We're more than just great wine!

Meet Audra

Audra has been planting & growing innovative insights in the non-profit & cause-minded communities within the U.S. & abroad for over two decades, thanks to her personal mission of “Be the Change”.  Her passion for those who need it most abounds in many forms.  Her marketing & humanitarian career advocating for individuals with intellectual, developmental, & physical disabilities, as well as human rights & welfare, amongst many other critical causes, is the driving force behind the heart of what she now brings to Deer Creek Vineyards.  She counts having raised two pretty amazing humans, David & Charles, at the top of her list of successes.

Formally the Director of Health Care & Patient Services at the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Association, Senior Marketing Manager at Central Oregon Collective, as well as the Director of Marketing & Communications at Global Village Champions Foundation, whose mission of feeding the hungry worldwide, providing disaster relief across the globe, & saving refugees from the Syrian War crisis regardless of race or religious beliefs before founding her solo venture at Causitree Marketing & Consulting in 2018, are a few of her career highlights.  Working in impoverished countries, including vulnerable parts of the U.S. & Canada, including working directly with lawmakers in Washington, DC, to assist causes with a more boots-on the-ground approach, further proves her passion for leaving a legacy of hope through her work.  She was also instrumental in forming Firebrand Resiliency Collective after the devastating wildfires of 2020 in Southern Oregon, serving as Board President, donating countless hours, & being an integral part of their team to help further their mission & growth in the Southern Oregon region.  

Among several mission trips & consistently aiding in local causes in her personal time, Audra also served as a Guardian ad Litem in the state of California, advocating for children in foster care through CASA.  Making a lifelong difference in the lives of many has kind of been her gig.

Having traveled with many well-known celebrities, musicians, athletes, & philanthropists for the greater good within the U.S. & internationally, speaking publicly & advocating for those less fortunate through legislative changes bringing greater inclusion, awareness, & change, her knowledge & expertise in orchestrating every aspect it takes to further a worthy cause brings a broader perspective to the heart of the vineyard, Head-Gal style.

For nearly three decades she has been bi-coastal between her home state of Florida & her second love, Oregon.  Since coming on-board with the vineyard in the fall of 2022, she’s been expanding the vision of Deer Creek Vineyards far beyond the bottle, bringing a greater sense of community, along with spearheading our wine lounge venue space, events, & food program, promotions, communications, website, social media platforms, outreach, graphic design, marketing, sales, photography & videography, philanthropic initiatives, creating & building partnerships, administrative support, interior design & more.  Developing & showcasing the heart of our vineyard is what Audra does best!

She loves cooking, entertaining, every holiday, all things nature, playing the piano & drums, camping & exploring, & her rescue Yorkie, Finley.  Most of all, she leans on her faith, & loves loving on & being there for her family, friends, & community, in whatever ways needed.  

Supporting her husband & vigneron, Kenan, in the extraordinary strides & accomplishments he’s already made in the vineyard, is also a great joy for her.  Marrying their talents & skill sets is yet another beautiful part of their love story that continues to grow as the fruits of his labor continue to flourish.  

Together, they look forward to continuing to be good stewards of the land they are blessed to cultivate & call home in Selma, while building a future to be proud of for generations to come!

Meet Kenan

Kenan began his career in wine after discovering a passion for it through working in restaurants as a server and bartender in Houston, Texas. He had the opportunity to learn through tasting and selling wines alongside some of the city’s top sommeliers, then as a Restaurant Manager and Wine Director, he had the chance to further his exposure and excitement for wines as he crafted wine lists for an array of different cuisines, working alongside talented chefs to produce monthly wine dinners and build loyal clientele.

After making the move from restaurant to retail sales, Kenan continued his education and broadened his palate as a sales person and wine buyer at the Houston Wine Merchant, one of the oldest and most respected Independently owned Wine Retailers in the Southern US. Studying alongside some of the best buyers and sommeliers in the Texas wine scene, he earned his Certified Specialist of Wine and had the opportunity to taste 50-125 unique wines each day, 5 days a week, over the span of nearly three years, selling millions of dollars of wine a bottle at a time to some of Houston’s highest end clientele. He also helped host hundreds of Tastings alongside top Winemakers and wrote numerous newsletter articles highlighting special wines from all across the world during his tenure at the Houston Wine Merchant, developing relationships with Wine Growers and Producers all across the world.

While still a buyer at the Houston Wine Merchant, Kenan took a vacation to Washington State that would change his life. On this trip, he visited his friends made during years as a Wine buyer in restaurants and retail, the Hedges Family, where he spent 10 days helping them during Harvest and crush in 2010. This experience was his first foray into wine production, and it lit a passion for Vineyard growing and wine production that would change his entire trajectory. After that fateful Harvest, Kenan went back to Texas and spent a year preparing to make the jump from Retail to Production, and in late 2011 was offered a job working in the Vineyard again with his good friends at the Hedges Family Estate on Red Mountain.

Working in the Vineyard with the Hedges Family, and in the cellar with his friends at Four Feathers Winery in Prosser and Dunham Cellars in Walla Walla cemented Kenan’s love for grape growing and wine production. This led him to write his first business plan to start his own Vineyard and Winery on Red Mountain which led to a loan offer from a local Agriculture bank to venture out with his own endeavor. Kenan ultimately lost the opportunity to plant that vineyard in Washington when a big Napa Valley winery swooped in with cash and bought the property out from under him, but his desire to grow grapes and make wine remained.

After a 4 year break from all things wine (to focus on another business he started and built), Kenan returned to his original passion in the summer of 2019 with the purchase of Deer Creek Vineyards in Southern Oregon’s historic Illinois Valley. Upon purchasing the property, he immediately began transitioning the farming from conventional methods to using nothing but organic inputs and implementing regenerative agriculture and other more sustainable practices.

He was joined in 2022 by the love of his life, Audra, who has since helped solidify the mission, vision and values behind the Vineyard and wine production, and who has helped continue to build the business in many ways. Together, they are excited for the future of this farm, and continue to look for ways that they can make a difference in the local community and in the world around them through their community benefitted farming model.

Today, Audra and Kenan, as well as her oldest son David and our fantastic Vineyard crew of passionate, hard-working locals are working to expand the farm beyond just wine grape and wine production. New projects for our farm include growing organic fruits, vegetables, Chinese medicinal herbs, and incorporating livestock as a part of the farm while focusing on both boots on the ground missions and financial support of critical causes in the local community. The future is brighter than ever at Deer Creek Vineyards, and to this day, they continue the award-winning traditions of this special legacy Vineyard!