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MEET THE TEAM

OUR TEAM

You may have heard the phrase, “It takes a lot of good beer to make good wine.” That it does, but it also takes a dedicated crew—from farming the grapes to processing and bottling to ensuring our customers have the best experience and enjoy what’s in their glass. Meet the 8 Chains North staff.

Owners: Edz Sturans & Cissi DeMarco

In August 2021, the winery welcomed new owners Edgars “Edz” (pronounced “Edge”) Sturans and Cissi DeMarco. Edz and Cissi fortuitously stumbled upon the winery when searching for a home in rural Loudoun County. As lifelong lovers of wine and travelers to international wine regions, owning and operating a boutique winery seemed like the perfect adventure for the next phase of their life together.

Former owner, Ben Renshaw, remains on staff as the vineyard manager and winemaker for the foreseeable future. Edz and Cissi’s backgrounds in business, accounting, hospitality, and restaurant ownership give them the experience to helm this robust business. They look forward to being stewards of the property and bringing a renewed and energetic focus on the wine and overall experience at 8 Chains North.

edz-cissi-red-8-v2-square-vintage

Management Staff

8 Chains North staff member and owner Ben Renshaw
Ben Renshaw
Winegrower

Vineyard Management and Winemaking is led by Ben Renshaw. Ben began his career in the Loudoun County wine industry in 1998, working in various positions for a number of wineries. In 2004 he established a custom vineyard management and installation company, and was the original owner of 8 Chains North from 2010-2021. Ben is a self-described “dirt farmer” and loves nothing more than tending to his vines. His tireless work in the field makes the critical difference in the cellar.

8 Chains North staff member and general manager Sydney Smith-Marlowe
Sydney Smith-Marlowe
General Manager

Sydney joined 8 Chains North management in April 2013, after an 18-year career in corporate relations at a national nonprofit. She has an extensive background in brand management, marketing, and business development. She also has more than 12 years experience in wine and service industries. Sydney manages the day-to-day business operations of and marketing for the winery. She has a daughter and two step-daughters, and resides in Loudoun County with her husband.

8 Chains North staff member and tasting room manager Emily Powers
Emily Powers
Tasting Room Manager

Emily became part of the 8 Chains North team in September of 2013. She is a wine enthusiast with an extensive customer service background. As manager of both the tasting room and Wine Club, she loves to share her passion for Virginia wine. Emily and her staff provide an exceptional wine tasting experience, and enjoy introducing customers to their new favorite glass of wine. Emily resides in Loudoun County with her husband and three sons.

8 Chains North staff member and events manager Elly Sullivan
Elly Sullivan
Events Manager

Elly joined 8 Chains North in January 2018. She moved to Virginia in 2013 and fell under the spell of all its beauty—especially the wine! Elly was a teacher until discovering the world of weddings. She has worked in that industry for the last several years as a day-of coordinator, wedding designer, and planner. She brings organization and creativity to managing events at the winery, helping to ensure lasting memories for her clients. Her husband and four children are the loves of her life.

Tasting Room Associates

8 Chains North staff member and tasting room associate Beth
Beth
Bill
8 Chains North staff member and tasting room associate Diane
Diane
8 Chains North staff member and tasting room associate Jason
Jason
8 Chains North staff member and tasting room associate Kaity
Kaity
8 Chains North staff member and tasting room associate Kelly
Kelly
Kristy
8 Chains North staff member and tasting room associate Leslie
Leslie
8 Chains North staff member and tasting room associate Mark
Mark
tasting room associate meghan
Meghan
8 Chains North staff member and tasting room associate Mike
Mike
8 Chains North staff member and tasting room associate Molly
Molly
Paula
Sarah
Sarah
Sean

If you are interested in working in the Loudoun County wine industry and potentially joining the 8 Chains North staff, please see our Employment page.