Our Winemaker

Shepherd Rouse

Shepherd Rouse, along with his wife Jane Millott-Rouse, are the owners of Rockbridge Vineyard. Shep’s Virginia heritage dates back to the 17th century and Jane is from Carmel, California. Shep is a graduate of Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia with a degree in Geology / Biology and holds a Master’s Degree in Enology from the University of California at Davis.

Bitten by the allure of wine while in Germany in the 1970s, Shep saw the perfect synthesis of science, art, and lifestyle. He made it his goal to produce fine wine in Virginia. He worked in vineyards in Germany, California, and Virginia. In 1988, Shep and Jane found the perfect site in northern Rockbridge County at 2,000 foot elevation and near two busy interstate highways.

The vineyard has now grown to 17 acres and is complemented with grapes from other top-quality growers from neighboring Virginia counties. From this palette of vinifera, hybrid, and native grapes, Shep produces wines which please a broad range of individual tastes. His winemaking style of traditional small batch methods with minimal processing allows him to capture the essence of the vineyard in the glass. The result: well-crafted, affordable wines. Enjoy!

Rockbridge wines have won numerous medals over the years including Best in Show in the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition, Best in Show in Town Point Competition and twice winner of the coveted Virginia Governor’s Cup.