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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

8 Chains North is owned by 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 lives together.

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.

Former owner, Ben Renshaw, remains on staff as the Chief Winemaker & Viticulturist.


Management Team

8 Chains North Winemaker Ben Renshaw
Ben Renshaw
Chief Winemaker & Viticulturist

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
Executive Director of Business Development & Continuity

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 20 years experience in the wine and service industries. Sydney oversees winery compliance, and is responsible for strategic growth planning and all marketing initiatives.

8 Chains North staff member and tasting room manager Emily Powers
Emily Powers
Director of Tasting Room & Wine Club Operations

Emily became part of the 8 Chains North team in September of 2013. She is a wine enthusiast with an extensive customer service background, and loves to share her passion for Virginia wine. Emily oversees winery events and all Tasting Room staff and operations, ensuring an exceptional experience at the winery. She also manages 8 Chains North's Wine Club. Emily resides in Loudoun County with her husband and three sons.

8 Chains North staff member and events manager Elly Sullivan
Elly Sullivan
Director of Private Events

Elly moved to Virginia in 2013 and fell under the spell of all its beauty—especially the wine! She joined 8 Chains North in January 2018. Elly has extensive experience in the private and corporate events industry, having worked as a wedding designer and planner. She oversees all private events at the winery, bringing organization and creativity to special occasion celebrations and corporate outings, ensuring lasting memories for our clients. Her husband and four children are the loves of her life.

8 Chains North staff member Sean Miller
Sean Miller
Tasting Room Operations Manager

Sean has extensive knowledge of the Virginia Wine industry and has worked on and off for 8 Chains North since 2012. Sean manages the smooth operations of the Tasting Room and our Tasting Room Associates. He's also a customer favorite for personal or group wine tastings and tours. Sean hails from West Virginia.

Tasting Room Associates

8 Chains North staff member and tasting room associate Beth
8 Chains North staff member and tasting room associate Diane
8 Chains North staff member and tasting room associate Kaity
8 Chains North staff member and tasting room associate Kelly
Tasting Room Associate LaQuita
8 Chains North staff member and tasting room associate Leslie
8 Chains North staff member and tasting room associate Mark
tasting room associate meghan
8 Chains North staff member and tasting room associate Mike
8 Chains North staff member and tasting room associate Molly

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.