Ashley graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in Chemical Engineering and the intention to go to medical school. After discovering that her passion was not in medicine, she decided to come to Sonoma County and work a harvest in a winery lab. One harvest quickly turned into an all-encompassing passion and love of winemaking with all the science, art, chemistry, engineering and fun behind it!
She started as a Lab Technician at Owl Ridge and then moved to Lab Manager, benefiting from valuable mentoring by some of the top Pinot Noir vintners in California such as Merry Edwards, Greg Lafollette, Anthony Austin and Scot Covington. Because it was a custom-crush facility with over 40 clients at the time, Owl Ridge provided her with the opportunity to gain the perspective and knowledge that would prove invaluable in her career.
In 2007 she became Enologist and then Assistant Winemaker at Mauritson Winery. She branched out on her own as a consulting winemaker in 2011, making wine for small family owned wineries in Sonoma County. Winemaking isn’t just a job for her; it’s her life. Her two young children are generally traipsing right behind her as she samples vineyard blocks. She loves to garden, cook and travel to wine regions all over the world in her spare time.
Aubrey was born and raised in Healdsburg and is a graduate of Healdsburg High School where he was involved in 4H and FFA. Growing up, Aubrey never anticipated or thought he would find himself in the winemaking industry. In 2017, he stumbled upon winemaking by becoming an intern at a custom crush facility. At the time, he was a Firefighter and one of his fellow Firefighters needed help at his custom crush facility. That’s when Aubrey stepped up to volunteer. From that point on he became submerged in the industry and caught the ‘bug’.
Aubrey was able to hone in his skills by working under multiple winemakers side by side with different winemaking styles and philosophies. He remained there for two years working his way up from an intern to a Cellar Master.
Aubrey says he’s honored to now work with Ashley and really enjoys her style and fun approach in making CASTs wines unique. Aubrey oversees all aspects of the wine, from the grapes being picked to running through our equipment, being put into tank for fermentation, transferring to barrels for aging, and finally bottling our wines to eventually land in your glass wherever it is you choose to enjoy our wines. Cheers!
Nobody at CAST has been here longer than Juan Soriano. We’d love to clone him a few times! He’s quite literally one of the most versatile and conscientious contributors on our team. Originally from the Oaxaca region of Mexico, Juan returns to visit his 100 year old mother there each year. Juan began work with CAST helping crush our very first vintage in 2012, before we even had a winery. He joined the construction crew to help build our facilities, then served as cellar assistant, master gardener and now oversees our Grey Palm Vineyard, where he literally tends to each vine by hand multiple times throughout the season. It’s a family affair as well, with Juan’s wife Berta and daughters all having participated in various capacities at CAST. You will know Juan when you see him – he’s the one in purple, working tirelessly, always with a happy smile.
Tasting Room Manager
Laura has been fortunate enough to have grown up in our beautiful wine country and fall in love with its picturesque surroundings. She worked at Starbucks for almost 14 years and has a love for working and building relationships with people. After getting her degree in Media and Mass Communications from Arizona State University, she realized that she wanted to combine her passion for hospitality, wine, and marketing. In 2018 she worked in marketing for an online wine company in Sonoma and was thankful that it eventually led her to CAST. You might see her hiking around Sonoma County with her fur child (2 year German Shepherd, named Brock), managing the tasting room, or out and about in wine country connecting with neighboring wineries. Come visit CAST and she’ll be very excited to host you!
Tasting Room Associate
Born and raised in Santa Rosa, Kimmy shares a love for the beauty and grandeur of Sonoma County. After graduating with her BA in Journalism and Communications, she took her first opportunity for adventure by moving to Dubai, UAE. Living abroad for the past 7 years and traveling to over 60 different countries as an Emirates flight attendant, she’s believes there is no place like home. She loves meeting new people, swapping stories of adventure and of course enjoying wine (especially CAST Wines). She views wine and food as one of the great arts of humanity. Creating and maintaining relationships over food and wine is a strong bond. When Kimmy is not working, she is creating in her studio (aka the garage) with multiple mediums of art, gardening, cooking, writing and dancing around with her husband. Come visit and share stories with her.
Growing up in California, Sarah fell in love with wine from a very young age. She has dubbed herself a “winery brat” due to her constant exploration of the many fantastic wineries here in our great state. After leaving California to pursue her undergraduate degree in Portland, Oregon, Sarah recently returned to the Bay Area to achieve a Professional Wine MBA from Sonoma State University. Her dream is to run a winery of her own someday. For the last 2 years she has dipped her toes into the wine industry and now she is ready to jump directly into the flow here at CAST and gain even more experience. Sarah currently lives with her lifelong best friend in Rohnert Park. In her down time you can find Sarah volunteering for foster dog organizations, attending her classes at SSU, or reading a good book at a local park. She is looking forward to meeting you on your next visit!
Joe Opel, AKA “Saturday Joe,” is a native of Sonoma County and has, with his wife Hilary, raised three children here. During the week Joe works in corporate sales, but on the weekends, Joe stretches his creative side with culinary explorations and wine pairings. What started as a hobby of cooking for his friends and family, has evolved into a formalized approach to recipe development for CAST’s Wine of the Month Program.
“Having fun, laughing, traveling, and sharing experiences are what life is about! ” Joe is at the winery on Saturdays and looks forward to hosting you – please come by, introduce yourself, and let Joe know your favorite food and wine pairings!
Joes favorite CAST Wines are 2018 Incantation and 2019 Estate Zinfandel.
Brand and Marketing Lead
Deborah Harkins has 16 years invested in the marketing/creative space. She has held various design, creative, art, brand, and management positions with companies such as eBay, The Men’s Wearhouse, Mezzetta Foods, and Shutterfly. Prior to entering this field, she worked in anthropological and archaeological research.
In November, 2020 she joined CAST Wines, where she now holds the position of Brand & Marketing Lead, overseeing creative work for new customer acquisitions, retention graphic design, and brand strategy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Anthropology from the University of California with an AA in Graphic design and Illustration for the Natural Sciences. Deborah resides in northern California and loves a whole cluster pinot noir.
Raymond has been a longtime lover of San Francisco all the way from Southern California. Having wanted to move to the area since he was a child, he jumped at a job opportunity that would bring him to Sonoma County mere hours’ drive at most to his beloved city. After 5 years of living in Sonoma County, he has grown fond of the beaches, wineries, and “small town” feel of the area. You will find Raymond trying new foods by the locally owned restaurants with friends, plentiful in Sonoma County, at the beach whether rain or shine, and enjoying the many views and wines at the Dry Creek and River Road wineries (CAST is a personal favorite). Every experience he has had in Sonoma County has solidified his love for the area and is a place he is all the happier to call home.
Duke The Winery Dog
Duke, the Polish hound officially arrived at CAST Wines to fulfill his dream of becoming a winery dog in August of 2019 and hasn’t looked back since. From guiding guests on tours to walking the grounds and saying hello to guests in our Tasting Room, he takes his work very seriously. He does also make sure to take breaks for belly rubs or a nice ear scratch throughout the day.
Be sure to say hello to Duke should you run into him on the CAST Estate and he will be sure to greet you with plenty of enthusiasm.