Wine Team

Our team does the hard work, behind the scenes. Have you seen a grape press that needs cleaning? A press pad after the crush? Let's not even talk about the bee stings.

From the vineyard to the crush pad, to the barrel room and to the tasting room, the team works to create the best wine possible, because ...it's all about the wine.

Executive Winemaker - Chris Pearmund

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Chris Pearmund is one of Virginia's most widely recognized and well respected winegrowers and winemakers. He has over 25 years experience as a winemaker, vineyard manager and winery operator. Chris is the "go-to" guy if you want to understand the wine industry from berry to bottle. He has taught and mentored numerous professionals in the industry. A few accomplishments of note:

-President of the Virginia Vineyards Association
-Chairman of the Virginia Wine and Food Society
-Board Member of the Virginia Wineries Association
-1st mobile wine bottler this side of the Rockies
-1st winery to use OXO barrel system - which is the gold standard for barrel rooms
-Innovator of the barrel ownership program
-Following Mary Ewing Mulligan (Wine for Dummies), Chris was the 2nd person to teach the Wine Spirit Education Trust (WSET) program in the country -- the standard of wine knowledge
-Initiated the first Virginia Vineyard insurance program and held the first policy

 

Winemaker - Brian Smyth

Pearmund Cellars welcomed winemaker Brian Smyth to our wine making team in June 2018. Brian has extensive experience with a variety of wineries in multiple regions around the world. Apprenticing with numerous wine makers, a plethora of grape varieties and wine styles, he has been able to fine-tune his craft while being adaptable to any environment. Brian holds a Masters of Oenology from the University of Adelaide in South Australia, one of the world’s best schools in the industry. He served as Head Winemaker for Chateau Morrisette in Floyd, Virginia for three years where he produced over 50,000 cases of 30 different award-winning wines and ciders annually. While he has spent much of his winemaking career in Oregon and Australia, Brian’s first position in the wine industry was a summer vineyard position working for winemaker Stephen Barnard of Keswick Vineyards right here in Virginia while a student at Virginia Tech. Brian brings impeccable technical skills and expertise with a passion for enhancing the award-winning style of our brand.

 

Assistant Winemaker - Mark Ward

All it took was a visit to Paso Robles, California to spark Mark’s interest in wine. This interest grew into a passion when he helped out part time in his friends’ wine store in the Chicago area. Wanting to retire from his work related travel and return to his rural roots, he enrolled in the professional certificate program at Washington State University to study enology and viticulture. Mark worked his first harvest at Pamplin Family Winery in Sherwood, Oregon, a boutique producer of Bordeaux varietals sourced from some of the top vineyards in Washington. In order to explore the Virginia wine industry further, Mark took an internship at Pearmund Cellars apprenticing under Chris Pearmund and Ashton Lough. He now holds the position of Assistant Winemaker here at Pearmund Cellars.