Rick Small, Owner, Director of Production:
Agricultural interests come naturally to Rick Small, raised as a part of an Eastern Washington wheat farming family. He attended Washington State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from that institution as well as studying in the School of Architecture, before returning to Walla Walla and the family business. Beginning in the mid-70's he developed a personal interest in winemaking with his friend Gary Figgins who was to found Leonetti Cellar.
In 1976, Rick began planting vines on former wheat ground on the family farm in Woodward Canyon. He and his wife Darcey Fugman-Small founded Woodward Canyon Winery in 1981. Rick is essentially a self-taught winemaker, reading numerous texts and learning by doing. His approach to winemaking is that of an artisan, and he believes that the key to even higher quality lies in the vineyard. With Mott's employment in 2003, Rick has turned his primary attention to hands-on oversight of viticulture techniques at the Woodward Canyon Estate Vineyard, as well as in contracted vineyards.
Rick was President of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Growers Association, the precursor to the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, when the growers petitioned and received approval from the federal government for the Walla Walla Valley Appellation in 1984. Rick was a member of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation and served on its Board of Directors as well as the Washington Wine Institute. He is a former Chair member of the Washington Wine Commission. Rick currently serves on the Walla Walla Community College Viticulture and Enology Advisory Committee and the Washington State University and University of Idaho's Food Science External Advisory Board. Anyone who has attended Holiday Barrel Tasting knows that Rick is an avid baker. He is also an avid bike rider and enjoys making the summer commute to the winery with Kevin and Thomas.Darcey Fugman-Small, Owner, General Manager:
Darcey has been very involved in the community serving on a number of boards and advisory committees, including the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation, Planned Parenthood of Walla Walla, the American Association of University Women, United Way of Walla Walla, the Walla Walla Public School District's Facilities and Math Curriculum committees and was former Chair of the Carnegie Art Center Trustees. She is currently serving on the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance Marketing Committee and is a Trustee of Walla Walla Community College.
Darcey and Rick have two grown children, Jordan and Sager, who both serve on the Woodward Canyon Board of Directors, have ownership interest in the winery, and work at the winery now as well.
Production: Kevin Mott, Winemaker (far right):
Kevin Mott graduated from The College of Idaho with a degree in Chemistry. He began his career in the wine industry in 1986 at Ste. Chapelle Winery in Caldwell, Idaho, progressing from Cellar Worker and Laboratory Technician to Winemaker. In 1999 he was responsible for the development of Chalone Wine Group's Sagelands Vineyard in Washington's Yakima Valley and acted as General Manager and Winemaker until moving to Canoe Ridge Vineyard in 2002. Mott served as Winemaker there, overseeing both winery and vineyard operations. He came to Woodward Canyon in the summer of 2003 as Winemaker. In 2011, Kevin, along with Thomas, became a shareholder in Woodward Canyon. Rafa Sifuentes, Cellar Master (second from right):
Rafa started his long career at Woodward Canyon working in the Estate Vineyard. After working in the vineyard for five years, Rafa came to work at the winery and has been in his role as Cellar Master for the past nine years. Rafa and his wife have three beautiful children. "It is a pleasure to work at Woodward Canyon", says Rafa. It is a pleasure to have him here! Manuel Reyes, Cellar Crew (far left):
Manuel was born in Durango, Mexico. He and his family immigrated to the United States in 1995, thanks to his dad. His father worked for Woodward Canyon in the Estate Vineyard and still works there today. Manuel joined the Woody team before the harvest of 2003. He has a daughter and son. He enjoys working for Woodward Canyon and hopes to be at Woodward for a long time. Kiko Reyes, Cellar Crew (second from left):
Kiko's real name is Francisco, but everyone calls him Kiko. He was born in Durango, Mexico and immigrated along with his family to the U.S. in 1995. Actually, Kiko and Manuel are brothers. Kiko started at Woodward Canyon in 2002. He has a beautiful daughter and son. He loves working at Woodward.
