Meet Rachael White, Unionville's New Vineyard Manager

February 15, 2021

Meet Rachael White, Unionville's New Vineyard Manager

My name is Rachael White, and I am the new vineyard manager at Unionville Vineyards. I am thrilled to be part of the team and produce exceptional grapes for exquisite wine. I’m eager to begin this role and I wanted to introduce myself to share a little of my background.

I became interested in grape production right out of high school while working at my local research and extension center with the viticulture team. Little did I know when I started that viticulture would become my passion and career going forward. I got to work with industry famous people like Dr. Tony Wolf and Dr. Cain Hickey and interact with growers that were more than happy to share their joys and dismays about farming grapes. I fell in love with the seasonality and the fact I could always be outside! With a newfound purpose, I attended my first semester at Virginia Tech in the fall of 2013 and immediately focused my degree on wine grape production. I took every wine and vineyard related course offered at the time and enjoyed other horticulture courses along the way. I studied
abroad in Cortona, Italy where I learned old world wine tradition and began refining my palate.

I finished my Bachelor of Science degree in December of 2016 and looked to gain more knowledge from elsewhere in the world. I decided to work a vintage in the southern hemisphere and set my eyes on New Zealand. In March of 2017, I started work at a contract winery in the Marlborough region that produced Sauvignon Blanc, but also small batches of Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris. I worked on the “Red Team," and processed mostly Pinot Noir
in small orders for clients.

When my time in New Zealand came to a close, I began looking for a position closer to home. Dr. Cain Hickey reached out to me and asked if I wanted to earn my master’s degree in viticulture. I was overjoyed at the chance to work with him again and in a new region with different challenges: Georgia. I moved to Georgia in August of 2017 and immediately began working on my Master’s degree focused on different pruning measures and how best to optimize
production in a humid climate. I was also involved in projects related to leaf pulling to increase air movement in the fruit zone and delayed pruning to mitigate frost injury. UGA gave me the opportunity to work with many different growers all over the state and into North Carolina along with some incredible extension agents. I finished my degree in December of 2019 and graduated
with a Master of Science with a focus in environmental horticulture and viticulture.

One of the growers I had collaborated with offered to bring me on full time as a vineyard manager. I managed 7 acres of beautiful, north Georgia vineyard where we produced Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Manseng, and Traminette. I spent a year there recovering from my whirlwind of a Master's before deciding to move to the north.

I am excited for the opportunity to work at Unionville and manage a large vineyard with multiple cultivars I have not directly worked with. I believe that the Amwell Valley has a climate conducive to producing high quality Syrah and Viognier. The Rhone white program at Unionville is particularly intriguing and I'm looking forward to going through this season with these grape varieties. My time at Unionville has been short, but my colleagues here have been extremely welcoming and I am constantly impressed by their knowledge and drive for excellence. I look forward to supporting the growth of Unionville’s vineyards and producing some of the best wines New Jersey can offer. 





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Visitation Policies

Unionville Vineyards provides guests with a safe, comfortable environment to relax and enjoy fine wine in the serene countryside of pastoral Hunterdon County. With this vision in mind, several important updates to our hospitality policies have been put in place related to group size, children, dogs, food, & more. Please click here to read them before planning your visit to Unionville, to ensure a pleasant experience for all. Thank you.