Meet the Crew
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 wine professional 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.
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.
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!
Tommy Folks, Tour Guide
I am a wine enthusiast turned wine country tour guide pro. My appreciation for wine, specifically the wines of the Willamette Valley, has lead me to pursue my wine education through the WSET Certification training and wine hospitality as a part-time tour guide with Triangle Wine Country Wine Tours. I have been living in the backyard of the Willamette Valley for many years, and have hands on experience working the harvest and enjoying the many hidden gems of Oregon’s wine country. I can share as much knowledge about the outdoors of Oregon as I can about Oregon’s booming wine industry. I have spent over 25 years living up and down the west coast and I look forward to sharing my experience and wine knowledge with you.
Brian Elliott, Operations Manager
I was lucky enough to have grown up here in Portland, where my enthusiasm for wine began. While I don’t have any formal wine education, I do have personal friends who own a boutique winery. Over the years I’ve helped them out as a cellar rat during a few crushes, poured wine and helped with sales during open house events, and represented their winery one year at the International Pinot Noir Celebration. These experiences, and my own interest in pairing wine with food, have helped to hone my palate, especially for Oregon wines. I began working for Triangle Wine Country as their social media coordinator and that opportunity grew into the Operations Manager position that I enjoy now. I will continue to oversee Triangle’s social media presence and will bring my librarian’s skills to managing the front office, delivering excellent customer service to our guests, managing the website, and developing and implementing advertising promotions. I can’t wait to help you with your next wine adventure!