Our People

Who We Are

Producing a quality wine for people to enjoy requires the perfect combination of vineyard care, winemaking techniques, and visionary sales strategies. Our team members’ common goal is to create a lasting, world-class wine experience.

We will be forever grateful to all of our team for both their expertise and dedication.
“They complete us”.

Michelle and David DUFENHORST Owners

John Ware President

JOHN D WARE / PRESIDENT

John comes to Rocky Pond Estate Winery as an industry veteran of over 20 years. Originally from the Bay Area, he relocated to attend the University of Washington. After graduation, his career path lead him into a dynamic career in sales in the high-tech and communications industry. In 2000 he joined Quilceda Creek winery. Starting his wine career in the cellar, John has operational expertise in all aspects of running a winery. He is part owner of two vineyards—one located in the Red Mountain AVA and another in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA.

“It is an honor to be assuming the role of President for Rocky Pond Estate Winery,” states John. “The Dufenhorst family has quietly been building an undiscovered paradise in one of the most beautiful and soon-to-be discovered corners of Washington. I am excited to offer guidance to an already dynamic team of experienced professionals as we continue to elevate our wine making, vineyard management, event offerings and overall high-touch consumer experiences.”

SHANE COLLINS | DIRECTOR of WINEMAKING, VITICULTURE, and VINEYARD RELATIONS

Collins is a native of the Lake Chelan Valley as a fourth-generation orchardist. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Washington State University, his interests in farming and agriculture encouraged him to pursue the field of viticulture and enology after getting a taste of the preliminary Lake Chelan Wine industry where he began his first sales position in 2003.

Shane worked for Spring Valley Vineyard in Walla Walla, under Winemaker Serge Laville, as well as the vineyards of Red Willow, Evergreen, and Otis for Columbia and Covey Run wineries while studying viticulture and fermentation science at the Institute of Enology and Viticulture. His desire and passion for the Lake Chelan area and its unique soil and climatic qualities brought Shane back to the Chelan Valley where he has been growing grapes and making wine since 2007.

Shane currently is in his 4th term as a board member of the Lake Chelan Wine Alliance since 2009, serving as the alliance chair for two years, vice chair for two years, and currently a 4th year as treasurer. He has worked on committee and board positions of the Cascade Valley Wine Country of the greater Chelan County area and is currently the Chair of the Washington Winegrowers Association and government affairs co-chair. Shane is proud to provide a voice from the expanding Lake Chelan AVA and surrounding areas of North Central Washington.

Email: shanec@rockypondwinery.com

Click Here to Read Shane’s Favorite Varietal and Food Paring (pdf)

Shane
Austin's Headshot

AUSTIN HARMON | EXECUTIVE CHEF

Chef Austin is no stranger to the region. He grew up in the picturesque Lake Chelan area and graduated from Chelan High School before bouncing between California and Seattle to chase his culinary dreams. Ultimately, he would land starring roles in some of the top fine dining destinations on the West Coast, including Executive Sous Chef at the Craftsman in Encinitas California, Chef Tournant in Seattle Met’s Restaurant of the Year, Altura Restaurant, and most recently at the Campfire Restaurant in Carlsbad California. He is also no stranger to the world of wine, working at Carruth Cellars in Solana Beach California as the assistant winemaker over multiple vintages

Email: austinh@rockypondwinery.com

Read the press release HERE.

JONATHAN KACZMAREK | DIRECTOR OF FINANCE AND OPERATIONS

Previously the winemaker at Soos Creek Wine Cellars, Jonathan has eight years of wine making experience. After visiting numerous wine regions throughout the world, Jonathan decided to leave corporate finance to pursue the science and art of wine making. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Wisconsin and has completed numerous courses at the Northwest Wine Academy.

Email: jonathank@rockypondwinery.com

Washington Tasting Room Magazine named Jonathan Kaczmarek as one of the 2019 Movers and Shakers in the Wine Industry. Click Here to Read the Article

Jonathan
MARCY LEMIEUX

MARCY LEMIEUX | DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING

Marcy joined Rocky Pond in 2016. She is a Washington native, growing up on Mercer Island, graduating from Mercer Island High School, and receiving her Bachelor of the Arts degree from Seattle University.

She has completed several wine making courses with the UC Davis extension program. Prior to coming on board with Rocky Pond, Marcy managed operations for Barons Winery, and was the Director of Guest Relations for Chateau Rollat.

Email: marcyl@rockypondwinery.com

HOLLY LA PORTA-JONES | WOODINVILLE TASTING ROOM MANAGER

Holly La Porta-Jones joins Rocky Pond as our Woodinville Tasting Room Manager. Born in Hawaii, Holly is a graduate of the University of Hawaii and worked as a Restaurant Manager at the Four Seasons Hualalai before joining Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits as a Fine Wine Specialist. Holly holds her Level 2 Certified Sommelier Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers and her WSET Level 2 Certification from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.

Email: holly@rockypondwinery.com

Holly La Porta-Jones Woodinville Tasting Room Manager
Alison Withrow, Office Manager

ALISON WITHROW | OFFICE MANAGER

Alison was born and raised in Washington. She graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Journalism and went on to spend almost a decade in the corporate world. It was there that she learned how to best support senior leadership, while also taking on additional accounting and aviation department duties.

Her desire to grow and expand into a new industry is one of the things that brought her to Rocky Pond, where she uses her keen eye for detail, past experiences, and office savvy to keep the day-to-day office duties running smoothly.

Email: alisonw@rockypondwinery.com

DAVID AND MICHELLE DUFENHORST | OWNERS
While biking through old world vineyards, the European devotion to family, dedication to the land, and pride in their wine resonated with David and Michelle. David’s business savvy in connection with the land, coupled with Michelle’s talent for bringing people together shine through in their passion for wine.

Together they bring a beautifully balanced “blend” to their winery.

David and Michelle Dufenhorst, Owners