Meet the Team

Dawn R Galante

Proprietor / COO

With a passion for life and a head for business, Dawn Galante had a dream of producing approachable wines of exceptional quality and elegance. With the loving support of her husband, Jack Galante, her dream has come true. Born and raised in Michigan, Dawn traveled to California in 1985 where she built a life with Jack and their five children: Nicole, John, Alyssa, Evan, and Rachael. Approachable and easy to talk to, Dawn cherishes her family and friends above all else. Dawn has a mischievous, adventurous side, and is always eager to take part in her favorite outdoor sports, snow-skiing, scuba diving, and hiking.

As living proof that dreamers exist and excel, Dawn has built her life on free-thinker Henry David Thoreau's belief that "Dreams are the touchstones of our character." Between managing almost every aspect of her winery, Dawn can occasionally be found strolling hand in hand with Jack through the vines at twilight.

 

Maegan Kohn

General Manager

There really isn't anything Maegan can't do.  Her can-do attitude is instrumental in leading our team at Galante.  Originally from Carmel, Indiana (yes, she loves the city of Carmel...wherever it is!), she moved to Carmel, California in pursuit of a new beginning and a challenge. In 2012, Maegan worked for Jack and Dawn Galante, and took a short break, returning as the company's own super hero in 2016, as she's now a mom to her adorable and outgoing daughter McKenna (aka Nugget), while excelling as our General Manager.  Maegan's team leadership abilities were honed at the Univeristy of North Carolina when she was the captain of the Women's Rowing Team.  You can hear her still yell out, "Go Tar Heels!", but she is always rooting for Dawn's Dream Winery!  In fact she's often enjoying a bottle of the 2017 Rosé with her husband, Andy after a productive day of juggling mommyhood and taking care of business at Dawn's Dream.  Maegan lives life by a simple motto, "life is too short to drink bad wine"!

 

Deborah Karas

Office Manager

A native California girl, Deborah grew up in San Diego but has called the Monterey Peninsula home for more than 30 years.  After graduating from MPC, Deborah immersed herself in the world of food and wine attending the Greystone Culinary Institute and receiving her level one sommelier.  With over 15 years of experience as a F&B Manager and a restaurant Wine Buyer, Deborah comes with an ideal background for the wine industry.  While her resume speaks volumes, Deborah isn’t all business.  She loves to go hiking, read and watch sci-fi and horror, and spend quality time with her two plush puppies at home.  At the end of a long day, Deborah reaches for a glass of big, juicy cabernet or a rich, buttery chardonnay. 

She is fond of the beautiful quote by Emily Dickinson, "Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.  And sweetest in the gale is heard, and sore must be the storm, that could abash the little bird, that kept so many warm.  I've heard it in the chilliest land, and on the strangest sea, yet, never, in extremity, it asked a crumb of me".

Molly Nance

Tasting Room Sales Associate & Wholesale Manager

Some people collect knickknacks of the sorts...Molly collects experiences.  Originally from the Monterey Peninsula, she once decided on a Sunday to move to Seattle to pursue an internship at a public relations company devoted to food and wine.  She’s worked in restaurants in major U.S. cities including Boston, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle. Recently she earned a WSET Level 2 certificate (Wine Spirits Education Trust) to gain as much knowledge as she can about the wine industry.  She also uses it as intellectual ammunition when she obtains and retains wholesale accounts for Dawn's Dream Winery.  Throughout the week, you can find Molly pouring wine at the Dawn's Dream tasting room, guiding monthly with winery tours, or hiding behind her Cannon 7D capturing b-roll and interviews, before geeking out in front of her computer to produce marketing videos for the winery.  

 

Jenn Hotes

Tasting Room Associate & Event Coordinator

Jennifer comes to us as a recent transplant from Seattle, Washington.  In March of 2019, she joined Dawns Dream Team to pursue her career in the wine industry.  She comes to us with a background working for local non-profits paired with an education in biology, making it an easy yes for her when she was offered a position that takes advantage of both her areas of expertise.  Ask her about art, science, or the music she is featuring that day in the tasting room- she takes requests and loves to play to a crowd! 

 

Nick Meinhardt

Tasting Room Associate

A SoCal native, Nick Meinhardt entered the LA wine scene in 2015.  He worked for several Sommeliers including Chris Meeske of Mission Wines in South Pasadena and members of the Silverlake Wine group.  Seeking a change of pace, Nick moved to the central coast with a love for hiking in the Sierras, getting lost in the redwoods, and exploring Big Sur.  Nick also works as the regional Rep for Paul Young Fine Wines, a portfolio of French wines which can be found in many local restaurants and shops throughout the area.  He is an adventurous taster, enjoying everything from Petnats to Belgian sours but religiously falls back to his love affair with old world wines.  Having a rich background in spiritual practice and mindfulness education, Nick has created programs for underserved youth in Juvenile Hall and in charter schools.  He enjoys sharing meditation practices in the community and is also a strong advocate for environmental responsibility in agriculture and viticulture.

 

Doug Hewitt

Tasting Room Associate

 

 

Anna Russell

Tasting Room Associate

 

 

Michael Hughes

Tasting Room Associate

 

 

Hila Safaei

Tasting Room Associate

 

Rachael White

Social Media Guru

If there’s one thing that amazes Rachael, it’s people and the great outdoors.  She’s specifically fond of the Pacific Northwest, the home of her alma mater.  Rachael graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, while minoring in Sociology and Anthropology.  She is a mix between a globetrotting media maven who loves to travel and explore the wild wilderness, and a homebody who hunkers down from time to time to partake in a full day of baking delicious pies and cakes.  Her adventurous spirit and tech aptitude makes it fitting that she's Dawn's Dream's social media “kween.”  Every insight into the Dawn's Dream social media highlights have her personal stamp on it.  Rachael is originally from Marin County, and daughter of Jack and Dawn Galante.  Rachael has always had an affinity for the California wine industry, particularly because she grew up at Galante Vineyards. (And yes, if you recognize the spelling of her name, she is THE Rachael in the Dawn’s Dream Pinot Trilogy.).

 

Megan Best

Studio Booking Manager