Here is a little insight into our Sweet Cheeks family. If you have the opportunity to come into our tasting room you will get a chance to meet some of our friendly and knowledgeable staff. Since we are a small, boutique winery we find ourselves connecting to the customers and each other very closely, thus considering ourselves a family.
Dan Smith- Dan is the owner/creator of Sweet Cheeks Winery. He owns and has been farming this vineyard since in 1989. With a successful background in commercial refrigeration and working with various Oregon wineries, he took his knowledge and experience and expanded his vineyard to a 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, and if you are ever looking to travel to Austrailia, he would make an excellent travel guide!
Leo Gabica- Leo has been our Winemaker since 2013, and was our former assistant winemaker since 2005. With a background in winemaking from other wineries and by helping to develop our wine program from day one, he has helped build Sweet Cheeks into the winery that it is. In his free time, Leo loves coaching his various teams, from tee ball to basketball. His family is a huge part of his life, and you can sometimes see them assisting him with cleaning out tanks, or organizing his office!
Kacy Minnis- Kacy has been with us since 2006. After graduating from school in Wisconsin, Kacy and her husband, Ben, traveled around the country looking for the perfect place to settle down. We are so lucky they fell in love with Eugene! With a strong passion for wine and many years in the hospitality industry, she has had a hand in helping the winery grow from the early days. She was named Manager of Sweet Cheeks in 2012, and hasn't looked back! Kacy often spends her weekends with her lovely family having all sorts of adventures.
Amanda Cihlar - Amanda has been our Vineyard Manager since 2013. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Horticulture from Clemson University before earning her Masters in Horticulture and Agronomy specialization in Viticulture from The University of California at Davis. Amanda also has two years of experience at the Oakville Research Station in Napa Valley, California. You will often see Amanda, along with her dog, Daphne, here on week days caring for the vineyard.
Jeff Parker - Jeff joined our family in early 2014. He is a University of Oregon graduate, and has called Oregon home since 2002. Jeff oversees all aspects of our sales and distribution. As the Sweet Cheeks Brand Ambassador, he is excited to build our brand and expand our national sales. When Jeff isn't selling our wines, he loves to spend time with his wife and two children. He also enjoys photography, surfing, as well as being outdoors and taking in nature.
Mallory Erb - Mallory joined our family in 2011 and worked part time in the tasting room. Her electric personality allowed her to quickly transition into our Wedding Coordinator. A native Eugene girl, Mallory knows all of the ins and outs of hosting a spectacular wedding 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, catching a Dave Matthews concert, or relaxing with her husband and two puppies.
Laura Moshofsky - A valued member of the family since 2011, Laura started part time in the tasting room then grew into our Event Coordinator. Her charm, vibrant creativity, and a passion for wine allow Laura to plan a wide range of events, from Sweet Cheeks festivities to private functions. Laura also books all of our bands and food carts! Born and raised in Eugene, she knows all the best places to go in town. Also, she is an avid runner, Laura is always looking for a new challenge. She completed her first half marathon in 2013 with the Sweet Cheeks driveway as mile 12!
Harry Thomas - Harry joined the family in the Fall of 2011 while attending the University of Oregon to study Film and Graphic Design. After graduation, he became our full time graphic guru but started to fall in love with the wine making process. In 2013, Harry traded out his computer to become Leo's assistant. Born in London, raised in the Bay Area, Harry has traveled many places and has some spectacular stories! When he isn't cleaning out tanks or bottling your favorite wine, Harry attends many Oregon athletic events, or plays in pick up basketball games.
Jessica Ramp - Joining the family in 2011, Jessica split her time between the winery and attending the University of Oregon to study Art and Business Administration. After graduation, she began managing the Sweet Cheeks wine club, shipping, graphic design, social media and merchandise. She is our true Jack of all trades! Jessica also has a degree in Visual Communications from F.I.D.M. Los Angeles. Her passions include painting, Oregon athletics, all shades of Syrah, and of course her two cats she found as tiny kittens at the winery.
Kaitlin Anderson- Kaitlin has been a member of the family since the 2012 Harvest. Raised in the Bay Area, and graduating from UC Berkeley, Kaitlin has a strong work ethic and a wide range of knowledge. She currently headlines our clothing and apparel while assisting and motivating everyone around her. When she isn't at the winery, Kaitlin enjoys yoga, crossword puzzles, and expanding her knowledge of wine, as well as the distillery of whiskey.
Marita Nelson - Marita was hired as one of the first wine servers back in 2005. After retiring from the United States Postal Service, Marita wanted a part time job that centered around her passion of wine. She has traveled to many wine countries all over the world! Next time you are lucky enough to see her behind the bar, be sure to indulge in a few stories. Marita loves to spend time with her family, including her two energetic grandsons!
Rigo Granados-Diaz - Rigo has been with us since early 2013. He spends his days assisting Amanda or Dan in our vineyards. During harvest, Rigo can be spotted driving a tractor in the vineyard bringing up large bins full of grapes! The rest of the year, he helps care for the vines and maintain the large equipment. There isn't a problem Rigo can't fix, and he always manages to finish every job with a huge smile on his face! In his off time, Rigo loves to spend time with his two sons and go on camping trips.
Kody - Kody joined the Sweet Cheeks Family back in 2010. He is our beloved winery dog. Feel free to throw him a ball or stick if you are sitting on the patio -- he will be your friend for life.