Meet the Winemaker: Q&A with Dave Collins
With harvest just around the corner, Dave Collins has been busy ushering BCV’s grapes from vine to wine. As the vice president of operations and master vintner at BCV, Dave oversees the growth and production of 24 acres and 13 varietals. He ensures the quality and consistency of all BCV wines through relentless attention to detail and skilled expertise that spans more than 25 years. Between tending the vines, the award-winning winemaker took a few minutes to chat about his love of winemaking and what’s ahead for the Washington County winery. Here’s what he had to say.
Q: How did you get into the winemaking business?
A: I didn’t choose the wine industry. The wine industry chose me. It was a progression of events and personal relations that brought me to where I am today.
After receiving my degree in horticulture from Virginia Tech in 1979, I spent a few years in the greenhouse business. At that time, Virginia wineries were in their infancy, and I saw an opportunity. It involved a tremendous risk leaving my horticulture career. I had a basic knowledge of viticulture from school, and I attended a class at the University of CA at Davis and toured Napa to learn more. When I returned to Virginia, I planted my first vineyard. In those years, the few Virginia vineyards were planted to mostly American and hybrid varieties. I planted one of the early vinifera vineyards, including one of the very first Cabernet Franc blocks. (more…)