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The Winery at Bull Run

Noteworthy People of The Winery at Bull Run

 

The Hickox Family, Owners

The son of a career naval officer completing his service in Washington D.C., Jon Hickox moved to Fairfax County, Virginia as a young boy in 1982. He always preferred to spend time outdoors hunting, fishing, camping and scouring the woods & fields for Civil War relics and Indian artifacts. Many summers and weekends were spent on a friend's family farm near Chantilly and through working on the farm and spending time outdoors, Jon developed a deep spiritual bond with the land and the people who lived and worked there. He was also deeply affected by witnessing firsthand the slow destruction of farmland associated with the rural crescent that encircles the DC metropolitan area. Through these combined experiences Jon has gained an appreciation and respect for the land, history, and people associated with this passing of "Olde Virginia."

While Jon is a relative newcomer to the wine industry the core components of business management, respect for history, and an understanding of agriculture are nothing new. In 1993 Jon graduated from Robinson High School and then attended George Mason University to study business, math, and history. While attending college, Jon worked as a project estimator for a remodeling firm where he would learn more about home construction, architecture, and the hard knocks of business. By his senior year in college he decided to start his own business and spent the next 16 years building his firm into one of the largest remodeling companies in Northern Virginia from the ground up. While attending George Mason University Jon met the love of his life, Kimberly, who was also a history major. In 2005 they got married and settled in Arlington, VA where they live today with their beautiful daughters, Delaney and Lilly, (who have wines named in their honor) and two dogs Hunter & Mosby.

In 2008, with the real estate market in full downturn, an opportunity to purchase a 21-acre farm at the edge of Fairfax County, perfectly nestled against the Manassas National Battlefield and Bull Run Creek, presented itself. Jon & Kim took a leap of faith and 4 years later (and with a lot of hard work and determination) the winery opened in June 2012.

Amongst a sea of urban landscape, The Winery at Bull Run is a working farm winery focused on crafting fine Virginia wines but it also is a tribute to the history and preservation of 19th century pastoral Fairfax County, taking us back to a much simpler time in our nation's history.

 

George F. McDonald II, General Manager

George joined The Winery at Bull Run in 2013 and is responsible for overseeing many aspects of the winery, including the tasting room managers and staff, grounds keeping, landscaping, construction, customer relations, wine production, human resources, and training. George is equally comfortable in event management and facilitation, and has extensive experience in large and small format functions regarding menu development, table décor, service and oversight.  His expertise and attention to detail is evident in his work with military and national organizations for which he has coordinated major events. He studied Hotel and Restaurant Management at Paul Smith's College in New York, and has a rich and diverse background in the service industry, including Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer for Anton Airfood and supervision of operations and food and beverage services at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. George's favorite Bull Run wine is Reconciliation.

 

Natasha Jimenez, Director of Special Events & Projects

Natasha Jimenez is a native of Manassas, VA and a George Mason University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Tourism & Events Management. While studying at GMU she realized her passion for the events industry after interning with Celebrate Fairfax, and assisting with the success of Northern VA's largest community-wide celebration, which hosts tens of thousands of visitors yearly.  After graduating from George Mason she started her career in events working for a local non-profit and event planning for local businesses, later joining the winery team when we opened our doors in 2012. Since then Natasha has enjoyed planning and coordinating hundreds of weddings and special events at The Winery at Bull Run, and continues to oversee the Events Department and assist with the general management and development of the business. Her attention to detail is superior, and her cheerful attitude is contagious, all of which absolutely carries through the events and projects that she is involved in. Natasha's favorite Bull Run wine is Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Lisa Damico, Director of Marketing

Lisa Damico joined The Winery at Bull Run in 2015 and oversees the marketing, brand strategy, graphic design, social media, photography, and public events for the winery. Lisa’s strong communication skills greatly enhance our outreach through the winery website, monthly newsletters, and email blasts. Drawing on her 15 years of event planning and marketing experience, Lisa is passionate about sharing the beauty of the winery’s property, rich history, and the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to produce our award-winning wine. Her previous experience includes seven years at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts where she managed the marketing for the Office of VSA and Accessibility. A graduate of the University of Virginia (where she was first introduced to Virginia wine), Lisa speaks fluent Spanish and French and enjoys traveling, cooking, Brazilian jiu jitsu, and photography. Lisa's favorite Bull Run wine is Stonebridge Sparkling.
 

