June in Virginia Wine Country — Canopy Management, Bottling, and oh, a few Winemaker Changes

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Ah, June!  The official start of summer. Here in Virginia this means the end of the school year, at least a few 100 degree days, the start of the oppressive humidity season, weekends at the swimming pool, cookouts, and serious Rosé consumption.

For several notable central Virginia winemakers, June is also moving month.

While winemaker changes are generally (or, ‘ideally’) made in the winter months, the first two weeks of summer have been busy for several Charlottesville area wineries that announced winemaker transitions.

Noted Virginia winemaker Jake Busching, will be leaving Grace Estate Winery to become the head Winemaker and General Manager at Michael Shaps Wineworks in Charlottesville, VA, one of the most recognized names in Virginia wine.  Prior to Grace Estate, Busching served as winemaker at Pollak Vineyard and also worked at Keswick Vineyards.   

Michael Shaps and Jake Busching (photo credit: Shaps Wineworks)

Michael Shaps and Jake Busching (photo credit: Shaps Wineworks)

“I’m excited for this new step in my winemaking career to move from a smaller operation for one winery to a larger operation working with many different winery clients,” said Jake Busching.  “Michael and I share the same view of where Virginia wine can go in terms growth and market recognition.”

Ben Jordan, currently General Manager and Winemaker with Michael Shaps Wineworks, recently accepted the job as winemaker at Early Mountain Vineyards in Madison, VA, about 20 miles north of Charlottesville.  

Ben Jordan, at Shaps Wineworks during 2015 Virginia Wine Summit

Ben Jordan

“We are thrilled to welcome Ben to the Early Mountain team,” said a representative of Early Mountain Vineyards. “As one of the most talented up-and-coming winemakers in Virginia, we’re excited about the energy and thoughtfulness he brings to the craft.”

Virginia wine enthusiasts can chat directly with Ben and learn more about his new role at Early Mountain Vineyards during the next Virginia Wine Chat on Thursday, June 25.

Steve Monson, previously the winemaker at Early Mountain Vineyards, will be transitioning to the assistant winemaker role at CrossKeys Vineyards in Mt. Crawford, VA, about 55 miles northwest of Charlottesville.

“We have been looking for another talented winemaker to add their knowledge

Steve Monson

Steve Monson

and style to the CrossKeys Vineyard family,” said Brad Nicholson, CrossKeys Vineyards General Manager.  “We love our wines and are winning awards with them but are also excited about the perspective Steve will bring to our current wine portfolio and an upcoming new label.”

The only constant is change, especially in the wine world.  Wishing each of these talented winemakers all the best in their new endeavors!

Check back soon for news about the new Grace Estate Vineyards winemaker.

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