Home Industry News Releases Dancin Vineyards Names Bryan Wilson as Winemaker

Dancin Vineyards Names Bryan Wilson as Winemaker


MEDFORD, ORE – April 1, 2017: DANCIN Vineyards, an ultra-premium producer of Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, Barbera and Port in Southern Oregon, announces the appointment of Bryan Wilson, who will oversee all winemaking activities of the winery brand as their full time winemaker beginning April 2nd.

In selecting Wilson as winemaker, DANCIN co-owner Dan Marca said, “As a winemaker, whose career has spanned three decades, Bryan contributes a unique depth of experience and a passion for old-world techniques in the winemaking process. He respects and embraces our total commitment to the details throughout each and every facet of production, and we are very happy to have him in the DANCIN family.”


Soon after receiving a B.S. in Economics from U of O in 1980, Bryan’s winemaking career began in Sonoma County.  As a cellar hand at Chateau Souverain, Bryan met Mike Benziger and joined the Benziger family in 1984, becoming their winemaker in 1987, working with high quality fruit from the Bien Nacido Vineyard and farms in Napa, Sonoma and the newly discovered Sonoma Coast.  In 1994, he had the opportunity to work alongside Warren Winiarski at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars as their associate winemaker before returning back to Oregon. In 1998, Bryan became the winemaker at Silvan Ridge Winery, having the opportunity to craft wines from vineyards in the Rogue, Umpqua and Willamette Valleys. After assisting at two wineries in Southern Oregon during 2005-06, Bryan accepted the winemaker position at Foris Vineyards in 2007. Ten years later, Bryan is delighted to be working with Dan and Cindy Marca at DANCIN, having the opportunity to craft exceptional Chardonnay and Pinot noir in the foothills above Jacksonville.


The winemaking philosophy embraced by DANCIN Vineyards is in many ways a return to the traditional methods that were largely forgotten during the modernization of winemaking in the second half of the 20th century. These include techniques such as 100% native yeast fermentation, fermentations punched down by hand every 8 hours, minimal sulfites used during processing, and moving the wine exclusively by gravity to create a truly authentic wine. This is especially important with delicate and sensitive Pinot noir (and beneficial for other varieties as well), where every racking (especially with a pump), addition, or change in effect subtracts from the wine. It has become apparent that these techniques, which were once considered inefficient and old-school, have in fact proven to be the true path to hand-made, artisanal wine.

In summary, the advantage of gravity winemaking on a technical level is that it does not detract from the desirable, hard-earned nuance and finesse that was so carefully coaxed out of the fruit during fermentation. Wine flowing from their upper hillside barrel room down to the winery never passes through a pump, which would compress and push the wine to its destination, volatilizing the aromatics of the wine and diminishing the subtle but important elements that make Pinot noir so unique. Instead, the wine moves naturally by gravity, with no pressure change, no mechanical assistance, and no subtraction from the wine.  


A recent recipient of ten medals at the prestigious 2017 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition of American wines in the world along with recent scores in the 90’s on seven of its wines by Wine Enthusiast Magazine and a participant in the 2017 Oregon Chardonnay Celebration (OCC) and World of Pinot Noir (WOPN) and 2015 International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC), DANCIN Vineyards is located within the forested foothills of Southern Oregon just above the gold rush inspired community of Jacksonville and minutes away from Medford and Ashland. 

DANCIN is a love story. It is the marriage of science and art. The pairing of fine wine with delicious food, and the sincere passion of Dan and Cindy. DANCIN is an annual dance in harmony with nature, in step with the weather, the soil, and the vines. This is captured in every bottle of wine they produce, which are primarily named after movements within ballet, a form of dance wherein dedication, discipline and balance are in submission to the grace and beauty of the final performance.

Within a year of their storybook meeting in 1995, Dan and Cindy (DANCIN) began researching wine and viticulture at UC Davis, and twelve years later, they discovered a perfect plot of land nestled within the forested foothills of southern Oregon, just outside of the gold rush community of Jacksonville. A northwest facing slope, benefitting from the late afternoon shade provided by the surrounding tall pines and cedars, it would become the perfect terroir for growing Pinot noir and Chardonnay with a sense of place.

Planted to seven distinct clones of Pinot noir and four different clones of Chardonnay, the vineyards are meticulously maintained through continual assessment during each and every facet of the growing season, making every effort to achieve vine balance. At the point of perfect ripeness, each cluster is hand harvested and sorted, first in the vineyard, and then twice more on the crushpad, as our limited production exquisite Pinot noirs, Chardonnays and other varietals are hand-crafted using minimalist, old world techniques that complement the practices in the vineyard.

Situated in the vineyard, and located just minutes from Ashland, Medford and Jacksonville, their Tasting Room is the perfect setting to drink in the views of Table Rocks, Mt McLoughlin and the Rogue Valley while savoring their selection of award winning, estate grown wines along with artisan wood-fired pizzas and much more, all served tableside!

DANCIN welcomes inquiries for custom crush services for a very limited group of select clients who share their desire to craft the highest quality wines possible!

DANCIN is open Thursday through Sunday, from 12 until 7 from October through April and Thursday through Sunday, from 12 until 8 from May through September.

Previous articleSecond Annual Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Auction Raises $472,000
Next articleWine Country Dry Goods Partners with Proforma, Becomes Proforma Wine Country


  1. Bryan, my friend! I’ve looked you up multiple times over the years and in 2012? had a number in Gold Hill that I thought might be you. In any case, I’m glad that I just made a search and found you settled in a situation that sounds harmonious with your synergistic earth friendly nature!
    I hope you don’t find that too presumptuous on my part, but I remember when you and I went to Knudsen Erath Winery and you proceeded to discuss the use of (sulfites?) in the fermentation process with their winemaker If I remember correctly, he stated he tried to use as little as possible, but because of volatility of the weather it was problematic.
    I really wanted to get in touch because I am reminded of you all the time
    when I’m growing or driving or hiking or eating or drinking or arguing or
    looking at the sunset or the river flow or…. talk to Mike Benscheidt…
    It was great to see your photo, so there is no question that it’s the ‘right’ (correct) Bryan Wilson.

    This may be the wrong forum to discuss myriad personal things! But, I
    hope all is well with you and your loved ones (maybe you could send your
    personal e-mail and we could catch up a bit. I’m glad that I know you will receive this. It’s very settling to an incomplete goal that I set so….long ago after the Cave Junction – Humboldt sojourn!
    Take care and give my love to your family.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.