Sweet Cheeks Winery


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Sweet Cheeks
Winery Family

We believe that the people make the place and we work together each day to achieve our shared goal.


Dan Smith


Dan is the mastermind behind Sweet Cheeks Winery, farming the vineyard since 1978. With a successful background in commercial refrigeration and working with various Oregon wineries, he took his knowledge and experience to expand the vineyard into Sweet Cheeks Winery in 2005. He is a hands-on owner and if you are looking for him, you may still find him in the vineyard on a tractor, or sitting on the patio dreaming up another architectural addition to the winery. Dan has traveled all over the world, some of his favorite spots being in Australia and Italy, don’t be shy to ask for travel advice!


Leo Gabica


Leo was the first employee ever hired at Sweet Cheeks Winery in 2005. He started as our Assistant Winemaker, and stepped into the role of Winemaker in 2013. Between his incredible work ethic and more than 15 years of experience in the wine industry, Leo has played a major role in building Sweet Cheeks into the winery that it is. Leo has earned many prestigious accolades, and continues to expand our wine portfolio each year. Originally from the Philippines, his wife and three children are a huge part of his life. Leo also remains very active in the community by coaching youth athletic teams.


Jessica Thomas

General Manager

After earning a degree in 2010 from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, Jessica knew she needed to return home to the Pacific Northwest. Jessica joined the Sweet Cheeks Family in 2011, working part time in the tasting room. After graduating from The University of Oregon in 2013, she managed the wine club and marketing until 2015. Spending a year traveling to New Zealand, Australia, Western Europe, and working briefly in Napa, Jessica returned as General Manager of Sweet Cheeks Winery in early 2016. Jessica has also rescued two stray kittens at the winery, Ollie and Cheeks.



Beth Smith

Chief Financial Officer

With more than 25 years of bookkeeping and financial experience, Beth has been a member of the Sweet Cheeks Family since opening our doors in 2005. She has watched the winery grow, and helped Dan bring his visions to life. Beth continues to support each member of the Sweet Cheeks Family, and offers a fresh perspective to steer us in the right direction. Along with her canine sidekick Shanae, she is always ready for our next Sweet Cheeks Winery adventure.



Mallory Erb

Event Director

Mallory has been part of the Sweet Cheeks Family since 2011, starting part time in the tasting room. Her electric personality allowed her to quickly transition into our Event Director. A native Eugene girl, Mallory knows all of the ins and outs of hosting a spectacular event at the winery. She even hosted her own wedding reception at Sweet Cheeks in 2013. When Mallory isn’t at the winery, you can find her riding her bike through Eugene, or relaxing with her husband and adorable puppy, Stella.



Katie Brown

Marketing Coordinator

Katie saved the day, joining the Sweet Cheeks Family the day of our Wine Club Appreciation Dinner in 2012. She continued to work part time in the tasting room while completing her degree at The University of Oregon with Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. Upon graduation, Katie gradually stepped into the role of Marketing Coordinator. She has helped bridge new partnerships with local companies and programs. Outside of the winery, Katie can be spotted at other local wineries and breweries with her cute husband and puppy, Sheldon.


Bernardino Ramirez

Vineyard Manager

Joining our team in 2014, Bernardino has played a crucial role in maintaining our vineyard. His vineyard crew fearlessly follows his lead year round as they keep a close eye on the vines. Harvest is his favorite time of the year, making sure each row is picked at the right moment. Bernardino loves the farming lifestyle and raises goats and chickens with his wife and children.


Ian Gabica


Following in his dad’s footsteps, Ian has fallen in love with the wine industry. A member of the Sweet Cheeks Family since 2013, Ian has helped with winemaking, local distribution deliveries, vineyard maintenance, and everything inbetween. With his bright smile and positive attitude, Ian is always willing to help to grow Sweet Cheeks Winery. He is our true jack-of-all-trades.


Genaro Leyva-Fuentes

Cellar Hand

Genaro has been in the wine industry since 1997, working with some of the area’s most respected winemakers. He joined the Sweet Cheeks Family in 2015, and as our production increases, he is a vital part of the production team. Genaro brings an upbeat approach and wealth of experience you can taste in our wines. When he finds a spare moment, Genaro enjoys fishing the Oregon rivers.


Rebecca Sweegle

Lab Technician

Ever since walking into the wine lab at Iowa State, Rebecca found her niche and never looked back. For the past three years, she has traveled from California to New Zealand expanding her experience in the lab and cellar. Landing in Oregon in 2015, Sweet Cheeks Winery was lucky to add Rebecca to the production team. As a pasta connoisseur, Rebecca enjoys cooking and hosting wine tasting parties with her friends.



Amy Gangloff

Tasting Rooms Manager

After growing up in small town Wellsville, Missouri, and graduating from William Woods University, Amy traveled and spent time in Colorado, Kansas, and eventually found herself in Eugene. Amy was quickly immersed in the food and craft beverage industry, and became our Winery Tasting Room Manager in late 2016. When she isn’t at the winery, Amy is exploring new wineries and loves to expand her palate with wines she has never experienced. Amy also loves gardening, hanging out with her dog, Millie, and cat, Daisy, camping and going to festivals and concerts.


Jenn Deblois

Tasting Room

Jennifer was introduced to Sweet Cheeks Winery back in 2008 when she joined our wine club. Gradually falling in love with the winery, she joined the tasting room team in 2014. Jennifer is a full time teacher at a local elementary school, she transfers her passion for education to our tasting room. Jennifer’s kind spirit and knowledge of the area enhances each visitor’s experience at Sweet Cheeks Winery. In the meantime, Jennifer loves to attend local sporting events, especially Oregon football games.



Winery Dog

Charlie joined the Sweet Cheeks Family in 2016. Her favorite activities are running between the cheeks of the vineyard, helping her mama, Jessica, with crucial winery decisions, and hopes to launch a Sweet Cheeks Winery dog apparel collection soon. Although she seems to try and steal a lick out of Dan’s beer mug over Jessica’s wine glass, she loves to come to work each day at the winery.



Winery Dog

Kody joined the Sweet Cheeks Family in 2010. He captured the heart of all Sweet Cheeks Winery Visitors and Family alike. He loved spitting corks on your table to throw for him, gently smiling and greeting everyone, and sharing snacks with each table on the patio. We lost Kody in 2015, and miss his sweet spirit but know he touched the lives of so many, and we know he lives on in your Sweet Cheeks Winery memories.