About us

Meaning “for the love of the Earth,” Amaterra is a state-of-the-art winery and restaurant located in the slopes of Portland’s West Hills. Just minutes from downtown Portland, Amaterra serves as a destination for both residents and visitors alike and features a 12-acre vineyard, chef-driven restaurant, outdoor event lawn, and expansive valley views.

Meet Our Amazing Staff

Werner Nistler, Jr., & Colleen Nistler

Founders

Husband and wife Werner Nistler, Jr. and Colleen Nistler are Co-founders of Amaterra. Their endeavor with Marcus Breuer and Matt Vuylsteke resulted in the creation of Swede Hill Vineyards in 2013, a Pinot Noir vineyard planted in Portland’s West Hills.

Werner is also the Founder and Chairman of Touchmark, which develops and operates full-service retirement communities throughout North America. Colleen serves as the Vice-Chairperson of the Touchmark Board of Directors, having held several roles including controller.

In their spare time, Werner and Colleen enjoy spending time with their six children and are active in their church community. Werner has also served on the Board of Trustees for Jesuit High School, Valley Catholic Capital Campaign, and the Catholic Charities Cabinet, organizations in which Colleen has also been involved and supported. They are also serving in support of the University of North Dakota, Werner’s alma mater. They are both avid cyclists and swimmers. 

Marcus Breuer

Co-Founder and CEO

Marcus is a co-founder of Amaterra and also serves as CEO of the state-of-the-art winery set in the tree-filled slopes of Portland’s West Hills.

Outside of his time in Seattle earning his Bachelor’s of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Washington, Marcus has spent his whole life in the West Hills of Portland and calls the area his home today. Marcus worked in the banking industry for a number of years before spending time in supply chain and finance at Intel. While at Intel, Marcus received his finance MBA from Portland State University.

Building on his long-time relationship with Amaterra Founders Colleen and Werner Nistler while serving in many roles at Touchmark as well as his grade-school friendship with Amaterra Winemaker Matt Vuylsteke, Marcus helped connect all the parties and bring together the winery’s talented team of winemakers, hospitality and culinary leaders, and operations staff.

Outside of work, Marcus enjoys spending time with his wife (whom he’s known since childhood) and their four daughters skiing, golfing, and playing pickleball.

Matt Vuylsteke

Matt Vuylsteke

General Manager, Winery

Matt Vuylsteke is the General Manager and Winemaker at Amaterra Winery, located amidst the tree-filled slopes of Portland’s West Hills. A native of Portland, Oregon, Matt graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Food Science & Technology from Oregon State University as well as obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Concordia University.

Matt started in the wine industry as a cellar hand at Tyee Wine Cellars and as an undergraduate research assistant in the Enology Extension Laboratory at Oregon State University. He spent several years in Washington working as a production enologist for The Hogue Cellars, eventually returning to Oregon, joining the Domaine Serene team as an assistant winemaker. Matt founded a vineyard management and winemaking consulting company and, in 2012, along with his wife Nancy, launched their own winery, 51Weeks Winemaking.

In 2013, Matt and Nancy’s consulting company was engaged by Amaterra to help plant and manage the first vineyards, and later, as 51Weeks Winemaking became a part of Amaterra, Matt joined the Amaterra team.

At Amaterra, Matt is charged with leading the development of the estate vineyards and winemaking program, direct-to-consumer, Wine Club, and off-premises sales. When he’s not busy bringing delicious wines to consumers, Matt enjoys skiing, cycling, crabbing, and spending time with his wife, two children, and golden retriever, Champ, on both the mountains and the beach.  

Jeff Brown

General Manager, Restaurant

Jeff Brown is the General Manager of Amaterra, where he is committed to responsible stewardship of resources, driving innovation and preserving the human element of hospitality.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in hotel, restaurant, travel and administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Jeff launched his career with Marriott International in Boston. He then went on to become a general manager at Morton’s The Steakhouse and then the area director of operations for Kimpton Hotels and Resorts in San Diego. Most recently, Jeff served as general manager of food and beverage for Sage Restaurant Group, where he oversaw Urban Farmer and Departure Restaurant and Lounge at The Nines Hotel, a LEED certified property in Portland, OR.

With more than 25 years of proven high-performance in managing operations, Jeff prides himself on the ability to lead and motivate staff to create innovative results. His passion for food transparency and creating sustainable food systems has allowed him to collaborate with a more diverse set of academics and scientists to better understand food for tomorrow.

