Virginia Tech’s Department of Food Science and Technology’s Distinguished Alumnus in Government or Industry Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Science Alumni Organization. The Ut Prosim Award is given annually to an alumnus who has excelled in their profession as well as contributed extensively to the betterment of their industry through community service.
Since 1984, the tray has been presented by the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association to an individual or organization that has made major contributions to the sustainable growth and economic viability of the American wine industry, including professional consulting, innovation, technical research and knowledge, as well as leadership and active support.
Tom was awarded the Virginia Governor's Cup (the most prestigious wine award in the Commonwealth of Virginia) in back-to-back competitions first for his red wine, 2008 Meritage Blend, and then subsequently for his 2009 Reserve Chardonnay
Tom receives the Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award from his high school.
Before establishing his Winemaking Consulting business, Tom Payette was the Head Winemaker at Prince Michel Winery (250,000 gallon winery). In the role of Head Winemaker he was in charge of all winemaking production in Virginia as well as all operations at Prince Michel's Napa Valley Winery, LeDucq Vineyards. It was during this tenure that Tom Payette was named Winemaker of the Year by Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine.
The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union, a private, non-profit organization that owns and maintains Mount Vernon, has selected Tom Payette as their new Wine Festival Consultant.
Mount Vernon hosts the Spring and Fall Wine Festival and Sunset Tour. Hosted for over 20 years, all proceeds from the events benefit the ongoing preservation and restoration of Mount Vernon and its educational programs.
March 22, 2019
Tom Payette, national winemaking consultant, was awarded Virginia Tech’s Department of Food Science and Technology’s Distinguished Alumnus in Government or Industry Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Science Alumni Organization on Friday, March 22, 2019. The Ut Prosim Award is given annually to an alumnus who has excelled in their profession as well as contributed extensively to the betterment of their industry through community service.
Since Tom graduated from the Department of Food Science & Technology over 30 years ago, he has become one of the most respected winemaking consultants in the United States.
His work, although often behind the scenes, has directly contributed to the tremendous growth of the over $1.3 billion wine industry in Virginia. With an extensive client base in Virginia and the mid-Atlantic Payette also serves winery clients as far away as Texas, California, Wisconsin and New Mexico.
Tom has worked in all aspects of wine production, from winery business planning, vineyard establishment and management, winery design and operations, as well as wine analysis, blending and sales.
Tom Payette currently serves on the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association Board, the Eastern Wineries Exposition Board, and The Rapidan Foundation Board. He has contributed to the broader field of wine production through numerous speaking engagements on technical aspects of winemaking at industry meetings targeted to beginners as well as industry veterans. Tom has also written numerous articles on technical topics in winemaking for two national trade journals.
January 13, 2017
Tom Payette, winemaking consultant, was recently nominated to the Board of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association (ASWA). The ASWA is one of the oldest wine organizations located on the East Coast. Established in 1973 as the Vinifera Wine Growers Association (VWGA), it was an early supporter of planting world-class Vinifera wine grapes, the production of quality commercial wines, and the building of a wine industry along the Eastern seaboard.
Today, the organization is dedicated to the promotion of East Coast wines, wineries and winemakers. It is the home of the largest Wine Competition in the nation focused exclusively on East Coast wines. It hosts the annual Awards Ceremony and Reception honoring the best East Coast wines held on Capital Hill with the Congressional Wine Caucus. The ASWA also presents educational and promotional events around the nation featuring the best wines from the East Coast.
May 27, 2014
Tom Payette, a winemaking consultant and winery industry veteran, was recently elected to a three year term on the Virginia Wine Council. Tom will fill the only Class II position on the council, replacing outgoing member Gordon Murchie. The Class II member position is the only representative on the council who is not affiliated with a specific winery, but provides support to the broader Virginia wine industry as a whole.
The Virginia Wine Council was formed in 2008 and is a strong coalition of Virginia's wineries, vineyards, the Virginia Wineries Association, the Virginia Vineyards Association, wine trails throughout the state, and individual supporters. The Virginia Wine Council (VWC) serves as the Virginia wine industry's representative on legislative and regulatory issues pertaining to winery and vineyards activity, providing value to Virginia's booming wine industry through education and advocacy efforts.
February 19, 2011
The Minnesota Grape Growers Association featured local winemaking consultant, Tom Payette at its 7th Annual Cold Climate Grape and Wine Conference held Feburary 17-19 in Minneapolis. Mr. Payette chaired a day-long workshop entitled "Starting Your Winery Successfully, Step-by-Step."
The Minnesota Grape Growers Association was founded in 1976 and is dedicated to advancing the art and science of growing grapes and producing wine in cold climates. Membership is over 700 and represents growers, wineries, suppliers and enthusiasts from Minnesota, the upper Midwest, eastern US and Canada.
May 17, 2010
The Massachusetts Wine and Grape Growers Association featured winemaking consultant, Tom Payette as a guest lecturer at The Boston Wine School in May. Mr. Payette taught a course entitled "Blending". The course instructed current and prospective winemakers on how to blend wine components and maximize wines in their cellar.
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