SLATER RUN VINEYARDS is an estate vineyard and winery located in Upperville, Virginia. Started in 2010 by Christopher and Kiernan Slater Patusky, and Kiernan's parents Bob and Alice Slater, the winery represents the continuation of a 300-year tradition of farming by Kiernan's family along Goose Creek.
Slater Run is a solar-powered winery that has 12+ acres of vines, including Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. We specialize in making premium Virginia wines in a dry French style .
We were fortunate to have the assistance of renowned viticulturalist Lucie Morton to help select the vineyard varietals, clones and root stock, and to design the close-spaced vineyard. Lucie worked with Kiernan's father, Bob Slater, to select the two vineyard sites on the farm. Kiernan's mother Alice designed and oversaw implementation of the winery landscaping.
We were also fortunate to hire Ms. Katell Griaud as winemaker in mid-2014, in time for her to make our inaugural vintage that year. Ms. Katell received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in winemaking from Bordeaux University, and she brings her formidable training and skills to making every Slater Run wine.
The original winery building was built by Bill Tyler in 2014, and the new tasting room building was designed by the owners and completed in 2019. The Slater Run wine label "feather" paintings and the distinctive "Slater Run Vineyards" script were made by local Upperville artist Holly Ward Bimba.
Owners Chris and Kiernan Slater Patusky participate directly in every aspect of the operation. They designed the winery buildings and the vineyards and are involved in the process of making and presenting the wines from root to glass.
The winery effort continues a long family agricultural enterprise on the farm. In 1720, Kiernan's ancestor, John Glascock, acquired the land for the Rockburn Farm on Goose Creek Road in Upperville, Virginia. His descendant Thomas Glascock added Rose Hill to the farm in the 1840s, including the current vineyard and winery site. When Mr. Glascock's granddaughter, Tacie Glascock Fletcher, married George H. Slater (of Mount Bleak Farm, now Sky Meadows State Park) in 1905, the farm passed into the Slater name. Chris and Kiernan created Slater Run Vineyards to help sustain the agricultural use of the farm for generations to come.
KIERNAN SLATER PATUSKY
Kiernan comes to the vineyard and winery business with a strong liberal arts background, which her grandfather always assured her: "will teach you to be a life-long learner." After a career that included teaching high school and college writing, she moved back home to the family farm with her husband and two young children to launch the vineyard, winery and tasting room. She continues to enjoy learning with and from her fabulous team every day!
Christopher Patusky partners with his spouse Kiernan in running the vineyard and winery. Chris comes to this business after 25 years working in law, academia, government and various start-up ventures. He enjoys getting to know the wine world as well as our neighbors and guests, while working at the winery’s tasting room.
Soon after her parents had the opportunity to accomplish a dream and purchase a vineyard and a winery in Monbazillac (Southwest France), Katell Griaud “fell in the barrel” and began her studies in oenology and viticulture. Graduating with a Diplôme National d’Oenologue from the faculty of oenology of Bordeaux, she went on to earn a Master degree in Oenologie et Environnement Viti-Vinicole.
After a few harvests in France and New Zealand, working as winemaker and winemaker-consultant, she moved in 2009 to Virginia to work at Kluge Estate and then Trump Winery as a winemaker. In summer 2014, she decided to go back to winemaking for small hands-on family wineries and now works with Slater Run Vineyards in Upperville and Gabriele Rausse Winery in Charlottesville. She also returns to her family’s winery, Chateau Kalian, twice a year to help make Monbazillac organic wines.
Kiernan's father, Bob Slater, brings a lifetime of experience working the family farm, as he helps ensure that all aspects of the vineyard and winemaking effort are done right--including the selection of the best terroir for the vineyards. His specialty, however, is serving as the farm and vineyard's "tractorist," maneuvering the narrow-gauged Landini and Kubota through the close-spaced rows of the vineyards to care for the vines and by operating larger equipment, a.k.a. the "Bushhog," through the surrounding fields.
Kiernan's mother, Alice Slater, wears every hat in the family business -- from harvesting grapes to labeling bottles to helping in the tasting room. She has led the landscaping effort at both the winery and tasting room, while also developing the menu of homemade treats served at the tasting room by preparing the delicious flourless chocolate cakes and traditional Hunt Country ham biscuits that make our menu so special.
Lucie Morton is the established superstar on the team with academic credentials and accomplishments too many to mention, including being one of the world's foremost ampelographers. Lucie helped the team select the vineyard site and the clone/rootstock combinations to fit a vineyard design with one meter between vines and seven feet between rows. Lucie continues quarterly visits to the vineyard to advise on how to nurture the vines to produce the type of high quality fruit that makes great wine.
Francisco Rivas joined Slater Run Vineyards as its first employee in January of 2014. Through record-breaking cold temperatures that winter, a relatively mild growing season and then our first harvest, Francisco has learned every step of the winemaking process--from grape to bottle. He continues to show his mental and physical strength through his position as Vineyard and Winery Foreman.
Adale Abel Henderson has developed a deep love for Virginia wineries and the fabulous wines that the state produces during her thirteen years of experience in the Virginia wine industry. As the Events and Marketing Director of Slater Run Vineyards and its "in town" tasting room in the Village of Upperville, she has great joy in telling people "I plan parties" when asked what she does for a living. The mother/step-mother of three adult boys and one girl, with her husband a winemaker as well, Adale has found that wineries are a fun place to work and meet great people!