Rudy Shafer-Wine Maker
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.
Jason Porter-Assistant Winemaker
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.
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.
With over 10 years in wine sales, Steve, brings significant insight and relationships from the distributor/supplier perspective. Steve has spent over 7 of those years in sales management for several small producers representing brands globally as a beacon of what is possible in the expression of diverse terroirs.
Additionally, Steve has represented and helped build several small family brands. Steve has relationships with national & regional distributors, wine buyers, sommeliers and corporate wine directors in chain restaurants and retail. Prior to his journey into the wine business, Steve worked in the banking market.
In addition to being a grape and terroir nerd, Steve enjoys riding his Harley motorcycle, new gadgets and technology, and most importantly spending time with his 19 year-old son.
Born and raised in southwest Michigan, working in my hometown community has always meant the world to me. Working as a real estate agent, I decided I wanted a weekend job to get the chance to meet more people and that is when I joined the Dablon team as a wine consultant. Within 2 months of working in the tasting room, I fell in love with all of Dablon’s dry red wines. The story, beauty, and uniqueness of everything that Dablon does has deepened my interest in wine and the wine industry. A promotion to Tasting Room Manager in September 2017 had me even more thrilled to be working here. After spending full time hours in the tasting room, getting to know our regular customers, and building some amazing friendships, I realized I wanted to take my position a step further and in June of 2018 I became the Wine Club Manager/Events Coordinator. I am thrilled to work so closely with some of our biggest supporters, the Wine Club Members.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending quality time with friends and family, especially in the summer out on the water!
Meredith George-Tasting Room manager
After moving from the East Coast to Southwest Michigan over 5 years ago with her husband she has made Benton Harbor & SWMI her home. With over 18 years of experience in the service industry Meredith brings a wide range of knowledge in hospitality. After being on the tasting room team for several months she took over the role of Tasting Room Manager. “I am so excited to be working for a winery that really strives to educate their customers about wine while providing a quality product and warm atmosphere. It’s rare you can find a job that you can truly say you love”
In her spare time, Meredith enjoys singing, performing in local musicals and theatre, wood working and spending time with her husband Jason.
Leigh Simmons-Office manager
Leigh is a marine veteran, wife, mother of two girls, and grandmother of one precious granddaughter. Leigh started in our tasting room as a wine tasting consultant. With numerous years of experience in the service industry, Leigh easily adapted to the operations of the Winery and became our Officer Manager. Leigh and her husband, Baynard, enjoy traveling togehter and spending time with their precious granddaughter.