Rutger de Vink

VIGNERON

When Rutger de Vink decided that he would one day create a world-class wine in Virginia, there was nothing on earth that could stop him. An apprenticeship with Virginia’s Linden Vineyards, and with numerous other well-known vineyards in California and Bordeaux, solidified his love of winemaking and helped him hone his skills. After years of exhaustive research, planning, and searching for a site, he finally established RdV in 2004. This former Recon Marine turned corporate executive turned vigneron was one step closer to realizing his dream. Every day, Rutger pours his energy and passion into the vineyard, infusing the RdV culture with his tenacious approach to life. When he’s not outside working in the vineyard, he, together with his partner Jenny, can be found gardening and caring for their family.

Jarad Slipp, MS

ESTATE DIRECTOR

Jarad is one of only a small handful of people in the world to enter into the elite Court of Master Sommeliers. He passed the rigorous exam in 2014, earning a title that denotes a proven mastery of the art, science and history of wine. Though he could have gone in many directions, he chose RdV for the opportunity to be a part of history—the making of a great American wine. Prior to RdV, Jarad was the Restaurant Director at several notable Washington DC and NYC restaurants, including CityZen, Fiamma, Nectar, and Tahoga. On top of his impressive wine credentials, he is also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and the ICIF in Italy. Needless to say, he is the chef behind many RdV meals, whether informal team lunches or large dinners for our friends and family.


Jean-Philippe Roby

CONSULTING VITICULTURIST

Jean-Philippe has been with the RdV team since the first growing season, providing valuable guidance on the cultivation of the vineyard and harvesting of the fruit. A native of Bordeaux, he is a leading lecturer and consultant specializing in the concept of Terroir. Along with his work as professor at Bordeaux Agro Sciences and ISVV Bordeaux University, he has spent the last 20 years consulting for vineyards worldwide in a quest to understand the different and complex terroirs of fine wines. RdV remains his only client in the US, a testament to his belief in our vineyard, as well as our long-standing friendship.

Eric Boissenot

CONSULTING ENOLOGIST

When Eric Boissenot first sampled RdV’s wines in 2008, he was so struck by the potential that he followed up with a one-line email to Rutger: “C’est un vin de terroir. I (will) do your blend.” This was the beginning of a close friendship and partnership between the RdV team and the legendary enologist who blends four out of the five first-growth Bordeaux wines. Called “Bordeaux’s Secret Weapon” by The Wine Spectator, Eric, a second generation enologist, consults for the majority of the top chateaux. RdV is his only US client, despite the fact that he is highly sought after in the industry. He travels to our estate every year to blend for us, guiding our wines to the best expression of our terroir, and inspiring our team with his passion and gift for winemaking.


Joshua Grainer

WINEMAKER

An adoration for the outdoors and a passion for all things food and wine related drew Joshua to life on a farm.  After earning a degree in environmental science and working in professional kitchens, he began his journey in the wine industry as an apprentice at Linden Vineyards, a pioneering Virginia winery. Josh’s path has led him from the cellars of Bordeaux to the vineyards of Tasmania, and back to his native Virginia, as he continues to hone his craft. At RdV, his vast knowledge and devoted attention to detail has earned him the title of winemaker. In addition to managing all of the technical operations for the vineyard, Josh leads the charge on implementing sustainable practices across the farm.

Gabriel Flores

VINEYARD MANAGER

Gabriel was RdV’s very first employee. In 2004, he and Rutger together began the backbreaking work of clearing the rocky hillside and preparing it for planting. What started as a part-time job turned into a decade-long friendship and working relationship. With his work ethic and intuitive sense for making things grow, Gabriel is an important (and indispensable) member of the team. He leads the vineyard crew as they carefully cultivate our 16 acres of vines.

 

Connie Fowler

HOSPITALITY DIRECTOR

Connie is no stranger to farm life. She grew up in rural Minnesota and spent twenty years of her adult life running her own farm in Texas. Family brought her to Virginia, where she eventually found a home at RdV. Connie’s welcoming smile is the first thing guests see when they walk through our doors. She is in charge of all our hospitality efforts, from giving tours, to hosting events, to communicating with our ambassadors. Her mid-western upbringing, along with her varied career that includes working as an ICU nurse and managing a chain of retail stores, has given her a way with people and a can-do attitude on which we’ve all come to rely.

The Vineyard Team

 

At RdV, we believe in the importance of long-term relationships. Our vineyard is tended by a full-time, year-round crew who have become part of our family. You might say they are intimately familiar with each and every one of our 30,000 plants. The pride they take in all parts of the process is obvious; it shows in the rows of perfectly manicured vines, as well as in the exceptional end product.