We're built on this.
Winemaking is a delicate and nuanced art. We believe that our family's collective expertise, meticulous vineyard care, and thoughtful cellar practices enable us to produce distinctive wines that are a pleasure to drink.
We know that there are misgivings about Maryland wine. But we also know that the ancient soil and climate of Maryland is an environment where world-class wines can be produced. So at Old Westminster Winery, we are boldly committed to putting Maryland wine on the world map.
Here are the 4 guiding principles that we sincerely believe will get us there.
1. Done by hand
In our vineyards and cellar, everything is done by hand. From winter pruning, to summer hedging, to harvest, every step of our process is powered by sweat, not oil. This method of farming offers our vines and wines a level of care few others experience. Our fingerprints are on every vine, every grape and every bottle.
2. Grown in Maryland
Our Home Vineyard rests at 800' above the sea on channery loam soils overlaying a bedrock of greenstone schist. As it turns out, greenstone is a favorite of grapevines in our region, contributing intense aromatics and distinct minerality to the wines. In addition to managing 10,000 estate vines on our own land, we work closely with neighboring vineyards to source grapes. Grüner Veltliner, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot from Cool Ridge Vineyard perched atop a limestone hillside on South Mountain. Cabernet Franc from the Links Bridge Vineyard on a secluded bank of the Monocacy River. Barbera and Pinot Grigio from Birchview Vineyard perched on a rocky hill just a few miles north of our farm. Our multi-vineyard, Maryland-grown approach allows us to craft wines that reflect our region’s diverse geologies and variable climate.
3. Sustainable farming
Sustainability is of utmost importance to us. We implement a pragmatic farming program using environmentally sound materials; mostly organic, but also synthetic when it's known to be more effective and less intrusive. Our vigneron, Drew Baker, systematically rotates sprays to avoid resistance and reduce the volume of necessary applications. We use diverse cover crops to entice beneficial insects and promote healthier vines with stronger immune systems that demand fewer inputs. We consider the consequences of everything we do. Nature’s rhythms are delicate, so we farm with a light hand.
4. Attention to detail
In our winery, the goal is to produce a balanced wine that reflects both the vineyard and vintage. Our winemaker, Lisa Hinton, achieves this by timeliness and attention to detail. Hand-sorting single berries as they run across the sorting table, using gravity rather than pumps to transfer must and fermenting with indigenous yeast are practices we embrace. Our approach is not the easy way, but we believe a bottle of wine reflects its maker’s passion.
We invite you to experience Maryland wine at its best!