' Delaplane Cellars - Our Team

Our Team

Jim Dolphin

Executive Winegrower:  Jim’s background was primarily in real estate and corporate finance and operations where he was a CFO and COO in the real estate investment trust (REIT) industry.    He has been a passionate wine consumer and student since the mid 1970s, and his curiosity led him to start making wine at home in the late 1990s.   By 2005, he was making 28 different wines in his basement and it became obvious that this obsession could only be satisfied by growing wine grapes and making wine for a living.  After an almost two year search for land, primarily in Northern Virginia, the property that would become the current vineyard and winery was purchased in mid 2007.  Since then, Jim and Betsy have worked together on every phase of the development of Delaplane Cellars.

Betsy Dolphin

President: Betsy’s background was in multifamily real estate as a Senior VP of Property Management where, during her 30 year career, she has overseen the operations and rehabilitation of more than 50,000 apartment homes.    After retiring, Betsy and Jim focused on establishing and developing the vineyard, facilities and the business of Delaplane Cellars.  Her passions include creating spaces that are both beautiful and encourage relaxation.  She found the perfect location for Delaplane Cellars with panoramic views on the historic, bucolic Crooked Run Valley.  Betsy’s appreciation of the environment can be enjoyed and seen throughout the property from the repurposing of the 4-board horse fencing taken down during development into flooring for the tasting room to creating doors, railings and the tasting bar from the black walnut trees that were removed for the vineyard and winery building.  Betsy insists if a local source can be used for anything from tasting room lite fare to local artists, they be considered first. 

Lisa  Christopher

Guest Experience Manager: A former journalist, museum director and adjunct college professor who took an interest in wine and made it her vocation almost four years ago, Lisa is studying for her WSET (Wine ansd Spirit Education Trust) Level 4 Certification, a London-based, globally recognized qualification program in wine. Schedule an Elevated Tasting with her in our private tasting room.

Ross Forry 

Manager:  A Virginia native who began in the wine industry over five years ago as a Tasting Room Associate quickly discovered his passion for Virginia wine and a drive to expand his wine expertise. This quickly saw him moving into management roles at wineries. Ross is excited to bring his experience to Delaplane Cellars where he looks to continue expanding his wine knowledge while providing excellent customer service.

Rick Tagg

Winemaker: Rick joined the team in the Summer of 2016 with over eleven years of vineyard and winemaking experience at three other Virginia wineries.  After working two Crushes here at Delaplane where he bought-in to our winegrowing and winemaking philosophy, Rick was promoted to Winemaker in 2018. In this capacity, Rick executes the wine making plan and oversees all cellar and vineyard work.  His experienced palate is a major contributor during the blending process. Rick brought to Delaplane Cellars an intense passion for wine and a strong desire to create world class, terroir driven, artisan wines.  He has been a tremendous asset since the day he started, and we are fortunate to have him on our team.

Our Team

Most of our Wine Consultants are part-time and come from various businesses in the Washington DC area. They enjoy pouring wine in our tasting room as it affords them an opportunity to continue their education on wine and food and meet interesting people visiting our winery.