Meet the Team
Kristin S. Easter
I have to say that we’re all pretty happy here at Prince Michel, however, there are days when there’s a little bit more pep in our steps. The giggles are a little bit more frequent, and there’s just an energy about the winery----that’s Kristin. Kristin, our owner and #1 spark plug, can be described in three little letters—joy. Her ready smile and infectious laugh are as much a part of her persona as are her fashion sense, two incredible children, and Yooper accent.
Kristin acquired that accent naturally by growing up in the upper peninsula Michigan and later graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Interior Design. That degree has served her well since she, like all winery owners, feel sometimes that they’re rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Thankfully Kristin is a great designer, and she keeps us all afloat through the constant industry changes and challenges.
Kristin inspires us each day to enjoy life and cherish what is precious in our lives. We love you Kristin—don’t ya knooooooow!
See Brad Run. Run Brad Run.
Brad, our Wine Maker and General Manager, runs! He runs down to the bottling line for Quality Assurance checks. He runs to Charlottesville and Roanoke to monitor the status of grape acid levels at our partner vineyards. He runs to northern Virginia and Richmond to distributor meetings, and he runs around the winery from his desk in the administrative offices dealing with day to day operations to his other desk in the winery. Thankfully Brad loves to run. He’s been running since childhood. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Brad moved with his family to the DC area where he still holds track records at the high school level. His love of running gave him a full scholarship to Marshall University where he began to focus on botany and eventually wine making. More degrees from the University of Maryland and Mississippi State University gave him the experience and knowledge to become an enologist and eventually the maker of all our Prince Michel and Rapidan River wines.
Brad has been running around Prince Michel Vineyards and Winery for over 20 years. His expansive knowledge in wines coupled with his easy going and positive style have made him a favorite in the wine business. His enthusiasm and commitment to the Virginia wine industry is apparent in every encounter—you just have to catch him!
When Brad isn’t running around the winery and vineyards, he is happily running around with his wife Lydia and their two children---well they aren’t so much children now. Aside from loving to run, Brad loves to travel and hike with family and friends.
She’s sort of like watching a tennis match—born in Connecticut, raised in Charlottesville, went to college in South Carolina, worked 11 years in New York City, and now back in Charlottesville. You rarely see Caitlin not bouncing around which is fortunate for us since she is the Vice President of Sales for Prince Michel. One day she’ll set up wine pourings at Harris Teeter and the next she’ll create our festival schedule for the following year. It takes a lot of energy, and Caitlin certainly has plenty. Did we mention that she actually plays tennis and was top ranked in the USTA?
Caitlin also has plenty of heart. She’s from a big family with no reservations in claiming to be the loudest and most outgoing of her three siblings. Family is a crucial part of who Caitlin is so maybe that’s why she is such a “foodie”. She loves cooking and sharing her love of good food and wine with others—perfect for the wine industry! She’s also happy to be back in Virginia and is setting up life in the Commonwealth with her hubby and 3 amazing children.
Caitlin will most likely be the one of us you meet and later go, “wow, what did I just say yes to?” Although she developed her sales skills in NYC, she has triple doses of Southern charm. We’re thrilled to have Caitlin with us at Prince Michel and enjoy the positive energy and enthusiasm she’s spreading around. She’s a huge sports fanatic, and there’s nothing like a Red Sox fan to keep you eternally hopeful.
Lydia wants to live in a world where every book club only reads wine labels and William Faulkner. A native Mississippian, Lydia brings her southern style to all aspects of Prince Michel as the Human Resource Manager and #1 writer of PMV stuff. In other words, she can resolve work-place conflicts and missed time clock punches as quickly as she can create tasting notes on our latest vintage of wines with the proper grammar only her grandmother would fully appreciate.
She credits her degrees in psychology as her greatest advantage in the day to day aspects of working in the wine industry. After working years in Healthcare Administration, the exciting yet relaxed pace of winery life is a perfect environment for her to write about the world of Prince Michel and Rapidan River wines with a dark humor most oenophiles can enjoy.
Yes Lydia shares the same last name of our Wine Maker—that’s because she’s been married to him for over 25 years and would never want to change her monogram. Lydia is blessed with a wonderful husband and an incredible son and daughter. She loves to read, hike, and volunteer—not all three at the same time!
One look at Mike, our Director of Wine Shop Operations, and you don’t exactly say to yourself, “I bet that guy can make a pretty radical gingerbread house!” However, the fact that he’s baked for U.S. Presidents and their families, was almost arrested for rushing around setting up a tea-party for Mrs. Bush, Sr (keep in mind that’s the kind of tea-party with china cups and pinkies out—NOT the political kind of party), created a 975 pound edible replica of the UVA rotunda which took 4 months to make and 35 minutes for students to eat, and fashioned sculptures out of chocolate is its own version of radical.
Mike was born and raised in the Charlottesville, VA area. He’s an outdoors man through and through but has this “other side” which loves to create. His passion for baking and creating incredibly delicious cuisine can all be blamed on his mom. Her love of cooking and passion for holidays, especially Christmas, was passed on to Mike and ultimately passed on to all of us at Prince Michel. Go Moms!! But Mike has another passion—teaching and mentoring others. He was made part of the Prince Michel team due to his work ethic and management skills. He comes from industries where he has managed and trained staff at all levels, and his experience and compassion for his staff is evident every day. You’d be hard pressed to find a harder worker and more inspiring manager who wants to motivate others to be their best and seek out their own passion and creative “other side”.
Mike is also a self-professed choc-o-holic, avid hiker, fisherman, baseball fan—Go Braves, and little league coach. His wife, son, and daughter all live in this area too. His daughter is a member of our Sweet Lovers Wine Club, and he says our Dessert Style Port is his favorite Prince Michel wine.