By Drew Baker

The pursuit of “perfection” in winemaking is often elusive and fraught with many ups and downs. Wine has to be one of the most critical art forms known. There are millions of variables and winemakers everywhere know how bipolar things can be. Nurture in tandem with nature is fickle enough. Nurture in tandem with a highly critical wine culture is an adventure into the ultimate meritocracy.  

That’s why we’re so excited about what we’re hearing from the critics.  

Jon Bonné is Senior Contributing Editor for PUNCH and author of The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste. He recently set out to write about Pétillant Naturel (Pét Nat) and made it a point to give Old Westminster Winery a sparkling review in PUNCH.

This is super encouraging for us because PUNCH is serious press from authoritative writers that offer the kind of critical truthfulness we need to hear in order to realistically measure our progress.    

Says Bonné in PUNCH’S latest edition, “The gang at Old Westminster, in Maryland, is having almost too much fun with their range of pét-nats, including a beautiful sparkling albariño. (Anyone who doubts that America is, indeed, great again need look no further than a fizzy albariño made outside Baltimore.)”

He went on to describe us as “The Outlier” for our 2015 Old Westminster Home Vineyard Maryland Albariño Pétillant Naturel:

“This is where homegrown pét-nat gets interesting. ‘Home’ indicates Westminster, Maryland, between Baltimore and the Pennsylvania border, where the Baker family is trying to make a case for serious mid-Atlantic wine. Trained in chemistry, winemaker Lisa Hinton may not be an obvious pét-nat poster child, but her efforts are refined and subtly flavored, impressive for anywhere and downright groundbreaking for Maryland. Their albariño is the most pleasurable of the lot (a grüner veltliner was interesting but a bit mild in its flavors), with the grape’s quintessential peach and talc aspects on full display.” 

See the full article here.

Our vision for “Putting Maryland Wine on the World Map” was never just a grand cluster of words pulled arbitrarily from the sky. The world map is more than where Maryland wine could be. It’s where Maryland wine should be. Our terroir is more than capable. It’s up to us to make it happen.