Apr 26, 2022
A unique combination of education and experience brought Rachel Martin to launch Oceano Wines with husband and co-proprietor, Kurt Deutsch in 2016. A Virginia native, Martin was present at the inception of what is now considered one of that state’s premier wine producers, Boxwood Estate Winery, in 2005. As Executive Vice President of Winery Operations, Martin’s job was to oversee all facets of production, sales and marketing of Boxwood’s award-winning whites, rosés and Bordeaux-style red blends.
After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston/Tufts University), Martin decided to make her love of wine a full-time vocation. She parlayed a degree in Viticulture and Enology from Napa Valley College into a spot in the prestigious Sensory Evaluation program at the University of Bordeaux School of Enology. And from there, Martin ushered in the very first wines at Boxwood, located in Middleburg, a bucolic area previously better known for horses than vines.
Appreciating the distinctiveness of Middleburg’s terroir, Martin spearheaded the move toward securing a coveted American Viticultural Area designation from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the federal agency charged with evaluating the merits of all such applications. The petition she authored on behalf of the region was approved in 2012, making Middleburg Virginia the state’s seventh AVA.
Martin’s forward thinking led directly to Middleburg having its own wine identity separate from the more generic Virginia designation, making her well suited to again start from scratch with Oceano Wines. None other than the esteemed author Jancis Robinson noted Martin’s marketing savvy in her book “American Wine.”
Martin is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International New York and Washington, D.C chapters and was the first woman to be inducted into the District of Columbia chapter of the International Wine & Food Society. A founding board member, she is also closely involved with the beverage/culinary aspects of the annual Middleburg Film Festival.
Hear her here.