A lifelong lover of cooking, gardening and wild places, Emily Terrell felt the pull of winemaking from the basement of the University of Washington chemistry building during her last year of undergraduate studies. To avoid any rash decisions, she earned her M.Sc. in Food Science/Wine Biotech at the University of British Columbia before launching into the world of punchdowns, pumpovers and more sticky grape juice than she ever thought possible.
She spent the next three years in the cellars, vineyards and labs of New Zealand, Australia, Canada and France enjoying great wines, hard work and the formative worldwide friendships that are such a hallmark of the industry. A growing interest in the site-driven nuances of Pinot noir and the ennui of endless travel led Emily to the beautiful Willamette Valley for the 2012 harvest in the Dundee Hills.
In 2013, she joined the team at Brittan Vineyards where it has been her great pleasure to grow with such a dynamic family business focused on making unique Estate wines of distinction.
A love of science and exploration led this rural Upstate New York girl across the country to Oregon State University (that would have been a LONG road trip just to join the rowing team as a walk-on). While studying microbiology she pondered a way to avoid a life spent in a stiff white lab coat. The answer lay with the bubbling carboy under her desk happily spewing foam from the air lock and dribbling onto the floor below.
She spent the next few years picking up techniques from Pinot noir and Chardonnay focused wineries of all sizes in Oregon and New Zealand. Rae joined Brittan Vineyards in 2019 and has enjoyed tackling each vintage’s unique challenges with this talented team.
Outside of work, Rae can be found: getting her hands dirty in her garden; rough housing with her golden retriever, Sage; or out on a hike in the Gorge.
Director of Sales
Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Thomas Sichta earned his vinous chops working his way through college and graduate school at various restaurants, wine bars and wine shops in Athens, Georgia and Missoula, Montana. After earning a Master’s in Forensic Anthropology from the University of Montana, a career in wine was clearly the next logical step.
Thom settled in Oregon in the spring of 2001 and has never looked back. After working with several historic Oregon wineries (Ponzi Vineyards, Chehalem Winery) and spending nearly a decade in the Portland wholesale scene, he was hired as Director of Sales at Brittan Vineyards in the winter of 2018. Thom’s experience in all three tiers of the wine industry has given him a comprehensive and holistic perspective on managing Brittan’s consumer and national sales channels.
When not representing the sustainably farmed, estate grown, terroir driven wines of Brittan Vineyards, you’ll likely find Thom elbow-deep in a sourdough baking project or flipping through vintage jazz records at a nearby record shop.
Hospitality & Sales Manager
As a child of Yamhill County, Miriam Peterson could not have imagined the explosive growth and success of this wine region or the many reasons for her to return as an adult.
Miriam left Oregon for New York City to attend Pace University, only returning to Oregon to visit family and work during breaks. Over one such summer Miriam found employment in a couple of Willamette Valley tasting rooms where she developed a passion for the wine industry. Still intent on settling outside of her hometown, Miriam accepted positions at wineries in New Zealand, France, and Australia where she honed her cellar and production skills, flexed her management and marketing experience, and developed a sound understanding of viticulture and wine sales.
As chance would have it, 2020 brought Miriam back to the Willamette Valley and to Brittan Vineyards. Her work at Brittan began in production during the 2020 harvest but quickly evolved into wine club and hospitality management. Miriam has relished in the community and versatility of Brittan Vineyards, where she has been able to assist in the cellar during harvest while welcoming guests into the tasting room.