In the past 5 years, I have worked tirelessly to finesse the winemaking program here at Thatch Winery with our General Manager, Jason Hayman. It’s our sincere belief that great wine is made in the vineyard, and thus much of our time has been spent honing our farming practices on our estate property. Additionally, we have sought out other exceptional vineyards and are fostering long-term connections with their owners resulting in unmitigated viticultural control over the fruit that we purchase. As we’ve come to know each of our source vineyards more intimately, developing bespoke protocols for each block, we’ve improved fruit quality to the point that my job in the winery is mostly to get out of the way; to let the wine speak of its terroir unblemished by additives or high-tech manipulation. My hope is that you’ll be able to taste that authentic, humble sense of place in every glass of Thatch wine.
Thatch Winery’s award-winning wine is produced by local Charlottesville Winemaker Gavin Baum who has been cultivating the company’s wine for the past five years. Born and raised in Charlottesville, Baum began working as a field hand at nearby Sugarleaf Vineyards just down the road from his childhood home during his summer breaks from college in Arizona. He fell in love with the farming aspect and eventually earned his Sommelier while working his way up to head Winemaker.
“By seeing the entirety of the winemaking process from vine to glass, I started to appreciate wine as something more profound and emotionally resonant than a simple beverage. Maybe not art, at least not in the purest or strictest sense, but a craft that when farmed thoughtfully and made simply was every bit as capable of testifying to the soul of a place as a great song or story.”
In 2012, Gavin finally succumbed to the impulse that had been incubating since that summer serving as field hand and moved back to Charlottesville, where he took a full-time job at Sugarleaf. For two years he did pretty much whatever was asked of him, be it in the cellar, the vineyard, or the tasting room. He spent every free minute immersing himself in wine, reading voraciously about its history, its regional differences, and the science behind its craft. He earned his sommelier, bent the ear of every vineyard manager and winemaker who’d give him the time of day, and tasted as many bottles from as many places as he possibly could.
“In 2014, when it became apparent that I wasn’t going to leave them alone unless they gave me a job, the good folks at Thatch Winery (neé First Colony) hired me on as Assistant Winemaker, where I’ve been ever since.”
Gavin’s local roots provide a deep understanding, appreciation and respect of the Charlottesville terrior, laying the foundation for exceptional wine making. The results speak for themselves in the nationwide recognition the wine has received.