Paul first discovered Virginia wines in 2002 and has continued to explore the vast array of unique adventures the Commonwealth offers. His desire to explore the flavors of life began at an early age of 5 when he was caught sneaking a can of Schlitz beer from his parents fridge. His desire for adventure also started early in life. Paul’s family likes to reminisce about his early morning covert missions into the Buffalo winter wearing only his footed pajama’s seeking an adventure down the road only to be returned by a neighbor.
Growing up in a large family of 8, his beginnings were humble, but his Mother and Father were sure to expose him to the diversity life offers including camping, museums, historical sites, faith, fresh home cooked meals, farming and hard work. It was through these experiences that helped create the idea of Vino Virginia where one could experience wine centered tours that included great wine, food, people and activities in a fun and educational way.
Paul’s quest for adventure and hospitality has taken him near and far to impact others’ lives through leadership roles in his church, community, work, political campaigns and outdoor pursuits. He has sat on community and industry boards organizing black tie dinners for over 150 people and was part of a team who built a multi-million dollar youth center focused on increasing tourism. He has lead groups and individuals on canoeing adventures into the backcountry of places like Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario and down the Shenandoah and Potomac River. He continues to pursue his passions for mountain biking and scuba diving around the world.
Paul also leads a men’s group, works with the children’s ministry at his church, and has supported building projects with Habitat for Humanity. Paul works for an IT company in sales helping the Federal Government become better consumers of IT service and solutions.
Kim J. Ciftci
Kim was born in Washington, DC, our nation’s capital. As a boy, he discovered early in life that Washington offers many interesting and amazing avenues of discovery. Throughout his childhood, he spent much of his time on self-guided tours through the various Smithsonian Museums, horseback riding through Rock Creek Park, swimming in the C & O Canal, and finding adventure on the streets and back alleys of Georgetown. Today, he brings that same passionate spirit of adventure and discovery to Vino Virginia, and desires to share that experience with others.
Kim attended the University of Memphis, graduating with degrees in Education (BS), and Exercise Science (MS). While in Memphis, Kim had the pleasure of working at the famous Peabody Hotel, as the night time Manager on Duty. Later, he went on to work as the General Manager at several upscale health clubs located in Dallas, Texas, Alexandria, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Eventually, he answered to a higher calling, and began working in Christian ministry. As an Associate Pastor of Single Adults at McLean Bible Church, he led a singles community, the Divorce Recovery program, and co-founded, In His Grip, the golf ministry which still meets regularly under the name, On His Course.
Kim’s interest in wine began over 20 years ago, when he discovered the Virginia wine country. Then, in 2007, he combined his passion for ministry and his interest in wine into, Sermons from the Vine. 2014 will be his 7th consecutive season of preaching Sunday morning sermons from one of several vineyards on a rotating basis, always building upon scripture that refers to wine, the vineyards, or the process of wine making. Kim was officially ordained in 2011, and now performs weddings, baptisms, and vineyard blessings, as the de-facto, Pastor to the Vineyards.