Chef Jami Flatt

Jami Flatt

Executive Chef

Jami Flatt is the Executive Chef at Amaterra and brings with him over 20 years of professional industry experience. He earned his degree from Arizona’s Scottsdale Culinary Institute and has worked in prestigious establishments such as The Ritz-Carlton, Silver Queen Restaurant, The Nines Hotel, Urban Farmer, and Departure. Having held the roles of chef de cuisine, executive sous chef, and executive chef, he has built meaningful relationships with peers in Portland’s vast culinary scene. Jami’s menus exemplify his passion for using high-quality, seasonal, locally grown food and his profound respect for farmers and the bounty of the Pacific Northwest.

Gabrielle Dowding

Director of Catering and Events

Gabrielle Dowding is the Director of Catering & Events at Amaterra. Her role is to ignite clients’ imaginations and empower them to create experiences through strategic end-to-end event production. Gabrielle earned a Bachelor of Science in hotel and restaurant administration from University of Massachusetts, followed by a master’s degree in international hotel and restaurant management from Hotel Consult Institut César Ritz in Le Bouveret, Switzerland.

A dedicated professional catering and event sales manager, Gabrielle has held various director and consultant positions with highly regarded and respected companies, including IBM Corporation, Guckenheimer Inc. and Black Swan Events.

Gabrielle is also the recipient of the National Couple’s Choice Award Wedding Wire from 2009 through 2019, as well as a Certified Level 1 Sommelier by Guild de Sommelier, France.

Tanya Zumach

Wine Club and Direct to Consumer Manager

Tanya Zumach is the Direct-to-Consumer & Wine Club Manager for Amaterra. She is responsible for building and cultivating an outstanding Wine Club experience for members as well as overseeing sales. She works closely with the winemaking, hospitality, and event teams to develop and implement the wine program at Amaterra.

 While living in San Francisco and visiting nearby Sonoma and Napa, Tanya developed a passion for wine, which grew upon moving to Portland and exploring the Willamette Valley more than 20 years ago. With a background in brand strategy and eCommerce, Tanya decided to make the transition into the wine industry and joined Argyle Winery where she built the eComm program, directed holiday catalogs and campaigns, and supported the tasting room, wine club, and events. 

With more than 30 years of experience in marketing, Tanya prides herself on her ability to streamline complex processes and come up with creative solutions. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, live music, and entertaining friends.

Meet Our Amazing Staff

Werner Nistler, Jr., & Colleen Nistler

Founders

Husband and wife Werner Nistler, Jr. and Colleen Nistler are Co-founders of Amaterra. Their endeavor with Marcus Breuer and Matt Vuylsteke resulted in the creation of Swede Hill Vineyards in 2013, a Pinot Noir vineyard planted in Portland’s West Hills.

Werner is also the Founder and Chairman of Touchmark, which develops and operates full-service retirement communities throughout North America. Colleen serves as the Vice-Chairperson of the Touchmark Board of Directors, having held several roles including controller.

In their spare time, Werner and Colleen enjoy spending time with their six children and are active in their church community. Werner has also served on the Board of Trustees for Jesuit High School, Valley Catholic Capital Campaign, and the Catholic Charities Cabinet, organizations in which Colleen has also been involved and supported. They are also serving in support of the University of North Dakota, Werner’s alma mater. They are both avid cyclists and swimmers. 

Marcus Breuer

CEO

Marcus is a co-founder of Amaterra and also serves as CEO of the state-of-the-art winery set in the tree-filled slopes of Portland’s West Hills.

Outside of his time in Seattle earning his Bachelor’s of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Washington, Marcus has spent his whole life in the West Hills of Portland and calls the area his home today. Marcus worked in the banking industry for a number of years before spending time in supply chain and finance at Intel. While at Intel, Marcus received his finance MBA from Portland State University.

Building on his long-time relationship with Amaterra Founders Colleen and Werner Nistler while serving in many roles at Touchmark as well as his grade-school friendship with Amaterra Winemaker Matt Vuylsteke, Marcus helped connect all the parties and bring together the winery’s talented team of winemakers, hospitality and culinary leaders, and operations staff.

Outside of work, Marcus enjoys spending time with his wife (whom he’s known since childhood) and their four daughters skiing, golfing, and playing pickleball.

Matt Vuylsteke

Matt Vuylsteke

General Manager, Winery

Matt Vuylsteke is the General Manager and Winemaker at Amaterra Winery, located amidst the tree-filled slopes of Portland’s West Hills. A native of Portland, Oregon, Matt graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Food Science & Technology from Oregon State University as well as obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Concordia University.

