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Proud Member


Domaine Berrien Cellars is a proud member of Rhone Rangers.

Our people are what make us special, and we’d like you to meet them!


karen staff

Karen Sleder

Karen has lived in every corner of the lower peninsula of Michigan with the longest time being over 25 years in the SW region. Working in the wine industry for over 10 years, she has learned to love & appreciate Michigan wines & agriculture. Karen has 3 grown children, 3 grandchildren, and her 13 year old Labradoodle named Riesling. Aside from visiting wineries, Karen loves to travel, read, and spend time with her family. Her favorite DBC wines are the Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc.

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 Jennifer Quail

Jennifer is originally from SE Michigan, but has lived in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Virginia, & Washington DC. Her background is in museums and food, including stints in professional kitchens and historic demonstrations. She is also a published author of mysteries, fantasy, and horror. Her hobbies include traveling, Scandinavian crime dramas, playing with her Corgi & Beagle, and appearing on Jeopardy! Jennifer's favorite DBC wines are the Sauvignon Blanc, Wolf's Prairie Red, and whatever goes with what she's cooking!


Breena Dubuque

Breena is originally from California, where she met her husband Jake. After moving many times, they settled in Berrien Springs with their 2 children.  They enjoy boating on Lake Michigan, hiking, kayaking, and playing with their 2 dogs. Breena also enjoys painting and hosting paint parties.  Though she enjoys many Domaine Berrien wines, her favorites are the Marsanne, Lemberger and Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Jake Nivison

Jake grew up in the Flint/Saginaw/Bay City area of Michigan until his "Manifest Destiny" called him to move to the central coast of California. During his near decade out west, he obtained multiple degrees in Viticulture & Enology. In pursuit of learning the traditional Old World ways of grape growing and winemaking, Jake studied in Germany before returning to Michigan to begin his career in the Lake Michigan Shore AVA. When not in a vineyard or wine cellar, Jake enjoys hiking, kayaking, gardening, and cooking. His favorite DBC wines are the Viognier and Crown of Cab.

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 Susan Melnyk

Susan's roots have always been planted in Southwest Michigan soils. Leaving to pursue her education and launch her career, she spent years living in Washington DC and working as an analyst for the National Ocean Service and volunteering as a docent at the National Cathedral and Corcoran Museum of Art. Relocating back to St. Joseph, Susan brings to our team a passion for exploring all wines and assisting new wine drinkers. Her favorite DBC wines are the Sauvignon Blanc and the Unoaked Chardonnay.


Luis Escobar

Luis immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, and is our vineyard foreman. Luis and his wife Tammy live here in Berrien Springs with their three children, Brianna, Caitlyn, and Luis, Jr. When Luis is not working, he enjoys fishing, hunting, and attending his children’s school events. Luis' favorite Domaine Berrien wine is Pinot Noir.


Katie Maurer

Katie grew up in Kalamazoo, finally settling in the Berrien Springs area after retiring from her construction scheduling job to start her second career – running the winery! Katie is a University of Michigan graduate and is proud to cheer for the Wolverines! Go Blue! When not at the winery, Katie loves walking with her dogs thru the vineyards or sitting on the deck with a glass of wine, bird watching. Katie’s favorite Domaine Berrien wines are the Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Marsanne. Drink White!


Wally Maurer

Wally is originally from Shaker Heights, OH. After giving up his corporate career as a purchasing manager, he settled in Berrien Springs to pursue his true passion – growing grapes and making great wine! He loves being outdoors working in the vineyards, or talking to guests about what we do and how we make such excellent wine. When not at the winery, Wally can be found fishing or hunting. His favorite Domaine Berrien wines are the Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and Crown of Cab. Drink Red!


Baco Noir   2002 - 2015

Sweet Baco, our first winery dog! Anyone who is a regular at the winery knew and loved Baco. Baco was our larger than life Black Lab. He had three main passions in life: playing ball, eating anything anyone dropped, and sleeping in the back room. Baco was a celebrity, having been featured in the “Wine Dogs of America” book on page 306! Baco did not have a favorite Domaine Berrien wine – he loved them all!  Baco passed away on February 13, 2015, but will always be a part of our winery.  RIP Baco Noir.


Mocha  2009 - 2020

Mocha was our loveable winery barker – part Akita, part Terrier, and lots of other parts unknown! He was very sweet & loving, but he thought it was his job to guard the back room. Mocha took on his role of big brother very seriously, and wrestled and played chase with his younger fur brother Maxwell.  Mocha's favorite wine was Viognier or whatever was in Wally's glass! Mocha passed away on May 3, 2020, but will always be a part of our winery.  RIP Mocha.



His full name is "Maxwell Smart, Agent 86."  Maxwell is part Golden Retriever, part Terrier/Boxer and 100% handsome!  He loves, loves, loves chasing his ball and running thru the vineyard!   Maxwell has also mastered swimming and stick chewing and drinking Grandma's Red when it drips out of the dirty wine glasses in the dishwasher!



Cooper is the newest addition to our winery family! He is a black labrador retriever puppy and is still learning the ropes around the vineyard and winery. Watch out for those needle sharp puppy teeth!



Mocha is our most recent addition to the Domaine Berrien family – part Akita, part Terrier, and lots of other parts unknown! He is very sweet & loving and is currently learning his winery manners from his big “brother” Baco. We think some agility training or Frisbee catching might be in his future! Mocha is still too young to drink, so we don’t know which wines are his favorites yet!