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!
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.
Marketing & Events Assistant
Jared was bitten by the wine bug after moving cross country to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Cinematic Arts. After a brief stint producing short films, he refocused his career to study wine, redoubling his efforts after two trips abroad. Jared recently completed his WSET Level 2 Certification in Wine and plans to take his Level 3 Exam later this year.
As an avid movie lover, visual storytelling influenced Jared from a young age and has woven itself into his connection with wine. He is passionate about curating an environment that elevates wine experiences, eclipses memory, and becomes a strong emotional connection between an experience and what is in the glass.
Jared has deeply inserted himself into the Virginia wine industry, tasting as much as he can from the up and coming region and learning from truly gifted wine professionals. He is thrilled to be a part of 12 Ridges Vineyard, a young brand with the potential to offer truly unique wines and experiences. You’ll find Jared in the Tasting Room on a regular basis, always on the lookout for a great glass of vino and even better conversation.
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.