An Evening With Eight Independent Winemakers

Eight Winemakers, Eight Stories, Eight Minutes With Each

Wednesday, April 17  |  6PM

The 12th Annual Tom Tom Festival kicks off on Wednesday, April 17! Join us at Eastwood for an evening of great wine and conversation. Guests will have an opportunity to participate in small groups, spending time with each winemaker and seed stage entrepreneur to learn about some of the growing pathways to ownership, diversity and inclusion.

Meet The Winemakers

Taste Wines & Spend Time With Each Of These Winemakers & Seed Stage Entrepreneurs

Matthieu Finot

Matthieu was born in Crozes Hermitage in the Rhone Valley of France. Coming from a family of viticulturists and wine lovers, Matthieu was predisposed to continue his family’s pursuit of making and enjoying wine. He first studied viticulture and oenology at Beaune, in the heart of Burgundy. After graduating in 1995, Matthieu worked in many different wine regions around France including Rhone Valley, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Provence, and Jura. He then worked in Italy and South Africa to gain experience around the world before settling in Virginia. Since arriving in 2003, Matthieu has worked with wineries throughout the state and, more recently, is a founding member of the Winemakers’ Research Exchange and Board Member of the Monticello Wine Trail. He enjoys being active the local winemaking community and challenging his skills through experimental design at King Family, working with different terroir at Turk Mountain Vineyards, which he currently manages, and partnering with his brother to establish and expand Domaine Finot in two regions in France. Matthieu enjoys skiing, entertaining, home renovating, traveling, and cooking together with wife Erin, son Gabin, and daughter Tessa.

Tasha Durrett

Tasha Durrett is a wine enthusiast and educator born and raised in Virginia wine country. She founded Black Women Who Wine LLC in 2019 as an organization focused on increasing the visibility and participation of Black women in the wine industry and agritourism throughout the state. She is a WSET Level 1, studying for Level 2, and has a special interest in sparkling wine and grape growing in Southern climates. She contributes to various publications, including Wine & Country Life and is a 2024 Association of African American Vintners scholarship recipient.

A writer and communicator, Tasha is currently a senior communications manager at the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Jocelyn Kuzelka

Jocelyn Kuzelka is a winemaker, cidermaker, and technical consultant. Since 2003, Jocelyn has followed her love of fermentation and enology all around the world with experience working wine grape harvests in the U.S., Italy, Australia, and New Zealand. Her education includes a B.S. in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech and a M.S. in Oenology from the University of Adelaide in South Australia.

Jocelyn has been serving as a consultant to winemakers and cidermakers across the country, as well as creating small batch wines and ciders for producers in Virginia since 2008.  Jocelyn’s company Panacea Wine Consulting has helped producers build successful, thriving wine and cider companies; working with many different producers over the years has given her a high level of mastery and proficiency in the field. 

Jocelyn also serves as the Cider Specialist for the Virginia Winemakers Research Exchange, a non-profit organization of Virginia producers pursuing quality improvement through practical experimentation in vineyards, orchards, wineries, and cideries.  The organization supports wine and cider makers to refine ideas or questions through experimental design, protocol design, funding laboratory analysis,  and finally conducting sensory and statistical evaluation.  It is super science geeky and super fun!

In 2021, Jocelyn and longtime friend Megan Hereford started Daring Wine Company, a vision that grew from grapes without a home, a winery with space, and a lot of courage.  Producing only small batch, high quality wines and ciders from southwestern and central Virginia and honoring the brave and bold people that have inspired us along the way. Saluté!

Jake Busching

In 1997 Jake Busching began working as the assistant vineyard manager for Jefferson Vineyards in the Monticello AVA of Virginia. Jake grew up on a farm in Minnesota and was familiar with the physical aspects and seasonality of agriculture and so took readily to vineyard management at a time when the VA industry was just starting to find its legs.

Jake Busching has been working in the wine industry across the state of VA for 26 years planting, growing, and establishing industry leading wineries such as Keswick Vineyards, Pollak Vineyards, Grace Estate Vineyards, and Hark Vineyards. Jake learned winemaking techniques working alongside Michael Shaps and viticulture with Chris Hill as his guide. Eventually, Jake and Michael joined forces in 2015 at Michael Shaps Wineworks where Jake was hired on as head winemaker for the custom crush portion of the business. 

