Meet The Staff at Valenzano Winery

Augustine Gomez

Augustine Gomez

Meet Augustine,  All the way back in 2012, Augustine began working for Valenzano Winery and proved his excellence and tremendous work ethic.  Augustine is very passionate about his work and is meticulous about our vineyards.  He ensures our vineyards are healthy, properly trimmed, and receive optimal sunlight.  When harvest is upon us, Augustine and his team ensure the grapes are picked at peek ripeness and the fruit is on schedule for crushing. Augustine also impeccably manages our properties and is always eager to help the production team with bottling whenever they need extra help. Some of Augustine’s favorite aspects of working for Valenzano Winery include the atmosphere and his fellow coworkers! When he’s off the clock, Augustine enjoys spending time with his family and watching soccer.

Role:  Vineyard Manager
Favorite Wine:  Shamong Blush


Molly DeNucci

Meet Molly, the manager behind our reservations team. Molly joined the winery in 2022, as a part-time hostess. It didn’t take long for Molly to show her excellence in organization and control over our front-of-house operations, as she worked her way up the ranks to becoming our skilled host manager. Throughout each week, Molly keeps a sharp eye on our upcoming reservations to ensure that our Bari Wine Pub can accommodate any type of occasion and experience. When she isn’t at the winery, Molly also works as an instructional aid, which she has been doing for 13 years and counting. On her time off, Molly cheers on her son at baseball games, watches her daughter at swim meets, and loves spending time chilling at home with her morkie, Benji.

Role:  Reservations Manager, Shift Manager
Favorite Wine:  Vidal Blanc



Albert Oriente

Meet Al Oriente, our very first employee!  Al raised his family here in the Shamong/Tabernacle area where he became close friends with Tony Valenzano Sr. as the winery was in its infancy. Al retired from Bell Telephones in 1996 and became our first winetender when we opened our doors.  Al has now been with us for over 25 years, Al has created an endless amount of friendships with our team and guests, becoming an admired member of our winery family. On top of his legendary career at Valenzano Winery, Al is a Vietnam War Veteran, who was drafted into the army in 1946. He was stationed in Fort Jackson, South Carolina and even went to Korea in 1965. Combining his expertise in wine knowledge with his personal history and stories, Al is known for providing the best wine tasting experiences for thousands of customers. He is also a loving grandpa to his grandchildren and was recently promoted to great-grandpa! Whether you’ve met him at our older locations, at the winery, or even at WineFest NJ, it’s easy to say that Al is the face of our Tasting Room!

Role:  Wintender, Wine Consultant
Favorite Wine:  Malbec


Dana E

Dana English

Meet Dana, our beloved Bari Wine Pub waitress and skilled wine consultant! Dana’s story with Valenzano Winery began on September 20th, 2003, when she became the first bride to say “I do” with her husband, Chuck, on our Vintner’s Pavilion wedding grounds, where our very first employee, Albert Oriente, was their bartender! In 2004, Dana began her career as a volunteer pouring wine tastings at festivals all across New Jersey. All of these years later, Dana has become a significant member of our winery family and a loving friend to so many of our guests and employees. Today, she works as a waitress in our Bari Wine Pub, where she provides the best wine and dining experiences for both, new and returning guests. When she isn’t at the winery, Dana can be found working as a dance instructor for Ovations Dance Studio, as she has been teaching the art of dance since the early 90’s. Dana also enjoys spending time with her family by attending her children’s sports and dance events, and visiting local wineries with friends.

Role:  Shift Manager, Server, Winetender, Vendor Coordinator
Favorite Wine:  Petit Verdot



Angelo Vendrasco

Most of you know Angelo from the hundreds of festivals he has participated in from Cape May to Sussex county.  Angelo has been touring the state with his wife Dawn since he started working for the company in 2010. Angelo loves working wine festivals and sharing our products with new enthusiasts.  In Angelo's down time he enjoys camping and traveling with his family.  He is also a craftsman; he has hands of steel, capable of any building project or renovation.  His skills are always utilized at the winery and shared with co-workers who continually ask him how to fix something.  

Role:  Festival Manager, Co-producer of WineFestNJ
Favorite Wine:  Shamong Labrusca


Sarah C

Sarah Clark

Meet Sarah C., our talented Bar Manager and winetender! Back in 2021, Sarah joined our team and instantly proved her excellent experience in the beverage industry. Using her knowledge from also working as a bartender at Freedom Mortgage Pavilion during busy concerts, Sarah became our bar manager. She is the expert mixologist behind our monthly specialty wine-based cocktails and ensures that every winetender behind our bars provides the best service possible! In her spare time, Sarah goes on adventures with her husband, son, family, and friends to the Jersey shore, Disney World and local wine & beer festivals. If her wine glass tattoo didn’t prove it, it’s safe to say that Sarah is a life-long wine connoisseur!

Role:  Bar Manager & Winetender
Favorite Wine:  Sauvignon Blanc



Eugenio "Gino" Fortunato

Meet Chef Gino! In 2022, Gino joined our kitchen team and supported in revamping our Bari Wine Pub’s cuisine style. With over 10 years of culinary experience, Gino thrives in creating unique and delicious dining specials, along with incorporating our popular wines into his recipes. Whether it’s a traditional dry red or a sweet fruit wine, Gino is all about utilizing our wine portfolio in his work. One of his favorite aspects of the culinary world is the ability to experience so many different cultures through the experience of food. Outside of the kitchen, Gino is an avid boxer and a huge football fan, specifically of the Philadelphia Eagles!

