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 has been named office manager and tasting room assistant for DiStefano Winery. Kostenko relocated to Seattle from Walla Walla, where she worked at Waterbrook Winery’s tasting room and Whitehouse-Crawford Restaurant.
Kostenko arrived in the United States from Russia eleven years ago to join family members who had moved several years earlier. In Walla Walla, Kostenko graduated from Walla Walla High School, before attending Whitman College for music and dancing classes.
Ralph was born in Washington DC, grew up in Ohio, went to school in Oregon, and has lived in Washington for 11 years. From the early years, Ralph was always a number's guy, has worked as a CPA, a financial auditor, and financial analyst. In his own words, his wine making background is limited, but being a CPA for 14 years has aloud for a strong financial background.
Five years ago Victor DeLaluz was living in Puebla, Mexico, where from age 8 to 17 he was a professional folk dancer. His dancing took him to countries such as Korea, Italy and Russia. When he moved to US he went into the food business working as a cook with the Bone Fish restaurant. In 2006 he became a harvest intern at Matthew Cellars in Woodinville, where he found his love for wine. In 2008 he approached DiStefano Winery for a position. It wasn't long before Victor was a great asset in the cellar working as our Cellar Master.
Tasting Room Assistant