In 2015 Jake launched Jake Busching Wines, Jake’s private brand of small batch artisanal wines. The fruit for his wines are carefully selected grapes grown in Virginia by growers he has worked with and identified as unique fruit sources. Small batches of high quality wines are produced by Jake each vintage with an eye towards reflecting terroir and hands on management. Jake’s first vintage included the 2015 varietals of Viognier, Cabernet Franc, and a red blend of Tannat and Petit Verdot called F8. Each vintage brings new varietals and continual development of Jake as a winemaker and his catalog of terroir driven wines.

Jake chairs the Research and Education Committee for the Virginia Wine Board, has taught Viticulture classes at Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville, VA for 10 years, and consults with wineries and vineyards across the region.

Sandy Robertson

Born in Hong Kong, bred in England, Sandy started his career working at wineries in France and England and graduated from Plumpton College, the University of Brighton, with honors in Viticulture and Oenology. He came to Sonoma County in 2007 to work in the cellar at Merry Edwards Winery and stayed on after harvest, eventually moving up the ranks to become Assistant Winemaker for the prestigious brand. In late 2014 he struck out on his own, forming Hally Wine Company, a full-service winemaking consulting company. He is now the Vineyard Manager at Blenheim Vineyards in Charlottesville, Virginia. When he’s not in a vineyard or cellar, he can usually be found playing rugby with his mates, tending the grill, or hiking with their corgi, Pickle.

Megan Hereford

Megan Hereford is a wine and cider enthusiast, cork dork, and sometimes cellar rat. After receiving a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Food Microbiology from Virginia Tech she realized she probably should have decided to become a winemaker, but instead, she pursued a career in the biotech industry before hearing the siren call of the wine world. Since 2010 she has sold all the things that wine- and cidermakers use to craft fine wine and cider and has become a complete nerd about fermentation, clean wines, and wine closures.

Her chosen career path means that Megan has had a chance to taste wine and cider from all over the United States and she loves to see how the industry has grown outside of the west coast. A lover of clean, bright, and lively fermented beverages, she holds a WSET level 3 certification and is a Certified Cider Professional. She is a writer for The Wine Guild of Charlottesville as well as an occasional wine and cider judge.

In 2021 she was lured into the world of starting her own farm winery with longtime friend, travel and drinking buddy Jocelyn. Sometimes helping in the cellar and always having input on the styles of wines and ciders means she can live out all her winemaking fantasies while still steering the sales and marketing side of the business.

Julie Linker

Julie Linker’s journey into wine making is a blend of passion and dedication. While maintaining a rewarding career as a psychologist, Julie established Colombe Vineyards in Nelson County in 2022. Named after her grandparents, the vineyard spans five acres and includes Roussanne, Cabernet Franc, Albarino, and Petit Verdot varietals.

The upcoming release of Delve Wines’ first vintage in 2024 marks an exciting milestone in Julie’s winemaking venture. Being a part of the Barrels and Tanks incubator provides her with invaluable opportunities to collaborate with industry leaders in Virginia’s wine community, allowing her to hone her skills and knowledge in crafting estate-grown, boutique wines.

Erin Robertson

Erin started in the wine industry after graduating from Virginia Tech in 2001, moving to New York City and working for the B.R. Guest restaurant group in Manhattan. She made her way out to California in 2008 after working in her home state of Virginia at a bottle shop and for a local distributor. After five years as the National Sales Manager at Laird Family Estate in Napa, and four years at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates as the Marketing Manager for their luxury California wineries – Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Conn Creek Napa Valley, and Patz & Hall, she was most recently the Director of Marketing at Round Pond Estate. In late 2020 Erin joined Sandy as a Partner at Hally Wine Company, where she helps small wineries achieve growth through their sales and marketing initiatives. Erin holds an Executive MBA in the Wine Industry from Sonoma State University, is a huge bookworm, and sometimes does karaoke against her better judgment.

Last year, we hosted a panel discussion in conjunction with the Tom Tom Festival, entitled “The Many Faces of Virginia Wine.” Panelists shared their stories and discussed increasing opportunities in the Virginia Wine Industry and the importance of building our collective future in a diverse and inclusive way.

This is an exciting follow up to that event. This year, we look forward to a new format designed to increase opportunities for conversation, wine tasting, and community. Guests will enjoy an intimate wine tasting while moving in small groups around the room to visit each winemaker.

Tickets on sale now!

Event Details
Wednesday, April 17 | 6-8PM
Eastwood Farm and Winery

Ticket Information
$25 per person
Must be 21+

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