A Pacific Northwest Wine Story
“Hawkins Cellars developed out of my love and passion for exploring the diverse landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Every wine I make has a story and a sense of place.”
– Thane Hawkins
THANE HAWKINS- PROPRIETOR/WINEMAKER
After a successful career in the animation industry- working on such groundbreaking films as Shrek, Monster’s Inc, and ANTZ- Thane Hawkins decided it was time for a change. During a six month leave of absence, he relocated to Oregon, where he immediately fell in love with the Willamette Valley, and more specifically, Pinot Noir. He began making wine out of his garage, and his mixed results verified his passion for wine-making. He set out to get hands-on experience by enrolling in Chemeketa College’s viticulture program, and working harvest at Wine By Joe. In 2007, Methven Family Vineyards hired Thane to be their assistant winemaker. While working for Methven, Thane was presented the opportunity to make a small quantity of his own wine. And thus, Hawkins Cellars was born.
Ten years later, Hawkins Cellars has found a home on Underwood Mountain in the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, a region of unparalleled beauty similar in climate to Alsace. It is there that Thane is both growing and sourcing cool climate varietals, including Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as well as continuing to source Rhone varietals such as Syrah, Mourvedre, and Viognier from a stable of world class vineyard sites around Washington’s Yakima Valley. And for those who just can’t resist Oregon Pinot Noir, Thane continues to work with top growers in the Willamette Valley as well. So whether you visit Hawkins Cellars in the Columbia Gorge on the Washington side, or at the original location in Dundee, Oregon, the mission is the same: old world wines in a new world setting!
Deb has been helping Hawkins Cellars with marketing and events since 2009. She is also the owner of Cloud Cap Vineyard in Underwood, Washington, where she recently planted an acre of Pinot Noir vines.
HOLLY EVANS-WHITE -GENERAL SALES MANAGER
Holly Evans-White, creator of Napa Valley’s Wine Country Chicks, has worked in wine for thirty years. She began her wine journey working at historic (over 100 year old) Grand Cru, in Sonoma County at a winery location now famous for being owned and operated by Pixar’s John Lassister. Holly went on to spend a decade at once-tiny, and now Gallo-owned, Ravenswood Winery, where she did everything from rolling barrels and doing pumpovers to hosting thousands of vineyard and winery tours. From there Holly moved over to Napa Valley where she continued climbing up the food and wine chain working at the likes of Duckhorn, Chateau Montelena, Cain and finally for the highly lauded Cathy Corison. A native north westerner (born in Washington State and assembled in Oregon), Holly returned to the Willamette Valley and the Columbia Gorge blissfully coming full circle in landing a position with Pixar’s own former employee now winemaker and winery owner Thane Hawkins. What are the chances?
CASANDRA WAGNER -DIRECTOR OF HOSPITALITY
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 is eager to teach about wine to our guests.
CLAIRE BOTSFORD-ALLAIN -MARKETING & OUTSIDE SALES
Hailing from California originally, Claire has fully embraced the Pacific Northwest as her home. When not pouring wines in our Underwood tasting room she can be found (or not found) exploring the wildernesses that surround us in our home in the Columbia River Gorge.