OWNER & MANAGING PARTNER
Gloria grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA., and moved on to New York City to attend the Parsons School of Design. She lived in NYC for thirteen years, where she formed her own firm, Priam Design, until moving to Connecticut to take a break from city life. She continued in the marketing and advertising industry for many years until transitioning into agriculture.
In 1998 Gloria and her former business partner purchased the last few acres of a third generation family farm and started planting the vineyard, dedicating every hour available while working their full-time jobs. They started with the intent of being growers for other vineyards in CT but quickly escalated to a winery when they realized the quality of the product being produced from their land. Gloria dedicated most of her time in 2002 through 2003 to obtaining federal and state liquor licensing and getting the barn/winery built. The winery opened in 2003 for retail sales and tastings, achieving international acclaim in their first two years by winning 24 international wine competition medals. That total has now reached beyond 90.
Gloria now manages the many aspects of the winery business, events and wine sales as a full-time position.
THE OWNERS, WINEMAKER & MANAGERS
OWNER & DIRECTOR
Jim Melillo has spent much of his adult life as a finance officer and consultant to multiple industries worldwide. He has been involved with wines from running tasting clubs to associating with wine corporations in varying capacities.
For the last decade, he resided in Seattle and Santa Barbara County both centers for entrepreneurial winemaking and growth. Jim has been in demand as a business speaker and appeared before audiences from 15 to 5,000 in more than 55 countries globally. He will be directing the growth of the winery as well as working as chief cook and bottle washer.
We are pleased to welcome Ruaan Viljoen as our Winemaker. He comes to us all the way from Cape Town, South Africa, in the heart of the wine region, where he was born. Ruaan has worked in small to large scale wine production environments covering a broad spectrum of wine production from bulk to ultra Premium, with cultivars such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon /Ruby, Muscat d’Alexandre, Riesling and Malbec.
We look forward to his bringing new approaches and ideas to our the world-class wines produced here at Priam Vineyards. To read more about Ruaan go to http://www.priam-vineyards.com/winemaker.
Christopher J. Barone
TASTING ROOM SALES MANAGER
Born and raised in a Nantucket dream, Christopher J. Barone brings an air of charm and contagious laughter to our winery. Christopher comes to Priam with more than 10 years of hospitality and bar experience. He has served operations and caterers in Connecticut as well as our very own wedding events over the years.
He is now very excited to share his laughter with his new customers here at Priam Vineyards. Come in to meet Christopher, and learn more about our award-winning wines.