Role:  Sous Chef
Favorite Wine:  Petit Verdot


Sarah T

Sarah Tuch

Meet Sarah T, our winetender and social media manager.  Sarah has been a key employee since 2018.  Her dedication to our brand and unwavering support helped us get through our business model changes in 2020.  Sarah jumped in head-first to organize our new tasting room experiences, expand our line of merchandise and keep the public aware of winery activities via Facebook and Instagram.   If you are getting an instant reply from someone on Facebook, it's because Sarah is eagerly waiting for your interaction.  She loves sharing winery updates, answering customer questions, and taking new visitors on a journey of wine tasting options.  Sarah enjoys spending time with her boyfriend Nick, visiting great restaurants in Atlantic City, time at the beach, and late nights in Nick's kitchen ensuring her mother and Mrs. V don't get into any trouble.  

Role:  Winetender/Social Media Manager
Favorite Wine:  Strawberry Jammin



Kris Lehner

Meet Kris, our winemaker.  Since 2016 Kris has worked his way up from helping in our tasting room to scrubbing tanks and working the vineyard.  After years of hard work and dedication, Kris was promoted to the position of winemaker where he is responsible for managing fermentations, developing new products, testing wines in our lab and ensuring our wines are produced to perfection.   Kris is also a dedicated body builder and athlete.  He will be participating in his first 30 mile run in Colorado this summer.  We appreciate Kris's hard work, and commitment to excellence.  Everyone should watch Kris with enthusiasm as he grows in his personal and professional endeavors.  

Role:  Winemaker
Favorite Wine:  Cabernet Franc



Keith Oriente

Meet Keith, our cheif operations manager! Back in 2022, Keith joined our production team to keep the backend of the winery running smooth and steady. With a strong background in home brewing, he has a great amount of experience creating quality beverages. He is also the first son of Albert Oriente, our very first employee and wine tender of 25 years. When he’s off the clock, Keith spends time with his friends, family and granddaughter! On top of his responsibilities at the winery, Keith is also a partner owner at Brotherton Brewing Company in Atco, NJ.

Role:  Head Operations Manager
Favorite Wine:  Cabernet/Merlot



Madison Leek

Meet Madison, our passionate, dedicated and hard-working tasting room General Manager! In 2023 Madison took reign of our private events coordination to provide the ultimate banquet experience for every type of party, along with serving as a skilled waitress and wine tender. Upon displaying her devotion to the winery’s operations and goals, Madison now works as our head of management, where she is looking over our Bari Wine Pub’s functions, scheduling winery events and ensuring that our guests have the most enjoyable visit possible.

When she’s off the clock, Madison spends quality time with her family, friends and pets. Being the biggest Philadelphia 76ers fan at the winery, you can also find Madison at the Wells Fargo Center cheering on her favorite players as often as she can!

Role:  General Manager
Favorite Wine:  Bramble On Raspberry



Dan VanHorn

Meet Dan, our lead trouble shooter and all-around problem solver here at the winery! Being a life-long family friend of the Valenzano family, Dan has a lot of history with winemaking in Shamong, beginning his career in 2016. During his free time, you can find Dan on his boat in Long Beach Island with his family and Labrador retriever, Rubio. Dan is an advanced SCUBA diver and recently received his boat captain license which he uses on diving charters during his weekends. Dan is a partner owner in Brotherton Brewing Company in Atco, NJ.

Role:  Head Trouble Shooter
Favorite Wine:  Shamong Red Reserve



Michelle Welsh

Meet Michelle, our hard-working office administrator! While she dedicates most of her time to keeping our operations organized, you can occasionally catch Michelle pouring at a wine festival. When Michelle started in 2022 she took control of dozens of administrative tasks that were becoming overwhelming to the ownership.  In less than a year she became a key manager overseeing human resources, bookkeeping, audits, licensing, accounts payable/receivable, taxes, and every other administrative task thrown her way.  During her free time, Michelle enjoys spending quality time with her family and Bernese Mountain dog, Boone.

Role:  Office Administrator
Favorite Wine:  Malbec



Dawn Toussaint Vendrasco

We’re kicking off our NEW Meet The Staff series with everyone’s favorite saleswoman, Dawn Toussaint Vendrasco! Whether you’re at a wine festival or visited our spot at the Berlin Farmers Market, you’ve probably met her!

Dawn has been with Valenzano Winery since 2016.  Her husband Angelo and son Michael also have careers at the winery working along side her.

When she’s off the clock, Dawn enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and sunbathing on the beach. ?️

Role: Outlets Manager
Favorite Valenzano wine: Plums Up Plum


Chef Vince Fanari

Previously the Chef de Cuisine at River House at Odettes (New Hope), Executive Chef at The Plough & The Stars (Philadelphia) and Dream Cuisine Cafe in Cherry Hill, NJ., Chef Vince has a degree in Cuisinier / Pastissier - Institute of Tourine de L 'Hotelerie' & Restaurant School of INFATH in Nice, France. Through excellence he has received the James Beard Foundation "Outstanding Achievement" award.
Chef Vince has been given the responsibility of providing an inviting menu that pairs perfectly with the wines produced at Valenzano Winery. His 'favorite part of the job' is the freedom he has to produce weekly specials, small plates and desserts that allow him to demonstrate his life long passion and knowledge of French, traditional and new American cuisine.

Role:  Head Chef
Favorite Wine:  Sauvignon Blanc