Congratulations to Tarara Winery for being a finalist this year for the 25th Anniversary of the Loudoun Small Business Awards! View the full list of finalists here. These awards will be held on November 8, 2019 at The National Conference Center. Register Here!
Tarara Winery is a finalist in the Loudoun Destination Business of the Year category. Post submitted by Jordan Harris, General Manager and Winemaker.
1. Tell us your story of how your business evolved into what it is today.
Tarara Winery is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It really started as an accidental dream from the founders Whitie and Margaret Hubert as they retired from the world of commercial development. The Hubert’s were pioneers in the Virginia Wine Industry and the third and now second oldest winery in Loudoun County. They really paved the way for what would become the county with the most wineries in all the Commonwealth with early experimentation not only in the vineyard but as an agri-tourism business. The Huberts and Tarara were integral in developing what is not tourism in rural Loudoun County. It is that continuous need/want for growth that has made us what we are today, a benchmark producer of quality wine in the Mid-Atlantic. We have been constantly rewarded through National and International press such as Wine Enthusiast as having some of the Top rated wines in Virginia (four of the first eight 90+ scores), top Tastemakers in the USA and 100 most influential winemakers in the country. Tarara continues to focus and build on putting Loudoun and Virginia wine on the world stage as world class. We do that while also continuing by being players in the local community. Our success have allowed us to give back and use our past and recognition to work with non-profits and starting companies in Loudoun to make for an overall better county to live in ans showcase, while also feeling good and making some killer wine.
2. What would it mean to you and your company to win a Small Business Award?
Being the 30th Anniversary of Tarara it would mean a great deal to wine a Small Business Award from the Loudoun Chamber. With the awards that we have garnered around the nation and beyond, we continue to be most excited about awards here at home. It is our community that keeps us thriving and we love the idea of being recognized here to celebrate our 30th. Margaret Hubert would simply be over the moon to see all that she has built and allow her managers and our staff to build be awarded as a great 30th celebration. We love home and we would love nothing more than to be awarded and recognized as a great company here at home.
3. What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?
Trust – while trust is not really a small thing, it is small materialistically. The Hubert family has put great faith and trust and trust in us as a team. It is my job (Jordan) to continue that trust and faith with our managers and allow them to put that toward our day to day employees. That empowerment means bringing more ideas, knowledge, passion and excitement across the company. No material item will ever do as much as what trusting your staff to do their work will do.
4. Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?
There are a lot of people that could be listed here for me personally, but as a company (which is more important) it has to be our late founder, Whitie Hubert. His style has resonated with me personally as well as I lead Tarara. Manage with strong demands and a big heart. Working with Whitie had its challenges in certain days because he was tough as nails. He demanded you always gave everything you could to the job, but at the end of the day he would end it with a handshake, hug or a great conversation and often flowers for my wife. He really taught having intense work ethic but also balance and understanding all that is really important to you. When hiring me it was just as important to Whitie that my wife was happy with the decision. He knew families come as a package and team. He led his whole life as a man that demanded work toward perfection professionally but equally demanded you are happy at home and would do anything in his power to assist in either.
5. What is your favorite thing about running a business in Loudoun County?
Easy, the people. We run a winery so in general the people visiting us love us and are great. I mean we are giving them wine…. Aside from that as it is obvious, the people we work with professional in Loudoun County are incredible. There are very few places on earth that I think the community likes to get involved as much as here in Loudoun. From the BOS, to the Chamber, Visit Loudoun and all the associated businesses, the people involved truly care about how our community ends up. Our greatest asset to Loudoun County is the culture that has been created by its people to be one of the best places to live, work, and play. That makes running a business in Loudoun a complete joy.
6. How do you see your business evolving in the next 10 years?/ future goals
The wine industry is always and changing and as is Loudoun County tourism. I would see us dramatically expanding our portfolio and potentially even expanding in locations as we see a bigger need to be all over the county. One goal that we have is to help push Loudoun County wine to a level that had greater recognition outside our boundaries. I would like to see Loudoun County (and Virginia as a whole) mentioned around the world when people discuss American wine. I want Loudoun County to be a chapter in wine text books, not a footnote as part if the other regions in America. That requires more quantity but also continued better quality. I think we can help with that and I would love to be a part of that as our 10 year goal.
7. If you’re not in the office where can we find you/what is another passion you have?
This year has been exciting for creating another passion it seems company wide. Loudoun United games!!!! We have developed wines for Loudoun United which also awards us the chance to go to the games and wow have they ever been fun. Most people like sports and people and the Loudoun United games have brought that together and we at Tarara have loved enjoying them as part of our community.
8. What did you want to be when you grew up as a child? / What was a childhood dream that you had?
I think that would either be a professional hockey player or professional skateboarder. Thank goodness I wasn’t all that good on a skateboard because I’m not sure that would have paid the bills. Playing hockey though has helped me in my career, much like football did for Whitie Hubert. Learning teamwork is crucial and is a driving factor at Tarara so I guess some of my dream cane true 😊
9. If you have 24-hours off, and your family was out of town, what would you do?
Honestly I would hit up some of the Loudoun Wineries and Breweries. Having three little boys makes getting out to see the other wine, beer and distillates more challenging than I would like it to be. I love the other wineries and of course the beer and distillates we have in the county. I just don’t get enough chances to go and visit those friends at them.
10. What is one book that you would recommend everyone read?
Calvin and Hobbes. Yeah, I know pretty childish of me, but if you think about it more people should think like Calvin and Hobbes. Its all about dreaming bigger than you could ever imagine or what is even realistic. Being realists is what holds us back sometimes. Dream big!