Tom Payette, a winemaking consultant based in Orange Co., VA was awarded Virginia Tech’s Department of Food Science and Technology’s Distinguished Alumnus in Government or Industry Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Science Alumni Organization on Friday, March 22, 2019.  The Ut Prosim Award is given annually to an alumnus who has excelled in their profession as well as contributed extensively to the betterment of their industry through community service.

Since Tom graduated from the Department of Food Science & Technology over 30 years ago, he has become a respected winemaking consultant with an extensive client base in Virginia and the mid-Atlantic, and also serves winery clients as far away as Texas, California, Wisconsin and New Mexico.

Tom has worked in all aspects of wine production, from winery business planning, vineyard establishment and management, winery design and operations, as well as wine analysis, blending and sales. He frequently speaks and moderates seminars at the Eastern Winery Exposition.

Tom Payette currently serves on the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association Board, the Eastern Wineries Exposition Advisory Board, and The Rapidan Foundation Board. Tom has also written numerous articles on technical topics in winemaking for two national trade journals.

A resident of Orange County, Payette continues to assist clients with winery start-up services, still and sparkling wine production as well as general winery business services.  Tom can be reached at 540-672-0387 or visit his website at