Staff Highlight: Brooks Hoover
Our Easton Porter Group team members are the heart and soul of what we do. From meals served at our restaurants to personal touches at our boutique hotels, our high-touch teams work hard to elevate the art and joy of travel and dining.
Today we are highlighting Brooks Hoover, our Vineyard Manager at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyard. Brooks was born in Charlottesville but grew up in Waynesboro, Va. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, he decided to join the workforce at Pippin Hill as a dishwasher. 7 years later, he’s the Vineyard Manager having self-taught most of the skills he has today alongside on the job training. He credits the Chemistry classes he took in those 7 years as what fueled his fire to get him where he is today. Brooks’s passions outside of wine include outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, river rafting, skiing, the occasional kayaking and downhill mountain biking, as well as craft alcohol, martial arts, and working out.
Check out the following Q&A with Brooks to learn more, then head over to Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia to experience his expertise firsthand!
What is a day in your life at Pippin Hill like?
It’s hard to encapsulate a typical day for me because the nature of my job will change depending on the season much like the growth of our vines. This can include bottling our wine, bar tending on a busy Saturday, walking through our vineyards, staying up late to protect against frost, writing notes on our wine for the menu, participating in tasting events on behalf of the company, giving customers a tour of our vines, pruning, training our staff on our wine and ethos, sampling fruit for harvest, and harvesting!
What is one of your favorite memories from your time working at Pippin Hill?
One year I got my mother a seat for one of the cooking classes that we frequently have here and I surprised her by joining in the cooking class so we could do it together.
What’s the best thing about working at Pippin Hill?
Personally I think that being able to see the grapes on the vine from a growing year and the next year get to put that wine into a bottle and give it to the customer. I’m fortunate enough to be the one person in our company that gets to see the wine from the start to the finish, and seeing the ebb and flow of our vintages year to year based on the growing season is a very cool thing to watch play out.
What’s your favorite wine from Pippin Hill and what do you love about it?
It’s hard to pick a favorite wine because I’ve worked with them so long and appreciate them all for different reasons but my favorite is likely to be our Petit Verdot. I love this wine because it not only is more tannic than most of our other wines but it is a very expressive grape. You end up getting a lot of interesting earthy flavors while still retaining a good amount of fruit forward quality to it. I inherit my father’s penchant for big, dry red wines and the Petit Verdot is that for Pippin Hill…for now. Bigger things are coming!
When you’re not working, what can we find you doing?
When not at work I can usually be found either at the gym, playing with my dog Sadie, or out on the downtown (usually at the Livery Stable or El Bebedero).