Yesterday we wrote that we will be at Pearmund Cellars in Northern Virginia on Saturday (December 15) afternoon for a book signing event. It seems appropriate that using an excerpt from our book, A Wine Journey, to let you know a little about Chris Pearmund, a well known winemaker and winery consultant.
We first met Chris Pearmund at his winery, Pearmund Cellars, in Broad Run, Virginia, during the middle of January 2007. It did not take long to see that Chris is a visionary as well as a mover and shaker of the wine industry. He started Pearmund Cellars and was instrumental in starting the Winery at LaGrange and Vint Hill Craft Winery in Virginia. His reach extends beyond the Virginia border; he also helped Horizon Cellars start in North Carolina. Chris is friendly, and we later learned that he has a propensity for fun. This was clearly seen in his stuffed animals adorning barrels in the barrel room at Pearmund Cellars.
Chris’ wine journey began earlier in life. He commented that he had the best mother in the world, but she found cooking a challenge. Chris learned to cook as a preteen, then went to cooking school, worked in kitchens and then discovered wine. He noticed that, in many ways, wine makes food better. Chris realized that people have a concept of preparing food and what is done in the kitchen. However, when it comes to wine, many do not know what has to be done in a vineyard and a winery to make that wine in their bottle.
Wine journeys are not a static event. They are dynamic, and once they begin, they continue. Chris said his journey continues, for example, “at the London Wine Trade Fair, with 40,000 wines to try in three days, I was still like a kid in a candy store. At these types of tastings, focus is important. Sparkling wine for a few hours, visit wines of Greece for awhile, then the different crus of Beaujolais. It’s a big wine world, constantly changing, and I’m still thirsty for more.” Chris was a wine steward at Clyde’s Restaurant group during the 1980s. It was during those years that he entertained the possibility of becoming a winemaker and owning a winery.
Chris spent almost two decades in the wine industry. In addition to being a wine steward, he worked in retail, wholesale, import, wineries and in education, first as a student and then as a teacher. When you are on your wine journey, there are those moments in life that you remember. For Chris, there was an evening of pizza and a 1980 Chateaux Margaux, and later a 1961 Chateaux Margaux he shared with his Dad. Those were events that changed his journey and put him on the path to becoming owner and winemaker at Pearmund Cellars.
Hope to see you at Pearmund Cellars on Saturday.