Our Team2021-10-27T11:06:37+00:00

OUR TEAM

Whitebarrel creates happiness through our wine. We offer each of our guests an inviting and fun atmosphere where they can relax & reflect, while enjoying our high-quality, affordable, hand-crafted wines, surrounded by the natural beauty of our vineyards and the unsurpassed service of our staff. Whitebarrel is a leader in quality service, quality wine, and quality farm-to-table food and prides itself in being an example to the Virginia Wine Industry. We provide not only award-winning Whitebarrel wine, but excellent examples of Virginia Wine to each of our guests and highlighting wine from across Virginia.

Dr. Richard Obiso
Owner and Operating Officer

Rik is a successful entrepreneur, having started and managed several successful companies from the ground up. Rik earned a PhD in Microbiology and Biochemistry from Virginia Tech and has a primary background in product development of bacterial diagnostics. Rik left the corporate world of biotech in the Washington DC area in 2006 and started out consulting for the US Government in biodefense, and started Whitebarrel at the same time. At Whitebarrel, Rik oversees everything from winemaking and marketing to distribution and sales. Rik is working to make Whitebarrel the best winery on the East coast for wine quality and customer satisfaction. Rik runs several wine research projects at the winery, and manages the day-to-day operations of the business. Rik is also working on business development and expansion plans. Rik also splits his time with Avila Scientific, an international biotech firm, where he is owner and managing director, and, the Whitebarrel Foundation, where he is the Executive Director. As a member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Winery Association, he is also helping shape the future of Virginia Wine. All this work gets in the way of his #1 passion – Rik is a father (to Alex (22), Erik (19), Ellie (4), and two identical twin boys Archie and Harry (3) and a husband (to Tess) first, and spends all his free time with his family. Rik’s favorite Wine is the next wine he is making in our barrel room.

Dr. Theresa Gallagher
Owner & Operations & Research Manager

Tess was born and educated in England, earning a Ph.D. in microbiology at the University of Brighton. She is a true world traveler, splitting time with Avila Scientific, an international biotech firm, where she is owner and managing director. She’s managed laboratories and properties around the world for the last 15 years. People from around the world know Tess as a subject matter expert in scientific research management and her work in biodefense, including work with Anthrax. Tess is also on the Board of Directors of the Whitebarrel Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that specializes in agriculture and the Virginia Wine Industry. Tess fell in love with Virginia wine while working as an executive in Baltimore and moving to Virginia in 2014. Tess is driven with a sense of purpose to advocate for Virginia wine and handles many aspects of the day-to-day operations of the business, our growing wine bar operations, and the winery finances. Tess is also managing all the ongoing research projects at the winery, including our honey bee research and sanctuary program. In her spare time, she is a mom to Ellie, Archie, and Harry and cat mom to Stella, Franklin, and Kiva and dog mom to Percival, Arthur, and Guinevere and farm mom to the geese, ducks, and chickens. Her favorite wine is the BIN #831.  Tess’s new venture – she has established the O-Co ♡ Foundation – a not-for-profit organization that will provides STEM and educational support to women across the globe.

Jason Crolley
Winemaker

Jason was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and came to the New River Valley in 2001. Jason graduated from Radford University in Biological sciences. After graduation he found himself living and working in the mountains of beautiful Floyd Virginia. He began his journey into wine when he first worked at Chateau Morrisette Winery. There, he found his passion for winemaking. He immediately fell in love with the craft of winemaking and never looked back. Through hard work and effort this journey has taken him from lab assistant to head winemaker.

Since his first harvest in 2006, he had the great opportunity to work with and learn from many winemakers whose winemaking backgrounds span the globe. These experiences have offered him the chance to draw from many different winemaking techniques that he has honed over the years for making wine in Virginia. “I absolutely love the multifaceted jewel that is winemaking. The blend of art, science, culinary craft, agriculture, and instinct that go into winemaking always make for an awesome adventure”. Jason still lives in Floyd with his sweet wife and darling child. Outside of crafting happy memories with wine he enjoys cooking, gardening, the arts, the great outdoors, and the journey of parenting. “I look forward to many new experiences and I hope to leave a positive imprint on your life as your winemaker”.

Regina Poppie
Events Coordinator

Regina currently serves as our Events and Hospitality Coordinator. She moved from Greenville, South Carolina to Virginia in 2016 with her family as her husband took a position with Virginia Tech Women’s Basketball.

While in South Carolina, Regina was the Marketing Director for an independently owned Chick-fil-A restaurant, where she planned and hosted all events and marketing strategies. Before her transition into marketing and hospitality Regina was a former NCAA Division II volleyball coach.

Regina resides in Christiansburg with her husband (Shawn), their vibrant 5 year old son (Kai) and brand new son (Cayden), their fur babies (Champ-dog and Pancake-cat). When she is not at the winery, Regina is spending time with her family, cheering on the Hokies and sipping on her favorite Whitebarrel wine…Bin #260.

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