotti families to produce wine in Mendoza, Argentina. We also operate a world-class distillery co-located adjacent to the winery in Arizona. The company’s wines and spirits are cellared in Elgin and Mendoza. Flying Leap today comprises a team of 36 people who operate as a unified team with a determined and passionate goal to provide customers with the finest in ultra-premium, craft-made wines and distilled spirits. We grow our winegrapes in southeastern and southern Arizona, as well as in the shadows of the Andes mountains, and in 2023 for the first time we will be bringing contracted fruit out of the famous Les Collines vineyard in Walla Walla, Washington.
But while wine and spirits are what we make, it’s our customers’ experiences with our products, venues and staff that define us. We believe that providing an exceptional experience is what truly sets us apart in the market. Our customers consistently cite the memorable experiences we provide in their reviews, follow-up surveys, and in-person interviews. Whether you’re visiting our tasting room or enjoying our products at home, we strive to make every interaction with Flying Leap a special one. So read on, taste our wines and spirits, and let us show you what makes Flying Leap so unique. We’re more than just a craft winery and artisanal distillery – we’re a diverse team of passionate individuals dedicated to providing an unforgettable customer experience.
Flying Leap’s logo is a triskelion formed from three interlocked leaves, each forming a distinctive letter. The upper and leftmost leaf forms the letter “F”, for “Flying”. The upper right leaf forms a backward “L” in motion, for “Leap”. The single bottom leaf is a “V”, for “Vineyards”. The three leaves together form a logogram for “FLV”, the letters of the Company’s name. The leaves themselves represent three distinct themes. The first is the lifelong friendship of the Company’s three founders, established by the interlocked configuration of the logogram. The second is the leaves themselves, which symbolize Flying Leap’s agricultural basis and founding as a farming operation. The third is the angular clocking of the leaves, which form a propeller symbolizing the three founders’ diverse backgrounds in military aviation.
Our Founding, Development & Growth
Flying Leap Vineyards was founded in 2010 by Mark Beres, Marc Moeller and Tom Kitchens, lifelong friends from their college years at the USAF Academy in Colorado who shared a passion for wine and expert skill in engineering and business. Each of them served careers as pilots in the Air Force, with varied backgrounds in leadership and military aviation. 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 Flying Leap purchased 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. With a new portfolio of wines and a lucrative 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. Three major vineyard expansions occurred between 2012 and 2016, and Flying Leap’s ongoing infrastructure expansion begin in 2021.
The Company began distilling in the Fall of 2016 and opened its distilled spirits tasting room at the winery estate in April 2017.
The Company has produced wine since 2013, and growth in wine demand has long since exceeded the Company’s production capacity in Arizona, which led Flying Leap to expand wine sourcing to include collaborative partnerships with growers and vintners in Mendoza, Argentina (Malbec, Chardonnay) and Walla Walla, Washington (Syrah, Sangiovese).
In 2023, Flying Leap entered into a statewide distribution agreement with Scout Distribution, a San Diego, California-based distribution company with expanding operations in Arizona and Idaho. Scout and Flying Leap now provide prompt, timely-service of our quality portfolio of delicious wines and spirits to both on and off-premise accounts across the state of Arizona.
Today, Flying Leap produces between 12,000 and 16,000 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 four 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, as well as from our partnership with Bodega Tamasçal and the Hoffmann and Girotti families in California and Argentina.
At Flying Leap Vineyards, we are driven by a clear vision and unwavering mission. Our vision is to become the epitome of artisanal craftsmanship in the world of wine and spirits, while our mission is to celebrate the intersection of tradition and innovation. With a steadfast commitment to these guiding principles, we strive to create, innovate, engage and exceed in all we do. Read on to learn about our vision, mission and core values.
Become the Epitome of Artisanal Craftsmanship in the World of Wine and Spirits
Our vision is to become the epitome of artisanal craftsmanship in the world of wine and spirits. Flying Leap is dedicated to the meticulous production of exceptional small-batch products that celebrate the artistry of winemaking and distillation. By blending traditional techniques with innovative approaches, we aim to captivate connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike, leaving an indelible mark on the global stage. With a commitment to quality, authenticity, and a sense of place, we strive to set new standards and inspire a renaissance in the appreciation of fine wine and distilled spirits.
Celebrate the Intersection of Tradition and Innovation
Flying Leap’s mission is to celebrate the Intersection of Tradition and Innovation. We do this by honoring time-honored production techniques while embracing new, cutting-edge approaches, and we seek to create products that pay homage to the rich heritage of winemaking and distillation while also pushing boundaries and exploring new frontiers. Through our commitment to experimentation, creativity, and the relentless pursuit of flavors, we aim to captivate discerning palates and inspire a sense of wonder and discovery. We are driven by a passion for the art of fermentation and distillation, and our mission is to share that passion with others, sparking conversations and forging connections through the joy of exceptional wines and distilled spirits.
Our Core Values
CREATE - INNOVATE - ENGAGE - EXCEED
- CREATE: As a farm winery and craft distillery, creating new and exciting products is essential to the success of our business. We are committed to creating unique and innovative wines and spirits that stand out in a crowded market. To do this, we encourage creativity and experimentation among our team members, and we constantly explore new flavor combinations and production methods. We believe that creating something truly original and remarkable is key to building a loyal customer base and staying relevant in the industry.
- INNOVATE: In addition to creating new products, we are also dedicated to innovation in all aspects of our business. This means constantly seeking out new technologies, processes, and methods that can improve our production efficiency, sustainability, and quality. We are always looking for ways to reduce waste, conserve resources, and minimize our environmental impact. We also believe that innovation should extend beyond our own operations, and we actively seek out partnerships and collaborations with other companies and organizations that share our values.
