Mike Canney, Owner
Mike is a successful entrepreneur, having started and managed eight successful companies from the ground up. He started his first several companies while in college over 30 years ago, while earning degrees in Physics and Math, he also received an MBA. He started his most successful company in 1997, Intelligence Data Systems, which became the fastest growing technology company in Virginia and one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the United States. Mike sold IDS in 2005 to L3 Communications, and started Sunset Hills Vineyard. At Sunset Hills, Mike is working to make our winery the best on the East Coast for wine quality and customer satisfaction. When not working, Mike enjoys world travel, photography, bicycling, boating, and driving race cars.
Diane Canney, Owner
After a successful career in the Intelligence field, Diane assisted Mike in the renovation and interior design of the 1870 historic barn working with the Amish and other contractors during the construction. She has filled the barn with historical antiques, which add to the elegant ambiance of the barn and showcase its Civil War history and Amish renovations. At Sunset Hills, Diane is responsible for the customer focus and the look and feel of the farm and tasting room, as well as the design of the wine labels. Her hobbies include painting, photography, distance swimming and painting wine glasses.
Preston Thomas, Winemaker
Preston joins us from Stone Tower Winery, as our new Winemaker. He is originally from Tennessee, and spent his early career making wine in California. We can't wait to taste the delicious wines he's going to develop for both Sunset Hills and 50 West.
Corrigan Herbert, Vineyard Manager
Corrigan grew up in the Finger Lakes region of New York, where she was first impressed by the beauty of vineyards. When she was in college, studying French, she realized she longed to be outdoors more, in a position where she could combine the culture and romanticism that she was getting from her French studies, with the wide open spaces and scientific reasoning of agriculture. That's when she discovered viticulture and it became her passion almost overnight. She has since graduated with a degree in Viticulture and Enology at the top of her class from Cornell University. Corrigan has worked in vineyards on both the East and West coasts and has experience in vineyard research. Corrigan believes that the many challenges posed by East coast climates prove that the successful wines grown and made here are made with a special kind of grit and determination and therefore she can appreciate all the hard work that goes in to every bottle a little more. She enjoys Riesling from the Finger Lakes and Sunset Hills’ Cabernet Franc. Outside of the vineyard she enjoys hiking with her dog, baking, and gardening.
Allison Wood, Director of Sales & Marketing
Allison was born and raised in Loudoun County, and studied Geography and International Studies at Virginia Tech, before entering the wine industry. She began her career in wine on the wholesale distribution side of the industry, specializing in restaurants and fine wine shops. Allison served as the Director of Sales & Marketing at Tarara Winery for 3 years before eagerly joining our team here at Sunset Hills and 50 West. She now serves as our Director of Sales & Marketing, and is responsible for developing and maintaining our superior guest experience. In addition to sharing her passion for wine, Allison enjoys being active, whether it’s hiking, boxing, running, or yoga, and simply spending time with family.
Kevin Donley, Operations Manager
Kevin joined the Sunset Hills team in spring of 2018. He is a retired Army Officer who brings a wealth of leadership experience to the team. After he retired from the Army, Kevin turned his passion for wine into a second career, working for a winery in Loudoun County and then transitioned to a Wine Manager position with Total Wine. He is WSET level 2 certified and is a Certified Sherry Wine Specialist. Kevin has visited many of Europe's premier wine regions in France, Germany, and Italy. He has also traveled to Napa and the Williamette Valley in Oregon. Kevin is a proud Army spouse and when he is not working he enjoys spending time with his wife and their three cats as they begin their farm. His go-to wines currently are Châteauneuf du Pape, Oregon Pinot Noir and 2013 Sunset Hills Mosaic.
Emily Karadak, Events Manager
An Ohio native, Emily has always had a passion for events. After attaining her degree in Hospitality Management and Tourism with a focus on Meeting and Event Planning, she began working in various roles learning everything there is to know about having a perfect event. Her path led her to a highly regarded wedding and event planning organization where she was initially brought on to assist with weddings. Not long after, she became an event planner with the company and was organizing and executing her own events. Emily absolutely loves working with couples to make their dream wedding vision come to life and looks forward to serving the couples of 50 West Vineyards in beautiful Loudoun County wine country. When she’s not pouring over event details and brainstorming beautiful ideas, Emily loves to ride her large fur-baby, Floyd, an off the track thoroughbred horse. She also loves cheering on Ohio State with her husband, Kyle, and discovering new Virginia wines.
Rikki Cushwa, Creative Director
Rikki started her journey with Sunset Hills as our Assistant Tasting Room Manager at 50 West Vineyards in 2017. She has since moved on to develop our food program as our Executive Chef. In her free time, Rikki enjoys photography, blogging, hiking, and swimming. We have recently expanded Rikki's role to include all of her creative talents, naming her our Creative Director. She will be responsible for creating and overseeing all sensory experiences, including wine and food offerings. Working side by side with our Events Manager to create lasting memories.
Dave Parker and Audrey Siler, Wine Club Ambassadors
Dave Parker and Audrey Siler have been promoted to new positions as our Wine Club Ambassadors. You have trusted them for years to take care of your needs when visiting, and to select that perfect case of wine to bring home. They will be available during your visits to catch up, answer all questions, and serve in a wine concierge capacity.