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Team

Lingua Franca was co-founded by Larry Stone, David Honig, and Dominique Lafon in 2015, inspired by the exceptional vineyard site in the Eola-Amity Hills that Larry bought in 2012. They soon hired Thomas Savre, a brilliant young winemaker with work experience at some of the best domaines in Burgundy and an inquisitive mind. Together they have assembled a team of talented and passionate members. All are committed to farming and winemaking practices that respect the environment, believing that complex and undisturbed ecosystems help to create the most interesting and seductive wines.

Larry Stone

Co-Founder

Within a few months of becoming the ninth Master Sommelier in the United States, Larry Stone became the first American to win the prestigious Best International Sommelier in French Wines competition in Paris. His career spans 30 years as a restaurateur and sommelier at the Four Seasons, Charlie Trotter’s, and Rubicon Restaurant among others, and culminates at Lingua Franca where his dream of cultivating an exceptional Oregon vineyard and making honest wines is realized.

David Honig

Co-Founder

David earned his law degree from the University of Chicago and based his practice in San Francisco for 25 years, earning a place in America’s Best Lawyers. Over the last two decades he has amassed a well-chosen collection of wines, invested in wine distribution and in a winery in Napa. Lingua Franca represents the culmination of his long friendship with Larry Stone and his passion for the culinary arts.

Dominique Lafon, Consulting Winemaker

Dominique Lafon

Consulting Winemaker

Best known as the namesake, director, and winemaker of one of the great estates of Meursault, Dominique is a descendant of Jules Lafon, who created the revered wine festival, La Paulée. After taking over the family domaine in the 80s, Dominique revitalized its red and white winemaking approach.

Thomas Savre, Director of Winemaking

Thomas Savre

Director of Winemaking

Thomas is among the most accomplished and energetic young winemakers in Oregon. He joined Lingua Franca from his prior position as Assistant Winemaker, Enologist and Assistant Vineyard Manager at Evening Land, where he worked closely with Dominique Lafon to create superb Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Seven Springs Vineyards, directly adjacent to Lingua Franca.

Kim Abrahams, Production Winemaker

Kim Abrahams

Production Winemaker

Born and raised in Louisiana, Kimberly made the decision to pack up and move West after a stint working in the wine distribution world. Landing at Robert Sinskey vineyards in Napa Valley, Pinot Noir and an appreciation for the land soon became her focus. Working an extensive harvest in Tasmania brought her further into the vineyard. She then spent four years in the cellar of Domaine Serene exploring the craft of winemaking. Kim joined Lingua Franca as Assistant Winemaker in early 2017 to contribute her skills to our winemaking team.

Brandon Hasart, Vineyard Manager

Brandon Hasart

Vineyard Manager

Originally from Bend, Oregon, Brandon graduated from the Washington State University with a degree in enology and viticulture. From there he went on to work a harvest in New Zealand and then lived in Casablanca, Chile for a year, where he helped make wine for a small producer specializing in Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. After a stint as the Assistant Winemaker at Abacela in Southern Oregon, he relocated to the Willamette Valley to shift his focus to vineyard management. Day to day, Brandon works with Winemaker, Thomas Savre, overseeing the LF Estate and Bunker Hill Estate Vineyards and collaborates with the winemaking team’s operations, including blending trials. Like many of us here at Lingua Franca, Brandon is in the Valley to pursue the most elusive of all wine grapes, with charm, character and transparency, Pinot Noir.

Joe Ferris, Assistant Winemaker

Joe Ferris

Assistant Winemaker

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Joe spent several years working as a biomedical engineer in Los Angeles; however, his travels to wine country on the west coast and abroad motivated him to rethink his path in life. After working a harvest in Paso Robles, Joe immediately fell in love with winemaking and made the decision to switch careers. He went back to school to earn a viticulture and enology master’s degree at UC Davis and since graduation, has worked harvests on the Sonoma Coast as well as abroad in Germany and New Zealand. Upon returning stateside, Joe has put down roots in the Willamette Valley and joined our winemaking team for the 2018 harvest. Joe is excited to continue with Lingua Franca in his new role as Cellar Master.

Taylor Bruchet, Senior Cellar Operator

Taylor Bruchet

Senior Cellar Operator

Taylor grew up in western Washington and has always had a passion for the outdoors and science. He was able to combine both of his passions by studying Viticulture & Enology at Washington State University, focusing on soil science and organic farming methods. During his last semester of college, Taylor worked at Four Feathers Winery in Prosser, WA. After graduation, Taylor had the opportunity to work in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand with Villa Maria. It was there that he found his love of mineral driven Chardonnay. After New Zealand, Taylor worked in Sonoma, CA at Roche Winery gaining experience with Pinot noir and Chardonnay, from vine to bottle. Wanting to be a little closer to friends and family in WA, Taylor moved to the urban wine scene in Woodinville with DeLille Wines. He has now officially found home in the Willamette Valley, and after a vintage with Adelsheim Vineyards, he has joined the cellar team at Lingua Franca.

Candy Thompson, Project Manager, Brand

Candy Thompson

Project Manager, Brand

Candy is no stranger to fine wine.  Her travels have taken her all over France to Burgundy, Alsace, the Rhone Valley, and Provence, along with numerous visits to Napa and Sonoma. After graduating with a degree in Journalism from Arkansas State University, she moved to Dallas, TX and spent the following 12 years working in advertising and event and film production.

In 2016, Candy moved to the Willamette Valley with her husband and son, where she eventually found her home on the Lingua Franca team in the fall of 2018.

