Meet our Staff


Deb is a Portland native but her life’s journey took her far away from the Pacific Northwest. While at Cornell Law School she took the Windows of the World wine class through the university’s famed hotel school. That class sparked Deb’s interest in both the wine and the hospitality industries.

When she returned to her roots, Deb began working on marketing and events for Hawkins Cellars and joined Thane in scheming to build a winery in the Gorge. Together, they  planted an acre of Pinot Noir on Underwood Mountain and opened Hawkins Cellars’ Gorge tasting room.


Casandra has been working in the wine industry for over four years in the Columbia Gorge Area.  Her background is in Recreation Therapy before being introduced to the beautiful world of wine upon moving to Hood River from Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband in 2015.  Now her tools of improving lives has changed from recreation to wine, although they both go together very well!  She enjoys hiking, snowboarding, biking, and paddling in her free time, and spends many hours in her big vegetable garden every week alongside her dog, Tucker, and her new flock of chickens.  Casandra enjoys learning all about wine, of course the research is always fun, and she loves to “talk wine” with our guests.


Alex joins us following his time as Commercial Director of BFG Beverage Group, consisting of Watermill Winery and Blue Mountain Cider, where he helped to develop their business interests as a leader in premium wine and cider from the Walla Walla Valley and Rocks District of Milton-Freewater.


With over a decade’s experience in the wine business, Alex grew up in the wine country of southeastern Washington, beginning his career at The Hedges Family Estate.  He worked in all capacities a family winery has to offer, gaining ground up exposure ranging from vineyard and production work to tasting room and event management experience.  For two years Alex traveled to over 45 markets as a National Sales Manager for Hedges. 

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