WILLIE KEMP, CO-FOUNDER
A resident of Oregon for over 40 years, Willie Kemp co-founded the winery in 2007 with her late husband, Jack, and son, A.J.. Earlier in her career, she worked in banking before deciding to dedicate herself full-time to motherhood. She is a graduate of the University of Idaho. Willie and Jack named Hawks View after watching a number of the graceful birds riding the thermals high above the estate. Willie works endlessly to ensure that the quality of Hawks View vintages remains true to the winery’s mission of going above and beyond the expectations of everyone who experiences it. Mother to Kari, Kristi and A.J., and grandmother to five wonderful boys, she lives overlooking the vineyard.
A.J. KEMP, CO-FOUNDER
A.J. has been farming grapes since 2003. A phone call, shortly after graduation from Claremont McKenna College, diverted him back to his home state to take part in establishing Hawks View Vineyard. In 2007, A.J., his mother Willie, and his late father, Jack, co-founded the Hawks View Cellars winery whose operation focused on producing world wines from world class vineyards spanning all three states on the West Coast. Side by side with his wife Rachel, who grew up on a gentleman farm in Northern Minnesota, the nearly 150 total acres are their passion. Rachel and A.J. now raise their two daughters, Keira and Adia, nestled atop the southernmost block of the vineyard.
ADAM LEE, Consulting WINEMAKER
Adam Lee was raised in Austin, Texas as a Southern Baptist and thus never drank alcohol growing up. He attended Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas (where he started drinking – although wine was not usually the drink of choice) and graduated in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in History. His first job out of college was as a clerk at a wine store, Austin Wine & Spirits, which happened to be a hotbed of wine sales as well as the sponsor of the local Les Amis du Vin chapter where he was able to taste some of the great wines of the world. Lee worked his way up to President of Austin Wine & Spirits then later became a wine buyer for Neiman Marcus in Dallas where he first met his wife Dianna Novy. With the belief that they could become winemakers and make their own Pinot Noir, they left their families and jobs in Texas and moved to California’s Sonoma wine country. They spent several years working at small, family owned wineries, using any and all free time to learn everything they could about growing grapes and making wine. In 1994, they launched Siduri Wines with their first release, which was met with great critical success and led them to search for additional high quality Pinot Noir grapes. Today, Adam produces top rated single vineyard wines from 20 different sites stretching from Santa Barbara north to Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
Shannon Gustafson, Winemaker
Shannon Gustafson knew she wanted to make world class wine at the age of 13. Focused and motivated, she earned her bachelor’s degree in enology and wine production from California State University-Fresno where she also minored in chemistry and French. Upon graduation, Shannon gained valuable experience in Australia, France, and the U.S., ultimately landing with some of California’s finest producers as a key member of both their viticultural and enological teams.
At Hawks View, working in concert with a longtime friend and mentor Adam Lee, Shannon lives her passion. Walking the vineyard nearly every day gives her intimate knowledge of the fruit, ensuring that each wine is the best it can be every year. She wouldn’t have it any other way.
ELLEN MCNERNEY, Wine Club MANAGER
Ellen is the heart of our direct to consumer program. And avid localvore, Ellen’s love for sustainably farmed food and wine began at an early age in her hometown of Napa, California. After years of working at restaurants and catering events, she decided to major in Hospitality & Tourism. This experience has led her to us at Hawks View Cellars, where she has spearheaded the architecture and operation of the HV Wine Club. Her keen eye for detail and tireless commitment to member experience are evident in everything she touches.
Dan Mages, Tasting Room manager
Hospitality at Hawks View begins and ends with Dan Mages. Charged with curating the entire onsite experience for visiting members and guests, Dan is at his best when sharing his passion for making your day awesome. Both seasoned and educated, Dan has encyclopedic wine knowledge that is punctuated by his certification as an Advanced Sommelier. Most importantly, Dan’s warm greeting and thirst for service is what our tasting room is all about: being friendly and inviting.