Carl DiManno, President and Winemaker
Wine. Food. Art. Nature. For Carl DiManno, these are the elements that combine to offer visitors the uniquely enriching experience he envisioned providing at 868 Estate Vineyards. Now a reality, that vision began with a love of food and wine born of an appreciation for the culinary decadence discovered in New Orleans, coupled with experiences traveling to great wine regions around the world. Carl’s love for matching food and wine formed early, and 868 Estate Vineyards demonstrates that love by providing gourmet sensory experiences for guests in the tasting room.
Longing to one day own a vineyard, Carl began his journey into winemaking by pursuing a degree in Enology at University of California Davis. Discovering that vineyards are, in fact, expensive, Carl honed his skills by consulting for various labels in California and on the East Coast, until the promise of a burgeoning wine industry with tremendous potential lured him back to the eastern United States, where he ultimately planted his own roots in Loudoun County, Virginia.
Along with the other owners, Carl created 868 Estate Vineyards to offer an elevated sensory experience where wine and food combine in a setting enriched by the beauty created by nature and by local artists alike.
For Carl, and for 868 Estate Vineyards, winemaking is about combining the very best that nature has to offer with artisan techniques and practices that enrich wine in order to put the best possible product into the bottle. Carl uses meticulous attention to detail and a careful blending of old world techniques that highlight terroir, with new world practices that help showcase the best characteristics of the fruit in order to create the truly expressive, award winning wines at 868.
Author “AJ” Clark, Jr.
Grandale’s Executive Chef, AJ Clark, has been there since the very beginning. His passion for fresh ingredients and culinary excellence are cornerstones of Grandale’s development, and continue to drive the culture and atmosphere at Grandale today. Paired with his unyielding dedication to provide spectacular experiences for all guests, AJ has helped Grandale grow into the award winning, farm-to-table restaurant that it has become.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, AJ has more than a decade of fine dining restaurant experience with thirteen years as Executive Chef. He possesses a diverse culinary background, including five-star and five-diamond restaurants (such as the local L’Auberge Provencale) and New York’s finest catering establishments (Oliver’s). Using this culinary acumen, Author is able to design and create quality experiences using food and atmosphere for Grandale’s guests. If you ask him, AJ will tell you that his greatest reward as a chef is to watch people enjoy and interact over a great meal, in a great space and under his tutelage, a meal at Grandale is designed to be “a symphony of wine, food, atmosphere and good company.”
Peter and Nancy Deliso
An entrepreneur at heart, Peter Deliso decided that opening a vineyard in Loudoun County would be a great opportunity to meld his love of wine and socializing with his drive to start his own business. Peter, who was formerly General Counsel at Mtel and LCC International, continues to practice law full-time while also running the strategy and planning side of 868 Estate Vineyards. His wife Nancy serves as the Marketing Director and manages all things marketing, including collateral development, event planning, social media, marketing strategy and the 868 art program.