Pandit came to the United States from India some 50 years ago. As far back as we can go in time, Pandit’s family profession has been farming. Now he is applying his experience in growing grapes and developing the best possible wines in Rappahannock County.
Pandit’s responsibilities include: supervising the vineyard, implementing sustainable farming practices, developing marketing strategies, and coordinating all aspects of the winery’s operations and maintenance, sales, marketing, finances and staffing.
Pandit worked as a senior executive in the US Government for 25 years. He has managed Narmada Vineyards since its inception in 2006.
He attended New Mexico State University, Carnegie-Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Sudha Patil, Winemaker
Dr. Sudha Patil has been making wine for Narmada Winery since 2008. In the short time since Narmada Winery opened its doors in November 2009, her winemaking talent has garnered 39 awards for Narmada wines (as of February 4, 2011).
In addition to managing wine development and production for Narmada Winery, Sudha is also responsible for food pairings and gift items sold at the winery.
Sudha has 28 years of experience in running a successful business. She holds a BS in Chemistry from George Mason University, as well as a DDS from Georgetown University and an MS in Oral Biology. Her strong background in chemistry helps her understand winemaking science.
Sudha’s primary focus in the Narmada Winery venture has been to develop herself into a world-class winemaker. To that end, she has read extensively about winemaking theory in books, winemaking journals, and web sites. She has attended numerous winemaking seminars and conferences, and she has traveled extensively to observe winery operations and discuss winemaking techniques with winemakers in the area. Additionally, she has worked closely with Thomas Payatte, our winemaking consultant, to design our overall winemaking strategy and carry out day-to-day operations in the winery.
Prema Patil Sharma, Business Manager / Special Events Coordinator
Prema graduated from Virginia Tech in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. After graduating she worked as a Scientist and Project Manager for a prominent biotechnology company in Maryland for 8 years. After having her son, she decided to quit work and be a full time mother.
In the summer of 2010, she joined the family business part time where her primary focus is planning weddings and private parties. She also helps her Mom, Sudha out in the fall with winemaking where her chemical engineering knowledge allows her to understand the science and operations that are involved and she helps, her Dad, Pandit out on day to day business operations.
Tom Payette, Winemaking Consultant
Tom Payette, a premier hands on and analytical winemaking consultant, serves clients throughout the United States and Internationally. His company focuses on winery and vineyard start-ups and expansions, still and sparkling wine production and general winery issues.
He has 26 years of experience in still and sparkling wine production in Virginia along with 3 years experience in ultra-premium Bordeaux varietal wine production in Napa, California.
Tom studied under famed Bordeaux enologist Jacques Boissenot. In addition to winemaking, Mr. Payette is a noted speaker, recognized International wine judge and Wine Tech columnist for Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine.
Mr. Payette is a member of the ASEV/ASEV-ES, The American Wine Society, The American Vineyard Foundation Review Board and serves on the advisory board to Wineries Unlimited, the East Coast’s premier and largest wine industry trade show and seminar event.
He is a past member of the Governor’s appointed Virginia Winegrowers Advisory Board where he served as technical committee chair. Vineyard & Winery Management magazine named Tom “”Winemaker of the Year”" in 1999.