Pandit Patil, Owner/CEO
Narmada Winery owner Pandit Patil’s life has come full circle. Pandit came to the United States from India some 50 years ago to study engineering and make a home away from home for himself and his new bride Sudha in the USA.
He did undergraduate work at New Mexico State University, followed by a Masters degree from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, then attained his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. After an illustrious career as an engineer, Dr. Patil returned to his agrarian roots.
As far back in time as we can go, Pandit’s family have been farmers. His father Goba and mother Narmada Patil both unfortunately passed before Pandit founded his vineyard.
The winery is dedicated to his mother. Her devotion to him made it possible for Pandit to pursue his education in the US. Now he applies his ancestral knowledge to grow grapes and develop the best possible wines in beautiful Rappahannock County, Virginia.
As winery owners, Pandit and Sudha Patil supervise the vineyard and research sustainable farming practices, develop marketing strategies for the wine, and coordinate the winery’s operations and finances. Pandit is often seen on weekends in the winery’s tasting room greeting guests and regaling them with stories of his life’s adventures.
Dr. Sudha Patil, Winemaker
Dr. Sudha Patil’s extraordinary palate and BS in chemistry go hand in hand in producing Narmada Winery’s elegant wines. In the short time since the winery opened its doors, her skills in both the art and the science of winemaking have brought national and international recognition and more than forty gold medals.
Sudha’s focus is to create graceful wines that preserve the true character of the fruit. She became interested in fine wine during extensive US and international travel with her husband Pandit Patil. She has observed winery operations and discussed winemaking techniques with vintners in the US and abroad.
Dr. Patil’s formal study of winemaking began with Jim Law of Linden Vineyards who she calls the “guru” of Virginia wine. At the winery, she works closely with consultant Tom Payette to finetune her approach to producing the best quality wines from the best Virginia-grown fruit. Sudha remarks, “Not enough can be said about these wonderful people in my life of winemaking.”
In addition to managing wine development and production for Narmada Winery, Sudha’s touch is evident in every aspect of the winery. The grounds are lovingly landscaped according to her seasonal plans. The warm and welcoming tasting room is enhanced by both her personal hospitality and her international sensibility in the choice of decor, food pairings, and gift selections.
Sudha Patil hails from Thane, a small town outside Mumbai, India. From her parents, Balachandra and Susheela Khadke, Dr. Patil learned the hard-driving, tenacious work ethic that is needed to succeed in business. She has been a proud Virginia resident for over 40 years and practiced endodontics in Northern Virginia for 20+ years, and now part-time in Culpeper, VA. She holds a BS in Chemistry from George Mason, a DDS from Georgetown University and an MS in Oral Biology from the University of Maryland.
Pandit and Sudha Patil have been married for over forty years and have two children who live in Maryland and four lively ganrdsons. Her son Dr. Susheel Patil is Clinical Director at Johns Hopkins Sleep Medicine and is married to Jaya Patil, CPA. Daughter Prema Sharma is a chemical engineer married to Raj Sharma, MBA, CEO of Censeo Consulting Group. In her free time, Sudha enjoys travel and spending time with her family.
Tom Payette, Winemaking Consultant
Tom Payette, a premier hands-on and analytical winemaking consultant, serves clients throughout the United States and internationally, most recently in Spain. His extended expertise focuses on winery and vineyard start-ups and expansions, still and sparkling wine production, and general winery issues.
Tom has 27 well-rounded years of experience in still and sparkling wine production in Virginia along with seven years experience in ultra-premium Bordeaux varietal wine production in Napa, California. Tom studied under famed Bordeaux enologist Jacques Boissenot after receiving his Food Science degree from Virginia Tech.
Mr. Payette received several awards in 2011 for his outstanding contributions and achievements in the wine industy including The Atlantic Seaboard Productivity Trophy and the Virginia Governor’s Cup for a 2008 meritage red blend and a 2009 reserve chardonnay. Tom was awarded “Winemaker of the Year” in 1999 by Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine. Tom has been consulting with Narmada Winery since 2008.
Mary Ann Dancisin, csw
General Manager Mary Ann Dancisin has been working in the wine trade for close to three decades. After falling in love with a Nuits-St-Georges in a cellar in Burgundy, she returned to New York to begin a career with a well-respected importer. “Nuits-St-Georges was quite a step up from the Boone’s Farm and Reunite I grew up with,” she laughs. “I finally GOT what all the fuss was about!” In New York, she held positions in Marketing, Graphic Design/Content Management, and Administration.
With her move to Virginia in 2006, Mary Ann began to explore the burgeoning Virginia wine scene. She wrote and edited for the Virginia Wine Gazette, both print and online editions. She has consulted for several Virginia wineries and provided ongoing support for the national wine education program run by her former NYC employer. Her articles have appeared in Flavor Magazine, The Fauquier Times-Democrat, and InFauquier. She joined the Narmada team in 2012. “It just feels like home here,” Mary Ann says.
With her background in wine education, marketing, graphics and financial management, Mary Ann brings a comprehensive set of skills as well as passion to her position. She is a long-standing member of the Society of Wine Educators, holding the Certified Specialist of Wine credential, and in 2015 was awarded the WSET Level 2 Diploma With Distinction.
Amy Frazier joined the Narmada Winery team as a Tasting Room Associate in 2014. With her friendly and caring personality she won the hearts of guests immediately. She is a leader and hard-working person, and quickly learned what it takes to run a tasting room. Amy took over as the Tasting Room Manager in 2015.
Amy’s passion for wine began when she was at Airlie Conference Center in Warrenton, Virginia. There she began her experieence in wine and food pairing and continued to her quest for Virginia wines. Amy wears many hats at the winery and is a key management person. She loves greeting guests with a smile and loves making sure all guests have a wonderful wine tasting experience.
If you don’t see her on the tasting room floor, she is meeting with special couples for planning their dream event at the winery. She loves planning special events, meeting local businesses and organizaitons. Amy strives to make Narmada a great place to visit.
Amy is a graduate of George Mason University with a BA in intercultural communication with Dean’s honor. She minored in tourism and events planning. She has recently received certificates in event and content management.