I was one of the original investors when the La Grange team began to form in 2005. In 2006 I started here full time in-charge of the restoration and general construction to create the Winery at La Grange. After nearly eight months of long days and nights of construction, and with the hands-on help of many of the investors we opened to the public on Labor Day weekend in 2006, and I was named General Manager while construction continued into 2007. When the construction was complete I elected to return to wholesaling and importing Spanish wine, leaving La Grange as my favorite Virginia winery. I continued to visit though, in fact in March 2008, my fiancé and I were married here in the barrel room.
When controlling ownership of La Grange changed hands in January 2012, I became an advisor to the new owners regarding wholesaling wine in the U.S.A. and importing/exporting wine in the global marketplace. In July 2012, I was thrilled to accept the new management’s offer to return to La Grange as the General Manager and on-site Winemaker. I was again lucky when my friend Doug Fabbioli unhesitatingly agreed to be The Winery at La Grange’s Consulting Winemaker.
Steven Spurrier famed wine critic, Decanter magazine columnist and the man behind the 1976 Judgement of Paris, which was the inspiration for the movie “Bottleshock” said recently, “As a wine drinker and a wine communicator the wines of Virginia attract me. They call for a second glass. It’s not very often with some of these big burly 15-and-a-half degree wines from California that I even want half of the glass in front of me. So they’re (Virginia) very drinkable wines. It is also very important in my view that Virginia wines continue to be recognizably Virginian, and avoid a ‘flashy’ international style.”
I agree with Mr. Spurrier and am styling our wines to have the elegance and refinement of European wines with subdued fruit forward characteristics, which is the acknowledged “terroir” Virginia has to offer. I see the palate of Virginia wine consumers maturing. They are better wine-educated, appreciate and enjoy more complex wines in both “New World” and “Old World” styles. I am striving to incorporate a more terroir-driven style into some of the wines we make here at La Grange, while continuing with our popular wines in their traditional style so that our loyal customers have great staples to come back to again and again.
I invite you to visit and return to The Winery at La Grange, to share in our elegant landscape, warm customer service and our delightful array of wines.