Meet the 12 Ridges Vineyard Team
Janine Aquino is a fourth generation wine professional from the Hudson Valley region of New York, where she learned how to make wine on her family's vineyard. Her family owned a wine importing company in Manhattan for several generations, so she also grew up understanding the distribution side of the wine business. She worked at several wineries in the Hudson Valley, worked in wine sales for distributors setting up restaurant programs, and studied food and wine pairings at the Culinary Institute of America before moving to Ohio. While in Ohio, she consulted wineries on day-to-day operations before purchasing a boutique winery that she ran for 9 years.
During her tenure as a winery owner, she received the AMA award for re-branding, 40+ medals nationally for wines produced, and received an Ohio entrepreneur award. Over the years she learned how to appraise wine collections, buy and sell wines for clients, and attended wine auctions in New York and Chicago.
Wanting to get back to the traditional winery setting, she looked to Virginia as a great opportunity to be part of an exciting winery scene and 12 Ridges was the perfect fit!
Tasting Room Manager
Leslie has been on the team at 12 Ridges Vineyard since the first day we opened in September of 2019. She was drawn to 12 Ridges not only because of the 360 views and panoramic scenery but also by the energy our customers bring to the 12 Ridges tasting room. You'll find her there making sure our guests are having an excellent time!
With a background that includes retail management, business development, and customer relations, the move from part time tasting room service to being hired as our Tasting Room Manager was a well-deserved shift that will allow 12 Ridges Vineyard to deliver the quality experience our guests love!
When she is not in the tasting room, Leslie spends time with her teenage boys and enjoying the Virginia wine country.
Tim has an appetite for just about everything wine. With a PhD in Entomology, his love of bugs in wine grapes grew in tandem with his love for the Virginia wine industry. From his earliest foray as a cellar rat under Jake Busching, rising up to vineyard manager and more recently as head winemaker, Tim is now a vine-to-wine consultant while tending to his family wine project in the Shenandoah Valley.
Tim will manage all aspects of the wine growing at 12 Ridges Vineyard.
For the better part of a decade, Erin worked in New York City at several Michelin star restaurants, notably JoJo, PUBLIC, and The Musket Room. In 2014, she returned to her home state of Virginia to run the wine programs at local downtown restaurants, Fleurie & Petit Pois. Today, she is the sommelier at Common House social club in downtown Charlottesville, and since 2017, she's owned In Vino Veritas Fine Wines, a wine retail shop in Keswick, Virginia.
Erin writes the thinking-drinking wine blog, produces audio essays for the I’ll Drink to That wine podcast, and consults about wine privately and commercially through her company, ThinkBev. Her articles about wine have been published in The Washington Post, Wine & Spirits, Wine & Country Living, and Knife & Fork magazine. For several years, she covered the Virginia wine scene in a column for her local paper, The C-Ville Weekly.
Named one of Wine Enthusiast's 40 Under 40 wine professionals to watch, her wine list at Fleurie won a Wine Spectator“Best of Award of Excellence” in 2016 and 2017. Erin received a James Beard Rhône Rangers Travel Study Grant to study Rhône varieties in California in 2016. She competed in the Sommelier Scavenger Hunt held by Wine & Spirits Magazine to find delicious Pinot Noirs in the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA in 2017. In January 2018, the I'll Drink to That podcast was written up in the New York Times.