Occasionally we’re asked, “Why is your wine so expensive?”
The answer is simple: Our price point is a direct reflection of the cost to produce and the quality of the product. If it were cheaper to make, the cost would be lower. Likewise, if the quality wasn’t there, the product wouldn’t sell as briskly as it does.
While I wish we were getting rich, it just isn’t the case. But to us it’s always been less about profitability and more about creating something truly great. Knowing that we’re producing what we think is the best is a form of compensation for us.
Maryland is one of the more expensive places in the world to farm. The cost of land, the cost of living and cost of labor are steep. Additionally, we farm the hard way: by hand. From winter pruning, to summer hedging, to harvest, it’s all powered by sweat, not oil. This method of farming offers our vines a level of care few others experience. Our fingerprints are on every vine, every grape and every bottle. If a farmer can’t afford to farm well, we all lose.
The barriers to entry in the wine industry are high. Without getting into specifics, establishing and managing a vineyard, equipping a state-of-the-art winery, and building a beautiful tasting room are expensive.
Selling premium is often selling scarcity. Not to be “cool”, but because that is the nature of our small vineyards – they yield limited quantities of delicious wines.
I’m confident that we could raise our prices and not diminish demand. But our goal is not to see how much we can fetch for a bottle. It’s not an ego game for us.
At Old Westminster Winery & Vineyard, our singular goal is to produce great American wines and sell them at the most reasonable price we can justify.