Nate Walsh Takes Office as VVA President

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Nate Walsh of Walsh Family Wine formally assumed office as the new president of the Virginia Vineyards Association during its annual winter technical meeting Friday. He succeeds Tom Kelly, who led the VVA for the past four years.

Mr. Walsh was one of five new board members elected by the VVA membership this winter: Ben Margulies is now association Secretary, Jessi Gatewood serves as Treasurer and Carrington King and Skip Causey serve as at-large board members.

Mr. Walsh has worked for wineries and vineyards in Central Virginia, Northern Virginia, and the Shenandoah Valley since 2004. Currently, he is the winegrower for Walsh Family Wine in Waterford and W2 Winegrowing. He has served as a board member of the Virginia Wineries Association and the Loudoun Wineries Association.

Mr. Margulies, cellar master at Horton Vineyards in Gordonsville, studied enology at the University of California, Davis, and has worked at several vineyards in Virginia since 2009. He previously served as chair of the VVA’s Education Committee. He succeeds Aimee Henkle of The Vineyards & Winery at Lost Creek.

Ms. Gatewood, of Charlottesville, began her vineyard training under Gabriele Rausse, a pioneer of the Virginia wine industry. After working as winemaker for Barren Ridge Vineyards, she now works in the industry as a consultant. She succeeds Kay Thompson of Amherst Vineyards.

Mr. King graduated from the University of Maryland in 2002 with a degree in Horticulture Production. While there, he worked with Dr. Joseph Fiola in the Hagerstown Research Vineyard. He manages all aspects of vineyard management and installation at King Family Vineyards in Crozet, and has grown the operation from eight acres to just under 50 acres of grapes.

Mr. Causey was among the first graduates of the vineyard and enology program at Piedmont Virginia Community College more than 10 years ago. He bought his first property in 2005, began planting the following year, and opened Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery for business in Stafford in 2007.

With the seating of the VVA’s new board members, Mr. Kelly, owner of Kelly Vineyard Services based in Front Royal, will continue to support the board as immediate past president, and Jim Benefiel, of Leesburg, owner of Benevino Vineyards, will continue as vice president.

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