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Virginia Vineyards Association elects Skip Causey as its new president

Virginia Vineyards AssociationSkip Causey, owner of Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery, Stafford, has been elected to a two-year term as president of the Virginia Vineyards Association, which represents the Commonwealth’s wine grape growers.

Causey, who has served as a member of the VVA board for the past four years, most recently as the organization’s treasurer, succeeds Nate Walsh, owner of Walsh Family Wine, Purcellville, who will remain on the board as past president.

The VVA also announced that members elected AJ Greely, cellar master at Hark Vineyards, Earlysville, to succeed Causey as treasurer, and re-elected Maya Hood White, associate winemaker and viticulturist at Early Mountain Vineyards, Madison, as an at-large board member.

“This is an exciting time for the Virginia wine business, and I’m looking forward to doing everything I can as VVA president to help new and existing vineyards be the best they can be,” Causey said. “Growing wine grapes in Virginia can be challenging, but year after year, we are producing top-quality wines that stand up against those from anywhere in the world.”

Causey said he and his wife began researching vineyards and wineries over 20 years ago before purchasing property in Stafford in 2005. They planted their vineyard in 2006 and 2007 and opened for business in 2007. They now produce 7,000 cases a year with grapes from their 23-acre property plus fruit from other vineyards in Virginia, including Silver Creek Orchards, Nelson County, Kalero Vineyard, Purcellville, and Brown Bear Vineyards, Woodstock.

“While these vineyards are in very different parts of the state, one common thread they share is the passion and care that the owners and managers bring to their business,” Causey said. “Working with them has given me a deeper understanding of Virginia viticulture, and that experience will help me represent the interests of all vineyard managers and owners in Virginia.”

Greely, a former bookkeeper, has been involved in the Virginia wine industry for the past decade and has worked at a number of vineyards, including, most recently, Michael Shaps Wineworks and Blenheim Vineyards, both in Charlottesville. Starting in the vineyard, she also worked in administrative capacities and in the tasting room before finding her way into the cellar and winemaking. She continues to spend part of her time in the vineyard at Hark.

Hood White has a keen interest in environmentally low-impact viticulture, wine chemistry and sensory science. She earned an M.S. in viticulture and enology from U.C. Davis, with research focusing on time-dependent sensory profiles and bubble nucleation of sparkling wine, and studies of Viognier wines from France, California, and Virginia.

Prior to joining Early Mountain, she gained experience in viticulture and winemaking at several boutique wineries around the state.

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