MEET THE KNOTTY BROTHERS
Brayden Dunning - Production & Marketing
Brayden drives the "production train" at Knotty Brothers, in both the family's wine-making and bottling/canning businesses. With a competitive spirit and a drive for quality, no one outworks Brayden. Yet, as a true lover of the outdoors with special affinity for Eastern Oregon and the Elkhorn Mountains, he balances well the pursuit of adventure with hard work. This harmony is apparent in the Knotty Brothers' operation.
Brayden's part in Knotty Brothers begins on the family farm in Oregon, where he lived for 19 years before moving to Idaho to pursue his education in entrepreneurial management. Home life saw him trimming vines, foot-stomping grapes, driving tractors and getting into typical boyish mischief with his brother, Parker, with whom he would later join in forming The Knotty Brothers wine and bottling businesses. "We've always been close," Brayden says, "speaking both of his brother and of the family as a whole, "and getting to do business with them has given me the chance to learn and grow in a very special way."
With a mild preference for Pinot Noirs and Cabernets, with appropriate companion foods, Brayden thoroughly enjoys the full range of activities that growing, producing and packaging wine require. And he loves a good wine. "Red wine just grabs you," he says. "It has a way of enhancing your palate and meal…and it brings you together with the people you love."
"I think we've got a pretty cool story.
Our wine? Yeah, it's top notch, too."
Parker Dunning - Operations & Client Relations
Parker brings engineering to life for the Knotty Brothers, making sure equipment performs optimally for maximum product quality. But he's far from a one-trick pony. With natural charm and an infectious wit, he leads customer relations and outreach efforts, building solid relationships everywhere he goes. When he's not overseeing the packaging of the latest brew, his love of the wilderness and anything outdoorsy finds him hunting, fishing or skiing—bringing balance to his work life.
Parker decided at an early age that life on the family farm and in the wine business were things he wanted to continue to pursue as an adult. "Wine-making was always a part of the family," he notes with fondness. "It was always fun to watch my parents work, and the more involved I got with the family operation, the easier it was to want to be a part of it." Since he was old enough to mow a lawn or pull up a bad vine, Parker has loved being one of the Knotty Brothers.
When asked which is his favorite wine, Parker doesn't hesitate: "Knotty Brothers Pinot Gris…because my name is on the can!" And, while skilled with machinery and production, Parker boasts artistic talents, as well, particularly when it comes to making a good wine. "I love the artistry of it," he says with a smile. "Listening to the wine taster describe your wine…articulating each nuance and flavor…it's like a painter expounding the depths of a master work." And Parker is very proud of the Knotty Brothers' work—wine in a can: equal parts convenience, flavor and sophistication.
"Winemaking is serious business.
But dang!…we make it fun!"
Holly Dunning - Management & Quality Control
Kyle Dunning - Visionary and Builder
Without Kyle and Holly, there wouldn't be any Knotty Brothers. Parents of Brayden and Parker, they made wine the family business, but not ultimately for its own sake. Having seen firsthand the value of hard work and country life, Kyle and Holly wanted to raise their boys in an agricultural environment, where work opportunities would be plentiful, while equally balanced with wholesome and rugged outdoor play. That the Knotty Brothers have chosen to continue developing the family business is a testament to their foresight and efforts.
Holly manages the winemaking operation superbly, from planting and trellising, to picking, scheduling and delivery. And yet, what she truly loves are the little things, like walking through the vineyard taking in the aroma of the grapes while yet blossoms on the vine…the seasons of agriculture…the crops and soil. "I have a passion for the cycle," Holly will explain. "Sitting with the winemaker, and seeing and smelling and tasting wine that was 'buds on the vine' just a year ago…I love it!"
Kyle is the visionary behind the Knotty Brothers ventures. Always looking to build something new and great, Kyle's attention to market opportunities and needs opened up the family farm to winemaking and bottling/canning at the commercial level. "Originally," Kyle will tell, "we did only vineyard designate wines for family and friends. Never for broad markets." It took a great deal of work to break the family-grown vintage into commercial markets, but Kyle glimpsed an opportunity, vetted it, and set the Knotty Brothers on this exciting new path.