Heather Neff graduated from Central in 1999 with a degree in business administration, something she planned to use utilize while working with her family in the golf course industry.
However, when she met her now-husband Dean, they found a common interest in wine. The pair moved to the Willamette Valley where they worked in the wine industry and attended the winemaking program at Chemeketa Community College, and shortly after started their own label.
“Having a business degree changes the lens through which you look at your own business,” said Heather. “I credit a lot of what I am able to provide to Nefarious with what I learned at Central. My degree was a great foundation for owning my own business.”
Within their winery, Heather is in charge of the wine club, marketing, blog writing, bookkeeping, tasting notes, and white winemaking, while Dean makes sure they grow beautiful fruit by managing the vineyard, oversees operational details, and is the red winemaker.
Now, Nefarious Cellars has been featured in regional and national magazines such as Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, and the “Top 100 Wines of the World” in Wine Enthusiast.
“Wine publications have so, so many wineries to choose from when they are looking at regions and states, both nationally and globally for wines to review and mention,” said Heather. “It is incredible to have your wine reviewed by those publications and in turn, receive such positive feedback and scores. In the case of the “Top 100 Wines,” making a list out of all the wines produced in a year is mind-blowing. It is every winemaker’s dream to make something that will be considered that noteworthy.”
The CWU Alumni Association is proud to announce that they are partnering with Nefarious Cellars to bring you the CWU Wine Club, a way to unite fellow alumni through a shared interest in wine.
Heather is excited to be able to share their wines with the Central community, saying, “I would love for this program to benefit the Wildcat family by making wine more approachable and fun. It adds one more layer to an already vibrant alumni association and it is really exciting that the alumni association will be able to add this as yet another benefit.”
For more information and to join the wine club, please visit cwuwineclub.com.