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!
Darryl Johnson - Darryl joined the Sweet Cheeks Family in 2015 as Winery Manager. Darryl oversees all aspects of the winery including the tasting room, events, marketing and wine club. Darryl has experience in wine production, viticulture, distribution and management. Darryl previously lived in Oregon and after spending some time in California, is happy to be back, When he’s not at the winery, you will find Darryl hiking and biking with his wife on their tandem bikes.
Ashley Miller - Ashley joined the Sweet Cheeks Family in 2015 as our Wine Club Manager. She plans our wine club events, organizes exciting wine club releases, and provides an inspired connection between our members and the winery. Ashley is an Oregon girl, born and raised in Cottage Grove, and has a passion for all things Oregon wine! When she isn't at the winery, Ashley enjoys spending time with her husband of 10 years, and their two adorable children.
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.
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!
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. 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.
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.