Matt started in the wine industry as a cellar hand at Tyee Wine Cellars and as an undergraduate research assistant in the Enology Extension Laboratory at Oregon State University. He spent several years in Washington working as a production enologist for The Hogue Cellars, eventually returning to Oregon, joining the Domaine Serene team as an assistant winemaker. Matt founded a vineyard management and winemaking consulting company and, in 2012, along with his wife Nancy, launched their own winery, 51Weeks Winemaking.

In 2013, Matt and Nancy’s consulting company was engaged by Amaterra to help plant and manage the first vineyards, and later, as 51Weeks Winemaking became a part of Amaterra, Matt joined the Amaterra team.

At Amaterra, Matt is charged with leading the development of the estate vineyards and winemaking program, direct-to-consumer, Wine Club, and off-premises sales. When he’s not busy bringing delicious wines to consumers, Matt enjoys skiing, cycling, crabbing, and spending time with his wife, two children, and golden retriever, Champ, on both the mountains and the beach.  

Jeff Brown

General Manager, Restaurant

Jeff Brown is the General Manager of Amaterra, where he is committed to responsible stewardship of resources, driving innovation and preserving the human element of hospitality.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in hotel, restaurant, travel and administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Jeff launched his career with Marriott International in Boston. He then went on to become a general manager at Morton’s The Steakhouse and then the area director of operations for Kimpton Hotels and Resorts in San Diego. Most recently, Jeff served as general manager of food and beverage for Sage Restaurant Group, where he oversaw Urban Farmer and Departure Restaurant and Lounge at The Nines Hotel, a LEED certified property in Portland, OR.

With more than 25 years of proven high-performance in managing operations, Jeff prides himself on the ability to lead and motivate staff to create innovative results. His passion for food transparency and creating sustainable food systems has allowed him to collaborate with a more diverse set of academics and scientists to better understand food for tomorrow.

Chef Jami Flatt

Jami Flatt

Executive Chef

Jami Flatt is the Executive Chef at Amaterra and brings with him over 20 years of professional industry experience. He earned his degree from Arizona’s Scottsdale Culinary Institute and has worked in prestigious establishments such as The Ritz-Carlton, Silver Queen Restaurant, The Nines Hotel, Urban Farmer, and Departure. Having held the roles of chef de cuisine, executive sous chef, and executive chef, he has built meaningful relationships with peers in Portland’s vast culinary scene. Jami’s menus exemplify his passion for using high-quality, seasonal, locally grown food and his profound respect for farmers and the bounty of the Pacific Northwest.

Gabrielle Dowding

Director of Catering and Events

Gabrielle Dowding is the Director of Catering & Events at Amaterra. Her role is to ignite clients’ imaginations and empower them to create experiences through strategic end-to-end event production. Gabrielle earned a Bachelor of Science in hotel and restaurant administration from University of Massachusetts, followed by a master’s degree in international hotel and restaurant management from Hotel Consult Institut César Ritz in Le Bouveret, Switzerland.

A dedicated professional catering and event sales manager, Gabrielle has held various director and consultant positions with highly regarded and respected companies, including IBM Corporation, Guckenheimer Inc. and Black Swan Events.

Gabrielle is also the recipient of the National Couple’s Choice Award Wedding Wire from 2009 through 2019, as well as a Certified Level 1 Sommelier by Guild de Sommelier, France.

Tanya Zumach

Wine Club and Direct to Consumer Manager

Tanya Zumach is the Direct-to-Consumer & Wine Club Manager for Amaterra. She is responsible for building and cultivating an outstanding Wine Club experience for members as well as overseeing sales. She works closely with the winemaking, hospitality, and event teams to develop and implement the wine program at Amaterra.

While living in San Francisco and visiting nearby Sonoma and Napa, Tanya developed a passion for wine, which grew upon moving to Portland and exploring the Willamette Valley more than 20 years ago. With a background in brand strategy and eCommerce, Tanya decided to make the transition into the wine industry and joined Argyle Winery where she built the eComm program, directed holiday catalogs and campaigns, and supported the tasting room, wine club, and events. 

With more than 30 years of experience in marketing, Tanya prides herself on her ability to streamline complex processes and come up with creative solutions. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, live music, and entertaining friends.

Become a Member

We are pleased to offer both social and Wine Club memberships so that members can utilize the benefits of Amaterra in a way that best meets their needs.

Become a Member