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Bogle Winemaker Eric Aafedt, Cheers to 30 Years!

In the early 1990s, a small Clarksburg winery hired an aspiring winemaker named Eric Aafedt. Some three decades later, the Bogle family is celebrating our Vice President of Winemaking’s 30th year making award-winning wines.

“Our family has been growing grapes for 56 years, and for more than half that time, Eric has been intrinsically involved in the day-to-day operations. He has helped create a standard and style that have become synonymous with Bogle wines,” says Jody Bogle. “It is hard to quantify the impact Eric has had on the growth and success here at the winery.”

Eric started with Bogle in 1994 when the winery resembled more of a startup than the winery it is now. Eric and the handful of other employees on staff at the time were called on to do a variety of jobs to keep the winery running. But as the years went by, the winery grew and so did his role. In 2000, he was promoted to Winemaker and has held the lead winemaking role ever since.

“I feel incredibly grateful to have spent so many years with one winery and one family,” says Eric. “To see Bogle blossom into a brand recognized around the world would have been unimaginable at the time I started. I feel blessed to have spent the last 30 years working with two generations of the Bogle family and so many amazing coworkers. Over these many years, our mission has always been quality first.”

From supporting one of the nation’s largest sustainable wine growing and production efforts, to assisting in the design of the company’s state-of-the-art winery in Clarksburg, Eric has also helped curate wines for four new nationally-distributed brands since 2000; Phantom, Juggernaut Wines, Twenty Acres by Bogle, and most recently Element[AL] Wines.  Eric has been instrumental in these projects, including traveling to New Zealand last year to create the winery’s very first imported wine for the Juggernaut brand and developing the award-winning wines bottled in our innovative and sustainable, first-of-its-kind, aluminum wine bottle for Element[AL].

“We have an immense amount of confidence in Eric’s ability to continually craft the highest-quality wines that remain true to our family’s mission, which is to over-deliver with every bottle we make,” said Ryan Bogle. “Eric’s leadership and guidance of our winemaking team is a major reason we continue to deliver exceptional wines year after year.”

Aafedt appreciates the team he has worked with at Bogle for so many years especially, Chris Smith, who serves as Bogle’s Director of Winegrowing.

“Chris was a fantastic mentor to me. The knowledge I received from him was invaluable to my growth as a winemaker,” says Eric.

Eric and Winemaker Dana Stemmler, who have worked together for nearly 17 years at Bogle, have continued to rely on artisan winemaking techniques typically employed by much smaller, boutique wineries. This includes single lot vinification to maintain quality control, barrel aging every single red wine as well as the extensive Chardonnay program.

“It has been an unbelievable 30-year run so far, and I am looking forward to continuing to craft the finest quality wine for our ever-growing winery,” said Eric.

To celebrate Eric, we’ve asked him to select his favorite wines.  The Eric’s Picks pack is now available online or at our Home Ranch in Clarksburg, with a 30% discount for his 30 years of winemaking excellence!

The pack includes Bogle Family Vineyards Chardonnay, Juggernaut Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Phantom Proprietary Red, Reverence, and Element[AL] Wines Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir.  Click here to get your hands on Eric’s Picks!