Owners Margo and David Pollak created Pollak Vineyards because they shared a passion for wine. They love the rhythm of the vineyard and they love evenings when they can share wine with friends. For David, this venture drew upon his experience in the late 1970s with vineyards along the Russian River in Sonoma. This was followed with the establishment of one of the first wineries in the now famous Carneros region of the Napa Valley. In Virginia, the Pollaks saw the potential to create great wines from well-sited and meticulously maintained vineyards. They sought the experience of other vintners and growers to seek an ideal site and then applied the best agricultural and winemaking practices.
Nick Dovel, a Charlottesville native with both wine and food industry experience, provides the able direction of the Tasting Room. There a talented team is available to help both the novice taster as well as the more experienced oenophile. Casey and Barry are among the staff who can introduce you to the history of our winery and our wines as well as share a story or two. Their job is to answer your questions, provide information and importantly, to try to make your experience with us memorable. Nick not only oversees retail and wholesale sales, but provides a creative approach to on site events and brings an educated palate to wine tasting and food pairings. Barry, who is an accomplished chef, shares his pairings with his weekly recipe entries on Facebook.
Chris (Turtle) Zwadlo oversees vineyard management. An accomplished musician and Illinois native, Chris joined us in 2004. Today he supervises a crew whose job is to produce the highest quality of fruit. They hand tend 17000 vines spread on more than 27 acres which means hand pruning, leaf pulling and harvesting the 100 tons of grapes.
Benoit Pineau, our winemaker and newest member, directs all aspects of wine production. He has broad education and experience in the field having degrees in oenology from Blanquefort in Bordeaux and viticulture and oenology from the University of Toulouse. His extensive cellar experience includes work in France, Australia, California and Virginia.
David sees the same spirit in Virginia that he witnessed in the early days of California, and he foresees similar success here.
"We are certainly not pioneers. Rather we can build upon the experience that other Virginia vintners have had and refine the particular varietals for which Virginia can produce world class wines. Viognier and Cabernet Franc show particular promise." - David Pollak