Owner & Winemaker
Mark, a mechanical and nuclear engineer by training, began his wine making career listening to a French Cabaret singer with his Father at the Domain Chandon winery in the winter of 1983. He still is not sure if it was the wine or the women, but following that day, he decided to go into the wine business.
After taking a short course in sparkling wine making at UC Davis and spending countless hours in some of the finer sparkling wine cellars in California, Mark set the course to produce a traditional Champagne-style wine produced from Oregon Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The first bonded wine was produced in 1984 under the label of Newton & Newton. Great reviews of the 1984 and 1985 wines also produced a law suit from the Newton winery in Napa. Settlement was agreed and the winery changed the name to Whittlesey Mark sparking wine. Sparkling wines were made up through 1990, when the winery shifted its focus to red and white Bordeaux style wines.
Special Events Director & Owner
In 1987, Mark and Donna DiStefano were married. As a wedding gift, Mark promised to make a wine for his new wife. In 1990 the first DiStefano wine was produced, a Fume Blanc (dry Sauvignon Blanc), followed with its first Cabernet Sauvignon in 1991.
Donna provides all forms of support to Mark, both in and out of the Winery. In addition to raising their two lovely children, Donna plays a major role in the development and implementation of the Winery's special events, including formal dinners and special tastings.
Alla Kostenko arrived in the United States from Russia seventeen years ago. She relocated to Seattle from Walla Walla, where she worked at Waterbrook Winery’s tasting room and Whitehouse-Crawford Restaurant. She has been named the Office Manager and the Tasting Room Assistant for DiStefano Winery. After working at DiStefano for five years, Alla was promoted to Operations Manager and now runs most of the administrative work and manages our Wine Club program. For the last six years she has worked for the winery remotely, while traveling around the country and living in Hawaii. Here is her traveling blog OurHomeWorld.