Christine Andrus grew up just outside of Chicago in northwest Indiana where the steel industry was the major source of jobs for several generations. This was her family's livelihood during her high school years, and they all endured the unfortunate collapse of that industry. After graduating early from high school and leaving home at 17 to attend university, she never turned back. She self-funded her years at Indiana University by waiting tables in a popular sports bar and paying cash for her tuition and living expenses- which astounds her to this day! After graduation, she felt an overwhelming desire to travel and set out on a meandering path that took her all over the U.S Hawaii, and ultimately Europe. There she spent 3 years living in Vienna, Austria- basically putting the gypsy in Gypsy Dancer!
Back to the US… In order to fund her escapades in the Food and Beverage Industry, she gravitated toward wine and sought out opportunities to learn more and work more closely with it, while living her snowboarder's lifestyle in southwest Colorado. It was a chance meeting in Vail, Colorado at a wine industry tasting while she worked for a wine distributor, that she met her husband, R. Gary Andrus, who owned the renowned wineries- Pine Ridge in Napa, CA and Archery Summit in Dayton, OR. They got married and simultaneously started two small production operations in Cornelius, OR and Central Otago, New Zealand where just the two of them and two others handcrafted the wines. They had two daughters, Gypsy and Romanée and happily spent 6 months each year in both hemispheres making Gypsy Dancer Wines.
Sadly, Gary passed away in 2009 and she sold all of their wineries and vineyards. She left the industry and Oregon to focus on her young girls who were 4 and 6 years old- moving to the edge of Badlands National Park in South Dakota. She acquired a herd of 46 head of bison and started a small yoga studio in their little town- population, 880. In 2012, she decided to try making a little wine again. Enlisting the help of some friends in the industry, she flew to Oregon, procured grapes from some former custom crush clients, who now had a beautiful vineyard in Amity, and made 150 cases at Scott Paul Winery in Carlton under the Gypsy Dancer label.
It was highly invigorating and she hasn't stopped since, increasing her production to almost 1000 cases in 2016! After years of maintaining multiple vineyards and wineries, she is having the time of her life purchasing fruit from friends and sharing space in another's winery. She and her girls moved back permanently to Oregon in the Fall of 2015 and Gypsy Dancer opened it's tasting room on Main Street in Carlton in mid-November of 2016.
Why did you select the business you are in?
In the beginning I chose the wine industry because I was endlessly interested in the interaction of food and wine. Later, as I became more rooted in the industry, my focus was more on the marketing and branding aspect of what we were doing.
What do you like most about what you do?
At this point, I love the process from grape to bottle to sales. It brings me endless joy to do crush, as well as meeting people, and either introducing them or re-introducing them to Gypsy Dancer Wine.
Why did you join WOW and what is the most rewarding or valuable aspect of being a WOW member?
I joined WOW at the encouragement of another member and I'm excited to be around other women in business. It is a special kind of woman who enjoys being in business and I look forward to being around others who share that passion and independence.
Who could be an ideal potential client for you?
An ideal client for me is someone who loves great Oregon Pinot Noir- obviously, but also someone who can appreciate the uniqueness of my brand, Gypsy Dancer; those who truly enjoy supporting and sharing in this very small, exclusive and passionate winemaking project.
What do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy spending time with my 12 and 14 year old daughters during my time off. They are such an amazing light in my life and I can't get enough time with them and my partner. Family is the absolute focus of my life outside of my business.
What are five things you cannot live without?
1. Laughter and lightness
2. My family
4. Wine and great food
5. Good friends
Where is your favorite place to vacation?
My favorite place to vacation is a cabin in northern Minnesota, which as been in my family since I was a young child. I love taking my kids there and sharing my childhood with them. It is completely isolated and the more time I can spend there with my extended family, the better!
CONTACT INFO: Christine Andrus, Owner and Proprietor -Gypsy Dancer Estates
Location: E. Main St Carlton, OR 97111
Email: Christine@gypsydancerestates.com or firstname.lastname@example.org