Bill Sweat, Donna Morris founders of Winderlea Vineyard and Winery with Hospitality and Sales

Founders, Hospitality & Sales

Second careers, a well-planned next chapter, the pursuit of our shared passion – all in some way describe our new life in Oregon. The kernels of Winderlea were spun over milestone birthdays and anniversaries, travels to our favorite wine regions, and nightly dinners with a bottle of wine after good and not so good days at the office.

In the early 90s we fell in love with Pinot noir. Its elegance and sensuality – and the beautiful way it paired with a range of foods delighted us. As we tasted through wines from across the country we found the characteristics we most loved in Oregon Pinot noir. We believe it is due in large part to Oregon’s unique climate and soils paired with the heritage of artisanal craftsmanship and an obsession with making small lots of the highest quality wine. On a practical level we found the Oregon wine community to be a collaborative one – where newcomers are welcomed, tutored and expected to perfect their craft.

In 2006 we relocated from Boston and have made Dundee, Oregon our home. We are committed to continuing the traditions of responsible stewardship of the land and the highest quality artisan winemaking.

Bill Sweat co-founder of Winderlea Vineyard and Winery
Donna Morris co-founder of Winderlea Vineyard and Winery
Donna Morris co-founder of Winderlea Vineyard and Winery

KC Marold

National Sales & Marketing Manager

A Northwest native and graduate of McMinnville’s Linfield College (go Wildcats!), I had my first foray into the wine industry as a student working part time and finishing my degree in Economics and Studio Art.  The uniqueness of the industry, the opportunities it afforded and the community I was becoming a part of had me hooked.  I spent several years managing hospitality programs before deciding I was ready to see a different aspect of the industry.

With boundless enthusiasm and absolutely zero cellar experience, I headed to Marlborough, New Zealand to do my first harvest.  What was intended to be a six month sabbatical turned into five years, six countries, nine harvests and a lifetime’s worth of experience and memories.

I certainly have not exhausted my desire to travel, and while I am quite happy to be wearing clean clothes and to have found a home back in the Willamette Valley, I love getting out on the road, visiting markets and meeting Winderlea wine lovers across the country.  The winemaking team even lets me in the cellar now and again.

 KC Marold Direct Sales & Marketing Manager of Winderlea Vineyard and Winery

Macy Ewen

Wine Club and Operations Manager

I made my way to Oregon from Southern California and my interest in wine was ignited while traveling.  I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Winemaking and immediately began exploring different regions, absorbing all that I could about their food, wine and culture. After stints in Northern California and the Central Coast, Australia, and New Zealand, I made my way to Oregon for harvest and decided it was my new home.

After working the 2013 harvest in Oregon (whew!) I decided to switch gears and pursue a career focused on the business side of wine. I spent a number of years working in hospitality and managing wine clubs before deciding my interests were in a more behind the scenes role. I am delighted to be a part of the Winderlea team, helping to coordinate all things related to compliance, shipping, and customer service.  On the weekends you can find me knee-deep in a recipe, out on a run, or sharing a drink outside with my husband and friends.

 Macy Ewen Shipping, Administration and Compliance Specialist at Winderlea Vineyard and Winery

DeAnna Ornelas

Tasting Room & Wholesale Ambassador

Coming from Kansas, I am a proud alum of my hometown Wichita State University.  After spending my early career in insurance sales, I decided to take a work hiatus to travel through Argentine wine country.   That experience sparked a passion for wine that would lead to a new career, beginning in a wine shop in Wichita, which is where I discovered my love for Oregon wine.

Following a desire to be in the thick of the action, I soon moved west and in April of 2015 joined the team at Winderlea.  When I’m not behind the bar in the tasting room, I love exploring Portland and my new Pacific Northwest home, where I am settling in quite comfortably.  Besides a love of wine, my favorite things include laughing incessantly with friends, traveling and Law and Order SVU.

 DeAnna Ornelas Tasting Room & Wholesale Ambassador of Winderlea Vineyard and Winery

Candace Parker

Tasting Room Ambassador

Born in Maryland and raised in Florida, I met my husband while he was attending Nuclear Power School with the U.S. Navy in Orlando. Early in our marriage we began the journey to our love of wine as my husband ventured into his next career as a Chef. We began regularly attending educational events at a local wine shop to learn more about wine regions and wine making. This eventually led us to becoming good friends with the owners. I began volunteering for them at events and continued my thirst for more knowledge in the wine industry.

My husband and I eventually made our way to Oregon after vacationing here in 2011. We fell in love with the beauty of Oregon, the food, and, of course, the wine. After 28 years in retail management and business to business sales, I decided to pursue my passion and enthusiasm for wine. I feel fortunate to have landed here at Winderlea.

In my free time I enjoy spending time traveling the world, exploring the Pacific Northwest, checking out restaurants, attending concerts with my husband, as well as lots of reading.

 Jeremy Saxton Tasting Room Ambassador at Winderlea Vineyard and Winery

Christy Hitz

Tasting Room Ambassador

I am a native Oregonian who grew up in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. I went to college and played basketball at both Linfield College and Western Oregon University.  After graduating, I started my teaching career in San Diego, but soon found my way back to the Northwest. After many drives out to wine country, I quickly fell in love with the area and my passion for wine started to grow.  I enjoyed soaking up what I could from each visit and began studying wine on my own. My husband and I moved to the Dundee Hills in 2012, and after 13 years of teaching, as well as serving as an Athletic Director, I decided it was time to turn my passion into a reality.  In the beginning of 2016, I started my career in the wine industry and have loved every minute since.

When I’m not working in the tasting room, I take time to enjoy the many adventures that the Pacific Northwest has to offer – hiking, camping, kayaking, and spending time on the Oregon Coast.  I also enjoy gardening, landscaping, and of course, having a glass of wine on my deck!

 Jeremy Saxton Tasting Room Ambassador at Winderlea Vineyard and Winery

Mitch Conley

Tasting Room Ambassador

Coming soon. 

 Jeremy Saxton Tasting Room Ambassador at Winderlea Vineyard and Winery