Thomas Woodley, National Sales Coordinator / Distributor Sales:
Thomas recommended his first bottle of Woodward Canyon in 1991 while working at Bellevue Village QFC (Rick's 1989 Reserve Chardonnay, he believes.) After a circuitous career path in distribution, retail and restaurants (with educational stops at Whitman College and the University of Idaho), he arrived at Woodward Canyon in 2003, and is still thrilled to be in charge of National Sales. He is an ardent Husky fan, and he spends the lion's share of his time thinking about food. In 2011, Thomas, along with Kevin, became a shareholder in Woodward Canyon.
Jaymee Leamer, Controller:
Jaymee is an accountant at Woodward Canyon. She received her BBA from Pacific Union College and started her career as a tax accountant at Dillwood, Burkel and Sully. After her three years in the public tax accounting field, Jaymee decided it was time for a change of scenery and chose to move into the wine industry. She began working at Woodward Canyon in 2012 and has been enjoying learning all there is to know about wine. In addition to accounting, Jaymee enjoys cooking, and horseback riding and spending time with her amazing family and friends.
Jordan Dunn-Small, Director of Direct to Consumer Operations:
Born and raised in Walla Walla, Jordan attended Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon for her undergraduate degree. During her time there she studied International Affairs and spent a semester abroad in Alsace, France. She has worked in many facets of the wine industry including communications, marketing, sales, lab analysis, and packaging. Jordan officially joined the Woodward team in November 2013, but she has sat on the Woodward Canyon Board of Directors for the past several years and became a minority partner in 2011. In her spare time she enjoys cycling, yoga, gardening, traveling, cooking, music, and reading. She lives in Walla Walla with her husband and two sons.
Selena Kritsonis, Trade and Marketing:
Selena moved to Walla Walla in 2015, drawn to the allure of living in food and wine country and her boyfriend's promise to adopt a puppy. Her enthusiasm for food, travel and history has lead her to work in restaurants and bars around Seattle since graduating from the University of Washington (with a degree in Law, Societies and Justice) and even to study German in Berlin. Being attracted to passionate, innovative people who take pride in making quality wine while also being responsible stewards to the land, it was a natural fit for her to be part of the Woody team. Currently in her free time, Selena is expanding her wine knowledge while also training her dog into becoming the next winery dog for Woodward Canyon alongside Amazing Larry.
Sager Small, Viticulture and Production Assistant:
Sager is Rick and Darcey's youngest child and most recent acquisition to the Woodward Canyon team. After attending culinary school in Seattle at the Art Institute, Sager spent the next ten years working as a line cook in numerous French restaurants such as Rovers, Luc, and Cafe Presse. During this time, he developed a deep appreciation of the synergistic values that food and wine can bring to one's life. Upon returning to Walla Walla, Sager served as Woodward Canyon's resident chef and enrolled in the Walla Walla Community College Enology and Viticulture program. Following his graduation, Sager will transition into assisting viticultural practices on the Woodward Canyon estate vineyard and aid in producing small-lot wines with his father Rick. When Sager is not working he will likely be found fly fishing, playing guitar, gardening with his dog or drinking Fernet Branca on an outdoor patio.
Cory Benz, Hospitality and Tasting Room Manager:
Cory moved to Walla Walla to start her second career at Woodward Canyon.
She worked many years for Pendleton Woolen Mills at their corporate office
in Portland as their Womenswear Merchandise Manager. The lure of life in a small
town, surrounded by world class wine, was just what she and her husband were
looking for. Cory enjoys gardening, entertaining and drinking wine!
Sarah Grogan, Direct to Consumer Sales and Logistics:
Sarah was born and raised here in the beautiful Walla Walla Valley – a true native! She started her career in the wine industry in 2012, where she spent 4+ years working in the tasting room at Otis Kenyon, soaking up as much knowledge as she could. She became a member of the Woodward Canyon family in early 2017 and accepted the role of “shipping deputy” shortly after. Sarah is also an honor’s student, pursuing a bachelor’s degree as an RDH. When she’s not studying or hard at work, she enjoys staying active, traveling, and of course, sharing good food & wine with friends.