Our co-winemakers, Rudy Shafer & Chad Hartline both have had their hands in our Baroda soil since childhood, having been raised on their family farms that are situated across from Dablon winery.
Rudy comes from a farming background, and when the opportunity to return to his roots presented itself, he joined the team at Dablon. He has extensive experience with brewing beer and was quite familiar with fermentation and the strict cleanliness requirements of wine production. When he started as winemaker at Dablon, he was closely supervised by one of the best winemakers in Southwest Michigan, and he supplemented that instruction with seminars, conferences, study and experience. Rudy also oversees the vineyard and is intimately familiar with the characteristics of our very high quality grapes. The role that he has learned quite well is to let the high quality of the grapes manifest itself in the wine that we make.
Rudy likes to spend his off time fishing, hunting and rock collecting.
Three generations of farming wisdom has left its mark on Chad - the hard work & tireless dedication, the keen awareness of the rhythms of nature & the resourcefulness it takes to bring forth fruit from the earth. This is the heritage Chad brings to Dablon as a winemaker.
Familiar with the rich French wine-making traditions, Chad takes great pleasure in combining those Old World techniques with the New World methodologies. By applying a fresh perspective & inventiveness, together with Rudy they create an exceptional wine, vibrant with their distinctive style.
In his spare time, Chad loves to spend time outdoors. He is an avid beekeeper, and enjoys hunting and fly fishing.
Jason is an assistant winemaker at Dablon. With us since October 2014, he is a key part of the winemaking team, both in the cellar and the vineyards. His work history includes mold making, brewing beer in Colorado, and beer & winemaking in Baroda. He has a passion for wine, and his experience is valuable in the cellar. Jason and his wife Stacy have 2 sons. His hobbies include ice hockey, fishing and mushroom hunting.
As the Business Manager, Amy has used her years of accounting experience to create a solid foundation for the office and operations of the winery. From accounting to human resources, or keeping up with regulations, she tackles everything thrown her way. As Dablon continues to grow, she continues to explore and learn the rapidly changing Michigan wine industry. Hired in 2012, she was the first Dablon employee. A sweet wine drinker when she started, it did not take long to convert her tastes to the dry reds of Dablon. She has been a Southwest Michigan gal for life, and lives in Baroda with her husband James, their 2 sons, and her little pup, Rubi.
After learning to speak Italian at St. Mary’s College, Caitlin went on to pursue a career working with Italian wine. During her many years of experience, Caitlin has had the opportunity to work in virtually every facet of the wine industry, from restaurants and retail to distribution and importing. This vast experience has given her an in-depth understanding of all aspects of the wine world. She is deeply passionate about wine education and working with old world, terroir driven, un-manipulated wines, so when she discovered Dablon Vineyards she knew she had found her home in the Michigan wine scene as their Outside Sales Manager.
In her spare time, Caitlin enjoys being outdoors with her dog Finnegan, going to the rifle range, practicing Bikram yoga and hosting dinner parties at her home.
After spending years in the service industry, Suzanne’s passion for locally sourced food and wine are what initially drew her to work at Dablon. Suzanne was hired as one of the first tasting room consultants when Dablon opened in the spring of 2015.During her first year at Dablon, she also studied business management and marketing at Lake Michigan College and was promoted to manager of the tasting room in fall of 2016. Suzanne can be found serving her favorite wines behind the bar, scheduling tasting room events or creating promotional material for Dablon.
Outside of work she enjoys shopping for vintage clothes, spending time with her boyfriend, Shaw and their dog, Cricket, and experimenting with new recipes & ingredients.
After studying event planning at Western Michigan University, Ashley returned to her roots in Southwest Michigan and right into the middle of Wine Country. She was a wedding coordinator following graduation, and absolutely adored the event industry. However, the wine industry also had a pull on her heartstrings, and she found herself called into a role where she gained knowledge and ambition in the ever-growing wine world. When she discovered Dablon Vineyards, it seemed her two passions converged, and she had found a family as their Wine Club Manager and Event Coordinator.
When not busy with her work, Ashley enjoys an active social life and volunteering in her community. She is an avid lifestyle blogger, volleyball player, and Cubbie fan.