Wine Business Monthly annually honors individuals who shape the way the wine industry operates, push boundaries, and make a difference in the community
December 07, 2022, Dayton, Ore. – Stoller Wine Group President, Gary Mortensen, inspires his team to be agile and rebel against convention leading to an extraordinary impact on the community and Oregon Wine Industry. It’s this philosophy that led him to be recognized by Wine Business Monthly as a 2022 Wine Industry Leader. Comprised of five categories—from agriculture to sales, culture to business, technology to tradition—the 2022 list recognizes 33 individuals from more than 100 nominations across the U.S.
Mortensen is one of nine honorees in the Driving the Wine Business Forward category and the only Oregon representative on the list of leaders. With decades of experience in Oregon wine and tech start-up industries, his ideology on business is to reimagine the way people think about wine and deliver exceptional results. Executing Proprietor Bill Stoller’s vision to build a company that lasts 200 years, Mortensen oversees a family-owned portfolio consisting of Stoller Family Estate, Chehalem Winery, Chemistry, Canned Oregon, and History. Through creative direction, visual storytelling, and developing meaningful relationships, Mortensen’s leadership has earned Stoller Wine Group the reputation as one of Oregon’s most dynamic and celebrated family of wine brands, including Sunset Magazine’s 2022 Sunset Travel Awards as one of the Top Wine Tasting Experiences, Portland Business Journal’s Most Admired Companies List for eight consecutive years, and six-time USA Today 10Best Tasting Room honoree.
When presented with the pandemic-related challenges of the past three years, Mortensen challenged the Stoller Wine Group team to take the offense. Under his leadership, the team reinvented its approach to direct-to-consumer and national sales by emphasizing visual storytelling and fostering unique partnerships that supports the community. Additionally, the family of wine brands opened its first satellite location in Bend, Oregon, and launched Stoller Swing, a new Rosé Spritz, to diversify its product portfolio and extend into a new beverage category. His strategic approach to pushing boundaries, regardless of the industry or application, led Mortensen to be honored as one of the Portland Business Journal 2022 Top Executives and appointed to the Oregon Wine Board by Governor Kate Brown.
“Gary is an exceptional visionary who also personifies managerial excellence,” said Tom Danowski, president of the Oregon Wine Board. “The Oregon wine industry now generates more than $7 billion in economic impact to the state annually, and we need leaders like Gary as we navigate increasingly dynamic, post-pandemic global winescape. His measured vision and strategic thinking will be a major benefit to our industry.”
In his spare time, Mortensen shares his passion for innovation, preservation, and authenticity at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, where he serves as a volunteer Board Director and chair of the Marketing and Branding Advisory Committee. As an award-winning documentary filmmaker and avid historian, Mortensen is also the founder of Veterans’ Legacies, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to collecting and sharing our veterans’ photographs, films, and written documents with future generations.