Through the grapevine: 3rd-generation Spanish winemaker brings experience to Va. vineyard
STAFFORD, Va. — As he walks up and down the rows of barren February grapevines, pruning several wiry ones along the way, David Pagan Castaño seems in his element.
“I was born in the winemaking business,” the head winemaker at Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery explains. “My grandfather started his own winery in Spain.”
Castaño, a third-generation winemaker hailing from Yecla, Spain, holds a master’s degree in oenology (the study of wines) and viticulture (the study of grape cultivation) from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Before settling in Virginia wine country, he polished his craft in France, New Zealand and California.
While Castaño acknowledges California remains king of American wine production, he says the Virginia grape is making itself known.
“We have proven that we’ve been competing against them — competitions, international,” he said. “We don’t have the same volume, but we definitely have very, very outstanding wines here."