2017 WineMaker of the Year Nominee's
Winemaker of the Year: The award recipient is recognized by others for their innovation, leadership & outstanding excellence in winemaking in Loudoun County. They are recognized by fellow winemakers as a producer of high-quality wines & contribute to the success of their winemaking peers. In addition, they demonstrate a commitment to winemaking innovation and the overall market success & well-being of the Loudoun County wine industry.
Please review each nominee's biography and comments from their nominators. Each LWA member winery can place their vote for the 2017 WineMaker of the Year award to be presented at the Loudoun Wine Awards this year on Friday, October 13th. Voting closes on Thursday, September 28th. Each LWA member receives one vote. Voting can be completed at the bottom of this page.
Justin bogaty, Winemaker at bogati BodegA & vineyard
Biography: In 2001, Justin Bogaty left the corporate world to earn a certification in oenology from UC Davis and become the Bogaty family's winemaker. Their family wineries include Bogati Bodega, Veramar Vineyards & James Charles Winery & Vineyards.
Nominator's Comments: Justin has over 28 wines that have achieved 85 points or greater from the Wine Enthusiast. He is an outstanding winemaker who knows how to craft wines specific for palates of Virginia wine drinkers.
Clyde Housel, Owner & Winemaker at Hiddencroft Vineyards
Biography: Hiddencroft Vineyards was founded in May 2008 by husband and wife Clyde and Terry Housel. The couple, who came from long careers with the Federal Government, began planting their vineyard in 2001 and were grape-growers first. The Housel’s decided from the beginning that they would focus on producing grapes, and then wines, of superior quality. Clyde, who is the winemaker and largely self-taught, is doing just that.
Nominator's Comments: Clyde has been growing in Loudoun County for over 10 years and has helped many other winemaker's get started in the industry.His wines are always outstanding and he features a large selection of port style wines.
maggie malick, owner & winemaker at maggie malick wine caves
Biography: Winemaker Maggie grew up in Washington State and joined the Navy, where she met husband Mark, a Navy pilot and, later, a commercial airline pilot. Today, when Maggie isn’t in the winery making award-winning vintages, she works as an aeronautical engineer. Maggie took a few local winemaking classes and started reading books to learn how to make small batches of wine in the family garage. Maggie also sought the consult of neighboring winemakers in honing her technique. Gradually, she developed her craft and an affinity for blending grapes into superior wines. After winning medals in amateur wine competitions, Maggie opened her own commercial winery in 2013.
Nominator's Comments: Maggie has great winemaking skills and her abilities have been awarded with several gold and silver medals over the past 4 years. She just won double gold for her 2014 Tannat at the San Francisco International competition.
Sebastien marquet, owner, Burgundy style consulting & Vitilis oenology labs, winemaker & winegrower at doukenie winery, chief commercial officer and winemaker at greenhill winery
Biography: Sébastien is celebrating 31 years as a winemaker and his 10th year in Virginia. At age 13, he attended The Lycée Viticole et Oenologue de Beaune in Burgundy to begin his journey as a winemaker. He produced his first wines in 1989 and until 1992, he was creating wines from prestigious villages in Burgundy before heading to Languedoc-Roussillon in Southern France to manage vineyards and continue producing wine until 1996. His adventurous spirit led him to launch the first Caribbean vineyard, in tropical weather conditions in 1996. In 2003, Sébastien landed in California where he was employed by wineries in Sonoma and Napa Valley. Virginia is now where this award winning winemaker calls home. Consulting and working with Doukenie and Greenhill vineyards and wineries.
Nominator's Comments: He has demonstrated leadership in his field and has been an innovative force in the wine industry. He conceived the first Club Membership subscription as we know it today in Loudoun County with Doukenie Winery, he began his consulting company in 2011, and established the premier Loudoun County Wine Lab in 2014. Year after year, Sebastien wins regional, and national awards for his Loudoun County wines. Sebastien is friendly, accessible, and a true man of the vine. Year after year, he continues to produce the best possible wine in the terroir.
lew parker, owner & winemaker AT willowcroft winery
Biography: Lew Parker, owner and winemaker, has been making award-winning wines for over 25 years. He planted the first grapes in 1981 and founded the winery at Willowcroft Farm in 1983. Lew has been instructing others in the art of winemaking since the 1990’s. A mainstay in the Virginia as well as national wine industry for many years, including the winner of the 2002 “Virginia Wine Industry Person of the Year” award and the 2013 “Gordon Murchie Lifetime Achievement” award.
Nominator's Comments: Lew is the pioneer of the Loudoun Wine Industry. Lew planted grapes and started his winery in the early 80's, before there was a Loudoun wine industry. Over the years, Willowcroft has championed new varieties, training systems and winemaking techniques that have improved wine production in the whole county. Lew has served a mentor to many aspiring grape growers and winemakers. Lew has also served the wine industry with membership and leadership to a number or organizations including Wine America. Lew should be credited with starting the Wine Industry in Loudoun. After close to 40 years of vineyard management and winemaking Lew still farms and makes magic happen in the cellar. The Washington Post wrote "After seeing Willowcroft, you'll want to pack your bags, move to the country and make wine", and many current winery proprietors in Loudoun have done just that.
Nate walsh, owner & WINEMAKER AT walsh family wines
Biography: Before starting his own family wine label this past year, Nate previously oversaw all wine growing and wine production at Sunset Hills Vineyard. Prior to coming to Loudoun County, he worked for vineyards and wineries in Central Virginia, the Willamette Valley, Oregon, Central Otago, New Zealand.
Nominator's Comments: Not only has Nate enjoyed winemaking success, with his 2010 Mosaic at Sunset Hills being included in the Governor's Cup Case, but he has also been a strong leader in the Loudoun and Virginia wine community, spending 3 years on the board of the Loudoun Wineries Association, and now as the president of the Virginia Vineyards Association. His desire to help other winemaker's in Loudoun County and Virginia is demonstrated through his educational efforts such as the Loudoun County Winemaker's Round Tables and his work with the Virginia Winemaker's Research Exchange.