Community Focused

It’s no secret that Sweet Cheeks Winery is family focused. Our entire foundation was built on providing a place to come as you are and feel like family – while enjoying great wines and stunning valley views. Our community is another important pillar to our winery. In 2016 we created our first donation series of wines to support the Greenhill Humane Society’s Capital Campaign – these wines were able to raise close to $20,000 for Greenhill.

When the Greenhill wines were nearly sold-out, we began looking for a foundation to partner with as an on-going project. As chance would have it, on a beautiful October afternoon in 2019, a YouTube video on Marcus Mariota happened to pop up and the video mentioned the Motiv8 Foundation.

Motiv8 Co-Founder and Heisman Trophy Winner, Marcus Mariota

Making the Connection

Marcus’ mother, Alana, ordered a glass of Vintage Riesling from a local restaurant and was curious about our winery. Alana and Toa began visiting Sweet Cheeks Winery to enjoy a quiet and relaxing glass of wine on the patio. They continued to visit throughout the careers of Marcus and Matt at the University of Oregon, and didn’t realize that our star-struck Winemaker, Leo Gabica, would frequently try to work up the courage to say hello.

Knowing the Mariota family enjoyed visiting our winery, and hoping they would consider a potential partnership, we reached out to the Director, Ed Nishioka. Luckily for us, key members of the Motiv8 Foundation would be in Eugene during Thanksgiving Weekend to celebrate Matt Mariota’s senior game for the University of Oregon. After sharing some wines, stories, and idea brainstorms – the partnership of Sweet Cheeks Winery and Motiv8 Foundation was formed.

2020 Edition of Motiv8 Foundation Wines : 2018 Pinot Noir & 2018 Pinot Gris

Debut of Motiv8 Wines

The first edition of the wines featured a 2018 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and a 2018 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris. Minimally processed from start to finish, the wines highlight the Willamette Valley growing region. Aged in french oak barrels, the 2018 Pinot Noir pairs perfectly with burgers. The 2018 Pinot Gris is refreshing and displays delightful Oregon pear and apple notes. Pair the Pinot Gris with your favorite tailgate cheese-dip and fresh veggies.

The initial on-sale of the wines sold out in less than 48 hours. We held back a few cases to support any potental in-person events. Any remaining cases or bottles will be available on our shop page, while supplies last. The wines raised $30,000 and provided hundreds of kids in Eugene and Springfield with their full school supplies.

Marcus Mariota with a fan at a Motiv8 Event. “The work that Motiv8 is doing is bigger than football, and it’s just as important for me to give back to the communities that helped to get me where I am now.” – Marcus Mariota, UO Alumni Interview

About the Motiv8 Foundation

“This entire journey has been incredible. It takes a village to raise a child, and I truly believe that. I was very fortunate to have people and experiences along the way that helped me to succeed, and to be able to provide some of those opportunities for others and give inspiration is special.” – Marcus Mariota, UO Alumni Interview

Stay up to date or learn more about the Motiv8 Foundation.