Who We Are
The crew at Triangle Wine Country are long-time locals who know Portland, and the Willamette Valley, very well. So, if you’re visiting the Portland area, or you’ve just relocated here and you need a few recommendations, we are happy to help! This is our home and we look forward to sharing it with you from the perspective of a WSET Certified Personal Sommelier and to “getting personal about wine” with you.
Dan K. Johnson
Dan K. Johnson, Proprietor/Tour Guide
As a young boy, my grandparents had vineyards in California. Around age six I moved from California to North Idaho. Several years later I returned to California to live with my father in Paso Robles. At 21, I moved to Atlanta to harvest my fruit. My first career was in the fitness industry. In fact, I taught group exercise classes for 38 years and competed successfully in many fitness competitions. At 30, I moved back to the Pacific Northwest and pursued my love of accounting and finances as my next career. However, my passion for wine never stopped and I completed my first wine course in 2002. After completing my MBA in 2006 I went on to complete my Level Two course with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), passing with Merit and later my Level Three Advanced course. Currently, I am pursuing my CSW and Certified Wine Educator (CWE) designations. Now living in Portland for more than 20 years, Triangle Wine Country began in 2014 as my third career (thus the name Triangle Wine Country) and a return to my roots in wine. Our interactive wine tours and classes allow us to “get personal about wine.” This unique approach makes wine more approachable and enjoyable. I look forward to meeting you soon.
Emily Bowler, Operations Manager/Tour Guide
Julie Meyers, Tour Guide
My first taste of a visit to wine country was in the rolling hills of the Hunter Valley in Australia. My gateway to wine was picturesque, jammy, and juicy. It was the early 90’s and I was young. Several years later, immersed in the corporate consumer packaged goods grind, I made time to study wine with the state-accredited International Wine Guild in Denver, Colorado. The best part of studying wine is clearly the practice it takes to learn your craft! I found myself making international adventure travel plans that included more of those picturesque wine country moments and chose destination triathlons and century bike rides near US wine country. It wasn’t long before I had to admit, I was bitten by the wine bug. Several wine courses and an International Wine Guild Sommelier certification later, I left the corporate world and found myself nose-in-the-soil in the famous vineyards of Europe. While in London, I studied with the Wine Spirit Education Trust where I earned my intermediate certification with distinction. Following, back in Colorado, I worked on the retail floor in a shop known for “grower” Champagne and a notable selection of nearly 5000 wines. I moved on to work with a young new distributor to open up the competitive Boulder market. To be closer to the vines, I moved to Oregon in 2015 with my heart set on discovering and contributing to all of what the “front lines” of the wine industry had to offer. I took on harvest work and learned the history of the Willamette Valley while teaching others in a tasting room. I believe wine is best enjoyed with others. Don’t be surprised to hear me quote my favorite scene in Sideways, “the occasion is the bottle.” Cheers!
Justina Harris, Tour Guide
My passion for the wine industry started in high school when my parents realized I was the perfect designated driver; little did they know I would fall in love with the culture, science and art that is the wine industry. Sadly, I only spent one year in Oregon at the time, but never gave up on my dream to come back. I started my official wine career in Idaho and deeply resent all of the potato and, “You da ho!” jokes. . . though I expect to hear a few. While in Idaho, I was able to do a little bit of everything in a very small and up and coming wine industry. I finally made my way back to Oregon in 2015 and found my home at a lovely local winery where I run the direct to consumer program. I have always believed that life should be filled with passion, and I consider myself extremely lucky to not only love what I do, but to get to share my passion for the farms, people and wine that make up the Willamette Valley every day. To me every bottle has a story, so let’s pop those corks and see what they have to say!
Julia Murty, Tour Guide
My exploration of the wine world began in the Finger Lakes Region of New York state. I would visit there annually for a sibling weekend- tasting wines, meeting the winemakers and satisfying my curiosity for learning about wine. As I relocated to the west coast in California, Washington, and eventually Oregon for my career in fine jewelry, I was spoiled by the access to wine country. On weekends and my time off, I enjoyed touring wineries, attending educational events and traveling to different areas of wine production. Portland has been my home for 10 years, which I appreciate for its food and wine, amazing outdoors, and moderate climate. I recently transitioned from being a District Merchant for a major retailer to the wine industry, earning my Levels 2 & 3 Awards with distinction in Wine from WSET. I appreciate the opportunity to share wine experiences and continue to explore the diversity of wine regions.