Welcome, Wine Casualists
Welcome to the Wine Casualists blog brought to you by the team at Sweet Cheeks Winery located in the beautiful southern portion of the world famous Willamette Valley wine region. Nestled in the rolling green hill wine country on a southeast facing slope just a bit southwest of Eugene, Oregon, our little corner of the internet is where we’ll talk all things wine while demystifying the snootiness that can sometimes be associated with our favorite adult beverage.
What we’ll be writing about
The topics we’ll be covering have been split into four main categories: Entertainment, Wine Club, Recipes, and Ramblings. Entertainment will include anything from wine blending parties to creating the perfect charcuterie board, and our Wine Club section will, of course, focus on all things relating to our popular three tiered wine club; including our Barrel Select Club, Vintage Club, and Sweet Club. Recipes will include some of our staff’s most cherished home cooked meals, stellar food and wine pairings, and even recipes for creative wine cocktails. Ramblings will cover our latest thoughts, happenings at the winery, and any suitable, trendy, fitting, and relevant topics that simply don’t fit into the other three categories.
Founded by a visionary with a big personality and the desire to share our quality wine and unmatched valley views, Dan Smith’s legacy and foresight is what we strive to carry on now and in the future – which was to be a welcoming place for all people to come as they are and enjoy great wine. Continuing his legacy is his wife and president of the company, Beth Smith, Winemaker, and Dan’s longtime friend, Leo Gabica, granddaughter and General Manager, Jessica Thomas and stepdaughter and Marketing Director, Katie Brown.
Our winery name: Sweet Cheeks
Dan lived on the property located directly across the street from the 55 acres of rolling hills where the winery and vineyards are now located. After acquiring the property and working a long day planting the vineyard, Dan and his father-in-law were enjoying a beer while admiring their day’s work. One of them commented that the shape of the hills looked like cheeks, and the other added that they sure were sweet cheeks. The next day Dan’s father-in-law registered the vineyard as Sweet Cheeks Vineyard, and Dan found out after receiving mail under the new business name.
The very first employee hired at Sweet Cheeks Winery was Leo Gabica, who worked his way up from Cellar Master to Assistant Winemaker and then to Winemaker. Leo’s winemaking style is old world meets new world, creating outstanding wines with a sense of place while aiming to offer wines to fit every palate: full bodied reds, dry roses, crisp aromatic white wines, and even a couple of sweet wines. Leo uses both the beautiful fruit that’s grown on our estate property; as well as fruit from other vineyards to complete our varied portfolio.
We believe in wine. Sharing a bottle of wine has the power to bring people together, create thoughtful conversation, and change an ordinary day into a memorable one. Each week, we’ll be updating the Wine Casualists with a little something for everyone, so please explore through our current posts and continue to check back often for new posts, photo essays, and more.
-The Sweet Cheeks Winery Family