Joshua Wludyka, Director of Trade Sales

Joshua Wludyka

Director of Trade Sales

Josh first worked for Larry Stone on the wine team at Charlie Trotter’s. When chef Trotter retired, Josh relocated to the Cayman Islands, where he continued his pursuit of excellence in food and wine- opening a cocktail bar and winning his way into Diageo’s Top 100 Bartenders in the world and later twice capturing the crown as Food & Wine’s Cayman Cookout Champion, as judged by the late Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert, Jose Andres, Daniel Boulud, Emeril Lagasse, and others. Before relocating, he helped to open Kimpton’s first international property, the luxury Seafire Resort. Josh was Lingua Franca’s first intern, having assisted Thomas and the winemaking team through all of Lingua Franca’s harvests. Josh left the Caribbean for Oregon in late 2017 to work with Larry in overseeing all national and international distribution.

To contact Josh directly, please email josh@linguafranca.wine

Jonathan Adkisson, Director of Hospitality

Jonathan Adkisson

Director of Hospitality

Bio coming soon!

William Moriarty, Assistant Wine Club Manager

William Moriarty

Assistant Wine Club Manager

William Moriarty, a native Bostonian, has worked in restaurants and hospitality since he was 15.  He received a Bachelor’s degree in French Language & Literature from Hofstra University on Long Island spending part of that time at the Université de Paris VII, followed by a 1 year stint teaching English in a high school in the Champagne region of France.  For William, the confluence of his passions for French and Hospitality naturally evolved into a passion for wine.

After returning to Boston, William worked at No. 9 Park and Menton, two of Barbara Lynch’s fine dining establishments, before being taken under the wing of James Beard Award Winning Wine Director Cat Silirie.  After serving for two years as Silirie’s Assistant Director William joined the opening team for Rochambeau, where he created a well lauded wine list and was charged with ongoing maintenance of that list as well as educating the staff on wine, beer and spirits.  In 2021 William moved to Willamette to pursue his passion for wine more closely, spending a year as the Senior Wine Ambassador for Domaine Serene at their Lake Oswego lounge.

William is very excited to join the team at Lingua Franca and grow a new set of skills in the wine trade.

Kate Barrett, Hospitality Associate

Kate Barrett

Hospitality Associate

Kate was only nine years old when she told her father she wanted to make wine! Starting her career with a small backyard vineyard and some very questionable garage winemaking, Kate later attended Cal Poly SLO and received her degree in Enology. Despite her young age, she has completed nine harvests in her career, spanning our local regions up and down the West Coast as well as having traveled to work in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. We are fortunate that she has finally put down roots here in the Willamette Valley, and has switched lanes to work in hospitality with Lingua Franca for the time being. Given her previous enological experience, Kate loves sprinkling her tastings with information on our principles of winemaking and breaking down complex wine chemistry in a way that is understandable and relatable. When she is not working, she enjoys opening a nice bottle of wine and fawning over her houseplants, building elaborate puzzles, or baking sourdough. When she is forced to leave her nest, she enjoys walking around her new hometown of McMinnville with her Kiwi husband Josh and their Standard Poodle, Rhône.

Jamie Apuna, Hospitality Associate

Jamie Apuna

Hospitality Associate

Jamie’s East Coast roots split her time between NYC, Boston, NJ, PA, & Maine.  She studied International Socio/Economical Development & Art History in Salzburg. It was in Austria that she took her first cuisine & wine course. Upon graduation, accompanied by her three best friends from high school, she moved to San Francisco. While on a redwoods hike, the group picnicked by a waterfall and one person took out Karen MacNeil’s Wine Bible. After reading it cover to cover in three days, she was inspired to explore California wine country and began working for some of the best restaurants in the world. She received a world class education under intense supervision in exacting environments at the James Beard Award Winning-Pellegrino Top 50-Michelin 3 starred Coi, Lazy Bear, In Situ, Bar Tartine and Berlu. Her wine education continued through programs such as WSET Diploma Candidate, CMS Sommelier, FWS, CSW, CWAS, & NWAS. It was in the Northwest Wine Appellation Specialist course that she blind tasted wines from Oregon, Washington, Canada and Idaho. One wine stood out among all the others in the tasting. It was so compelling that she knew she wanted to join that team. It was the 2017 Lingua Franca Estate Chardonnay.

Nestor Zermeño Esparza, Tractor Technician

Nestor Zermeño Esparza

Tractor Technician

Originally from a small pueblo in Jalisco, Mexico called San Diego de Alejandría, Nestor moved to Oregon in 2016 to unite with his wife Jackie. Nestor has worked in production and manufacturing over the last few years, but has always been interested in agriculture and has enjoyed learning more about the wine industry. He joined the Lingua Franca team as Tractor and Vineyard Hand in February of 2020, right before COVID made the year one for the books. In his spare time, Nestor likes to go fishing, BBQ and spend time with his family.

José Guerrero-Peña, Tractor Technician

José Guerrero-Peña

Tractor Technician

José was born and raised in Jalisco, Mexico. In 2014, he moved to Oregon and began working for the vineyard management company Results Partners, where he gained experience working in a handful of vineyards throughout Yamhill County and strengthened his tractor driving skills. He became passionate about the health of the soil and vineyard ecosystems and learned about the challenges that environmental factors can bring to farming. Outside of the vineyard you can find José spending time with his wife and two daughters. He enjoys fishing, hunting and crabbing.

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