- ENGAGE: At the heart of our business is our commitment to engaging with our customers. We believe that the customer experience is paramount, and we strive to create an environment that is welcoming and enjoyable for all. This means creating opportunities for customers to learn about our products, ask questions, and provide feedback. We also believe in giving back to our community by supporting local events, charities, and organizations. By engaging with our customers in a meaningful way, we build trust and loyalty, and create a sense of belonging that goes beyond simply selling products.
- EXCEED: Finally, we are committed to exceeding our customers’ expectations in everything we do. This means providing exceptional service, producing high-quality products, and creating an experience that is wonderfully-unforgettable. We understand that our customers have many choices when it comes to wine and spirits, and we want to stand out by going above and beyond in every interaction. Whether it’s offering personalized recommendations, hosting unique events, or simply being friendly and welcoming, we strive to exceed expectations at every opportunity. By doing so, we create loyal customers who will return again and again, and who will recommend us to their friends and family.
We are a team of committed Arizona family farmers, skilled winemakers & artisan distillers
Mark BeresChief Executive Officer & President
Mark is the Chief Executive Officer & President of Flying Leap and is the company’s co-founder. Mark grew up in Walla Walla - one of Washington’s most exclusive winegrowing regions. He has several years of successful large-scale commercial viticulture experience, including all aspects of vineyard development, operations, and harvesting. A successful entrepreneur, his chief responsibilities are establishing and executing the company’s business strategies and promoting Flying Leap’s brands. Mark is also Flying Leap’s Master Distiller. Mark leads our distillery program, spirits production, and is the person behind the design, layout, and development of the company’s distillery infrastructure.
Marc MoellerChief of Operations and Vice President
Marc is the Chief of Operations and Vice President of Flying Leap and is one of the company’s co-founders. Marc was raised in San Diego and after high school joined the Air Force to travel the world as a transport pilot, eventually landing in Washington DC to fly Air Force 2. After retiring from service, Marc started with Flying Leap helping to plant its first vineyards and began making wine in 2011. Since then, he has worked to help grow the company and maintain “behind the scenes” operations. In his spare time Marc enjoys guitar, golf and mountain biking.
Kelly is the General Manager for Flying Leap Vineyards and Distillery. Kelly hails from Cedarburg, Wisconsin where she owned 3 Papa Murphy Take N’ Bake Pizza stores for 17 years. While in Wisconsin, she started a new career managing an Optical lab in the medical field. In 2021, she found herself an empty-nester and made a move to Arizona. Kelly’s love for wine, meeting new people and the wonderful Arizona Desert, brought her to Flying Leap. Kelly enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her 3 Boston Terriers. You can find Kelly at one of the tasting rooms engaging in conversation with our guests, pouring wine and creating a great customer experience at Flying Leap Vineyards.
GregBrand Ambassador/Wholesale Accounts Manager
Greg is a Tucson native, having lived in the southwestern United States his entire life. Greg has always loved fine wines and spirits and he grew up working in some of Tucson’s finest restaurants. He has also spent over 6 years as a fine wine and spirits distributor and loves to share his knowledge and passion with everyone. He is responsible for our wholesale business accounts, sales, and distribution across Arizona.
GabrielSommelier - Winery Estate Tasting Room
Gabriel Morales is an Arizona native, self-taught chef and skilled wine enthusiast. Gabe has a great passion for the food and wine industry. He has owned several different restaurants and bars both in the US and Mexico. He loves to explore food and wine pairings, and he enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with customers to enhance their wine country visits.
KarenSommelier - Distillery Tasting Room (Elgin, AZ)
Karen was born and raised in the south and moved to New Hampshire when her father retired from the military. In 2010 Karen fell in love with Arizona after a vacation here with her youngest son, calling it her little slice of heaven on Earth. Karen is passionate about our Estate Distillery in Elgin and has created several cocktails highlighting our spirits.
JulieSommelier – Tubac Tasting Room
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.
MatthewSommelier – Prescott Tasting Room
Matthew is our Prescott tasting room sommelier, and he comes from wine country in the Pacific Northwest. Matthew’s passions extend to wine, food, and music. He has been a part of the food and beverage scene for over 22 years. He has taken all the experience from his past to make sure you have the best experience possible here at Flying Leap Vineyards. If you can’t find him in the tasting room, check the local golf course, disc golf course and dog parks nearby!!
Adam oversees our vineyard operations including all our company’s vines and viticulture team. Many of our vines he initially planted and are now at full maturity from his continued devotion. Adam’s love of earth and nature is demonstrated through his passionate caring of our many grape varietals and attending to their unique characteristics.
GingerSommelier - Elgin & Tucson Tasting Rooms
Ginger Gamble, originally from St. Petersburg, FL fell in love with what Arizona had to offer. Being a former military spouse, she has had the chance to live and travel all over the world and has enjoyed cuisines from every corner of the globe. While she has always been passionate about animal welfare & recuse, Ginger still makes time to be a wine and food fanatic. You can find her offering fun and knowledgeable tastings at both our Elgin and Tucson tasting rooms.
Flying Leap’s wines are produced by Johnny Wood. A native of the state of Oregon, Johnny moved to Arizona with his wife and two children to learn the art of winemaking. Johnny developed his production skills first as a cheesemaker, having worked several years crafting artisanal cheeses for Oregon’s famed Rogue Creamery. An avid sports fan, Johnny loves football, baseball and especially golf. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, spending time with friends and family and hitting the golf course