Ben Jordan began his winemaker career in California and would move back to his native state of Virginia in 2012 where he took the position as winemaker at Michael Shaps Wineworks. He was then recruited by Early Mountain Vineyards and became their winemaker in 2015. He is recognized as one of the most respected upcoming winemakers in the Virginia Wine Industry today. Early Mountain Vineyards has grown in acclaim as their wine quality continuously improves under Ben's leadership. Ben and his family have a small family vineyard in the Shenandoah Valley called Mount Airy which he and his brother manage. They produce a small amount of wine from the vineyard under the Midland brand label. He also is a partner in an another brand called Lightwell Survey in which he sources the grapes and is winemaker for the project.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE INTERVIEW:
a). Ben talks about how he moved to San Francisco after living in NY city attempting to utilize his screenwriting credentials.
b). He further explains why he moved to the West Coast and San Francisco where he eventually took a cellar position at C. Donatiello winery and then later went to work at Dutcher Crossing.
c). Ben chronicles how he made contact with Michael Shaps and eventually went to work for him when he moved back to Virginia in 2012.
d). Ben touches on many important aspects of winegrowing in Virginia and explains how he thought Hybrid grapes were an after thought only to realize that they can be amazing when you produce them for what they are and not try to make a wine they are not. Fascinating discussion.
e). Ben talks about how integral Petit Manseng is to Early Mountain Vineyards. He refers to it as their journey with the grape varietal.
f). He discusses the collaboration between all the vintners and the critical part it has in advancing the quality of Virginia winegrowing.
g). Ben explains how the two side projects, Midland and Lightwell Survey , which he oversees the production of at the Early Mountain winery facility helps him overall.
Much, much more. Listen to the full Episode or read the transcript attached.