Eddie Fam, Event Sales Director

Eddie attended George Mason University where he began working on grassroots marketing for local bands and planning regional music festivals. He specializes in wedding planning, corporate holiday parties, charity fundraisers, and event marketing campaigns. Since 1997, he has also worked with various celebrities, dignitaries, and ambassadors while producing events for up to 30,000 attendees. Fam is the President of IMPACT Collective which manages an assortment of talented business professionals who offer a variety of unique services including marketing, public relations, event management, concert production, wedding planning, and venue sales. He is also the founder of Meant 2 Live Foundation who seeks to empower impoverished lives around the world. Eddie's passion and purpose in life is to use his gifts and talents in marketing and events to actively serve the community while making a global impact. Eddie's favorite Bull Run wine is Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Peter Dimmick, Tasting Room Manager, CSW

Peter Dimmick joined The Winery at Bull Run in 2016 and is responsible for managing tasting room staff development, policies and procedures, sales and inventory, and assisting with product development. He is a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), a certification widely recognized and regarded by the international wine and spirits industry. Peter’s natural leadership and infectious enthusiasm enable him to effectively lead our tasting room staff, as well as use his passion for Virginia wine to make other people passionate about Virginia wine too. His previous experience includes five years in the Virginia wine industry along with client management in the corporate world. Peter is thankful for the only job he’s had that has never felt like work, and to continue to deepen his wine knowledge. Away from the winery, Peter is an avid ice hockey player, sports fan, foodie, and enthusiast of heavy metal music. Peter's favorite Bull Run wine is Lilly's Viognier.

 

Kate Breiner, Tasting Room Manager

Kate Breiner joined The Winery at Bull Run in 2017 and is responsible for managing all tasting room staff development, policies and procedures, sales and inventory, and assisting with product development. Kate’s hardworking mentality and empathy allow her to create a strong relationship with her staff and ensure that guests have an enjoyable experience. Her favorite part about her job is her ability to promote Virginia wines and the history of our hallowed grounds. Before coming to The Winery at Bull Run, Kate grew up working in her grandfather’s farm winery and vineyard. The many years she spent at her grandfather’s farm winery as a General Manager and Assistant Wine Maker allowed her to learn everything from successfully planting the first vines and managing harvest to creating high quality wines and bringing the finished product to customers in the tasting room. When not at work, Kate spends her free time outside with her three horses and three dogs. Kate's favorite Bull Run wine is Petit Verdot.

 

Kathleen McCormack, Wine Club Manager

Kathleen "Kat" McCormack transitioned into the wine industry in 2016, after 10 years in property management in Indiana and Washington, D.C. Her love of visiting wineries turned into a passion for premium wines and a desire to be a part of the growing wine industry in Virginia. Kat brings a wealth of customer service, leadership, and sales and marketing skills with her. In 2017, she obtained her Wine & Spirits Education Trust, Level 2 (WSET II) certification. Kat's favorite Bull Run wine is Stonebridge Sparkling.

 

 

Wayne Mills, Vigneron

Wayne Mills officially joined The Winery at Bull Run in 2014 after serving as a consultant of the winery throughout its construction. Wayne is responsible for overseeing the grounds and landscaping at the winery, growing grapes, and supervising ten workers in both of our vineyards. Wayne enjoys his ability to constantly grow and be challenged by the elements he encounters in his job. His previous experience includes 43 years growing plants, 40+ years in the nursery business in Northern Virginia, and running his own businesses for over 35 years. Wayne remains an owner of a Wholesale Nursery on his farm in Fauquier County, a consultant in the landscape, vineyard, and green roof industries, and the owner of Plant Patent #5577, a Dallas Fern that he developed in the 1980s. Wayne is a Certified Greenroof Professional and holds a Master’s Degree from the School of Life and Experiences, College of Hard Knocks. He is a member of the following professional organizations: Virginia Vineyards Association, Northern Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, and the Virginia Nurseryman’s Association.

 

Chris Pearmund, Executive Winemaker

Our Executive Winemaker, Chris Pearmund, began his career as a chef in the restaurant industry and has been in the Virginia wine industry for over 23 years. He has opened 11 wineries throughout this period and has assisted in the establishment of numerous vineyards. He regularly speaks at wine, wine festivals and vineyard seminars and conferences and has published The Grape Press, a quarterly professional vineyard trade publication, for 5 years. In the past, Chris has served as the President of the Virginia Vineyards Association, Board Member of the Virginia Wineries Association, and Chairman of the Virginia Wine and Food Society. Chris is a nationally certified wine judge by the American Wine Society, has taught the Higher Certificate Education course for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, Masters of Wine program in London, and has organized and taught courses for both amateurs and professionals in wine appreciation.

 

J. Ashton Lough, Winemaker

Ashton's early interest in winemaking began in his high school years. He honed his skill as a home wine and beer maker while working in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Georgia. While doing his research on biofuel production, he determined his interest in the fermentation process was far more fascinating than biofuel. Following on his passion for the art of winemaking he sought out Virginia's preeminent winemaker, Chris Pearmund and a bond was formed. Chris hired Ashton as a "cellar rat" at Pearmund Cellars and after his apprenticeship promoted him to assistant winemaker. Today, Ashton manages the winemaking processes at The Winery at Bull Run, Pearmund Cellars, and Vint Hill Craft Winery under the tutelage of his mentor Chris Pearmund. "Winemaking and I found each other and there is nothing I would rather be doing than making fine Virginia wine for The Winery at Bull Run, Pearmund Cellars and Vint Hill Craft Winery."

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