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Doug Fabbioli, Co-Founder, Winemaker
It is said that the passion that Doug Fabbioli has for making quality wines has been passed down from his paternal grandfather, Leone Fabbioli. When Leone made his wine in the basement of his Elmira home in the 1940’s and 50’s he would take special care to sort the fruit, keep the lots of wine separate and get to know the growers of the fruit before deciding to buy. Doug employs time honored traditions of constant care and evaluation of quality along with the modern scientific techniques to both grow the grapes and make the wine at his winery.
Doug was attending Syracuse University for Production Management when he took a part-time job helping a friend plant and run a vineyard. “This was a very exciting time for me but I knew that we all needed to learn a lot” Doug says. This realization sent Doug and his wife to be Colleen to Sonoma Valley in Northern California for their next chapter.
Doug was employed in the wine cellar at Buena Vista Winery in the Carneros district. Over the ten years of his employment, Doug had a chance to work with many fine winemakers including the legendary Andre Tchelicheff. He continued his education in both enology and viticulture at U.C. Davis and Santa Rosa Junior College. Doug was becoming an accomplished home winemaker while he continued to work and learn as a professional. He had been the assistant Winemaker for 3 years when he heard the calling to return to the East Coast.
Doug accepted the winemaker position at Tarara in Lucketts, VA in 1997 and brought his wife Colleen and sons Matthew and Sam to start a new chapter in the fledgling Virginia wine industry. “My time at Tarara gave me a chance to find out just what my capabilities are. As much as I knew, I found out how much more there was to learn. Even though I get recognition of success through gold medals and awards, I am humbled by the thought that the best wine is not achievable, but a journey of constant effort and learning.”
In 2000, Doug was giving some guidance to Windham to improve quality and productivity in both the vineyard and cellar. This effort increased greatly when in 2001, Doug left Tarara and became the Vintner for Windham. The goal of balance in the vineyards has led to changing some trellising systems causing both quality and quantity increases. In 2002, Doug’s efforts were rewarded as Windham won its first gold medal along with numerous other honors of gold, silver and bronze. Not long after, Doug’s passion for wine brought him to his latest endeavor of owning his own winery and operating Fabbioli Cellars with his wife Colleen. They own a 12 acre vineyard and are strongly known for their red wines and have numerous awards across the board.
Colleen Berg, Co-Founder, Co-Owner
Bio coming soon!
Laurel Ford, Tasting Room Manager
Laurel Ford comes to us from the world of management, team building, and community relations. After a rewarding career in advocacy, she decided to follow her passion for food and fine wine, and says she "..was continually drawn to Fabbioli Cellars with its beautiful grounds, gracious staff, and amazing wine & food pairings!"
Melanie Natoli, Assistant Winemaker
Melanie joined the Fabbioli Cellars team during the 2009 harvest. Originally from New Jersey, she traveled around a bit before landing here in Virginia. She has followed her heart through many adventures from the Navajo reservation to west Africa until it brought her to wine, where she has found her true passion. When she's not busy making wine, tasting wine, or reading about wine, you can find her in the kitchen. Although usually messy and often clumsy, Melanie creates many tasty creations, both savory and sweet. Just as in wine, she loves exploring different flavors in foods.
Paula Feldmann, (formerly Prato), Senior Wine Educator
Doug and Coleen rescued Paula from the rigors of a part time retail job in August of 2008. She was first introduced to Doug’s FAB-ulous red wines in 2005 by Doug himself who held a glass out to her one Saturday afternoon at the house saying, “Here! Taste this!” Needless to say from that moment on she was hooked. Paula shares her time in the Tasting Room with a full time job as Warehouse Manager for a small division of SAIC and her 4 children, Heather, Christopher, Kory and Adam. In her multitudes of spare time she enjoys walking at sunrise, sewing, knitting, quilting, cooking and reading. Her favorite wine of all time is the 2007 Cabernet Franc (closely followed by the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon).