7 East Coast Winemakers To Know


1. Ashby Everhart, Legends Vineyard, Churchville, MD


521 Asbury Rd., Churchville, Maryland 21028
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Photo: Legends Vineyard Facebook

Legends Vineyard started long ago when the process of creating wine was so inspiring that what originated as a hobby became a full time vineyard, winery and tasting room. Every aspect of wine making from growing grapes to bottling award winning wines is a mission for the Everhart team.

Ashby Everhart is the wine maker. His love of wine and all of the beautiful qualities it can capture is what exhilarates him to develop the fourteen different varietals that Legends has to offer.

2. Bob Barrow, Brotherhood Winery, Washingtonville, NY

brotherhood bob

100 Brotherhood Plaza Dr, Washingtonville, NY 10992
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Photo: Brotherhood Winery

Bob Barrow has been working as Brotherhood’s winemaker for over ten years. Working closely with Cesar Baeza, he enjoys the many challenges of creating delicious wine blends and producing consistently high quality wines. He attributes his inquisitive nature, passion for science and artistic sensibilities to his parents who were both teachers.

He attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and received a Bachelors degree in Biology, with a concentration in Microbiology and a minor in Chemistry. As a student he brewed his own beer on campus, which became a popular endeavor. He considered going to graduate school, until he enrolled in a class called Wines and Vines, taught by Professor of Enology, Bruce Zoecklein. Bob expressed an interest in pursuing a career in brewing beer and Dr. Zoecklein encouraged him to pursue wine making instead. Soon after graduation, Bob accepted a six-month internship at The Williamsburg Winery in Virginia, which taught him a great deal about maintaining vineyards and the wine making process.

After his internship, Bob returned to the Hudson Valley where he accepted a position as Assistant Wine Maker for Brotherhood in 1999. The valuable lessons he has learned from working with Cesar Baeza and Mark Diagle over the years has transformed him into one of the most skilled wine makers in the country.

3. Bob Rupy, Bluemont Vineyard, Bluemont, VA


18755 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont, Virginia 20135
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Photo: Bob Rupy Twitter

Bob Rupy graduated with a BS degree in Marketing from the College of Business and Economics from West Virginia University. Bob has lived in Northern Virginia since 1988. Over his business career of 22 years, Bob has worked in a number of large corporations such as MCI and America Online. Most recently he worked in AOL’s World headquarters focused primarily in Customer Service with responsibilities for supporting operations and programs both Nationally and Internationally. After 10 years with AOL Bob left in 2004 to spend time with his wife and son and to pursue other interests. In 2006 when Mark and Bob decided to start Bluemont Vineyard, Bob began working with wine business consultant, Doug Fabbioli, other wine makers, and owners in order to further his knowledge of the wine business and wine making.

4. Mike Evans, Mattaponi Winery, Spotsylvania, VA


7530 Morris Road, Spotsylvania, VA 22551
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Photo: fredericksburg.com

Mike Evans is the wine maker for Mattaponi Winery. His extensive knowledge and passion of perfection comes from generations of wine makers within his family, which provided him the exposure to wine. Each new wine experience with the aromas and flavors to the life of art and science gives him enthusiasm with endless discoveries.

5. Jake Busching, Grace Estate Winery, Crozet, VA


5273 Mount Juliet Farm, Crozet, Virginia 22932
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Photo: Grace Estate Winery

Jake Busching can most accurately be described as a “winegrower.” This concept is a holistic way of combining the farming and husbandry of the vines with winemaking, traditional in Europe.

Jake grew up on a farm in Minnesota. He decided to settle in Virginia in 1997, where he worked with Chris Hill, a local viticulturist, and became the estate manager at Jefferson Vineyards near Monticello until 2001. He worked at Horton Vineyards and Keswick Vineyards where he became interested in the winemaking process. Jake then moved to Pollak Vineyards near Afton in 2003 where he developed a 25 acre vineyard, began winemaking, and designed and built the winery. For seven years Jake was the winemaker, winegrower, and general manager of this 5,500 case per year operation, earning praise for Pollak as one of the premier boutique wineries of Virginia with a focus on big red wines. Pollak’s many awards during Jake’s tenure included winning the 2009 Monticello Cup for their 2008 Petit Verdot and a Governor’s Case gold with his Pollak Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Franc Reserve in the 2013 VA Governor’s Cup Competition.

Jake has a reputation for collaboration with his Monticello AVA colleagues, and with the 2009 vintage, he launched the “3” label, a joint venture with colleagues Emily Pelton of Veritas Vineyards and Matthieu Finot of King Family Vineyards. The wine is an equal three-way blend of select varieties from each of the three winemakers. Jake’s commitment to the community is also shown in his membership on the Monticello Wine Trail board of directors and Virginia Vineyards Association education committee member, and while Grace Estate sells most of its grapes, Jake has decided to give fellow winemakers in the Monticello AVA first right of refusal on the grapes he grows, so the vineyard can be a resource for the local community.

6. Dave Wood, Savoy-Lee Winery, Huddleston, VA


5800 Johnson Mountain Road, Huddleston, Virginia 24104
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Photo: Savoy-Lee

In 2000, Dave moved to Huddleston and began Savoy-Lee winery. During his time at graduate school in Monterey, California, Dave visited many wineries and vineyards, where his passion developed. When he retired from the Marine Corps at Quantico, VA, he learned this state was an excellent venue for his wine passion. He turned this dream of owning a winery into his retirement plan. His dedication to growing good grapes and learning the details of wine-making have given him a true depth of knowledge in this arena. With more time than ever to focus specifically on wine making, you can be sure your senses will be delighted with our quality of wine.

7. Brian Hamm, Keg Springs Winery, Hampshire, TN


361 Keg Springs Rd, Hampshire, TN 38461
Website | Facebook | Photo: Keg Springs Winery

As one of the co-founders of Keg Springs Winery Brian has distinguished himself as an international award winning wine maker. His achievements include over 100 medals as well as being recognized in 2011 as the winemaker of the year in Tennessee. Brian continues to innovate with their existing wines as well as new varieties. His leadership and wine making skills have fueled Keg Springs continual growth since their beginning in 2003. His passion for wine making and constant drive for excellence is demonstrated in their delightful wines.

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