Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery in Kennett Square has hired a new winemaker, Virginia Smith Mitchell, to continue the management of their award-winning wines. 

Mitchell was the assistant winemaker at Mazza Vineyards in North East, Pa., which is the largest winery in the state. She graduated from Penn State's food science program while completing an  internship at Mazza. At Galer, she will oversee the boutique production of 2,900 cases of wine.

“As an internationally award-winning boutique winery, Galer Estate has proven that high-quality wines can be produced in Pennsylvania,” Mitchell said. “I came into winemaking knowing that I want to make distinctive and expressive wines, and joining Galer will allow me to do that. I am really excited to be part of their successful team, and I am glad to make our new home here in Chester County." 

Brad and Lele Galer said they are "absolutely thrilled" to welcome Virginia to the Galer Estate team. After interviews with several candidates, the meeting with Virginia was very brief. "Virginia shares our same dedication and passion for making high-quality wines. Plus she came incredibly highly recommended, is really nice, and makes a knockout Ros,” said co owner Lele Galer. "We really didn't have much of an interview. It was more, 'When can you start?'”

July 4 will be a "Welcome to Virginia" evening at Galer Estate, where everyone will be invited to raise a glass of 2013 Rose in her honor.