Old Westminster Winery unveils new tasting room

"Cutting a vine instead of a ribbon, Old Westminster Winery's owners opened their new tasting room and event venue Thursday.

The 2,200-square-foot building at the Westminster winery can accommodate up to 74 people, and there’s room for 100 with additional outdoor space. The Baker family, which owns the winery, invested more than $500,000 in the facility.

The tasting room will open its doors for winter hours on Nov. 13, and its regular hours will be from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays, noon to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Visitors can try wines by the bottle, glass or flight. Guests can bring their own food or purchase breads, cheeses, charcuterie and other local products at the venue.

Founded six years ago, Old Westminster Winery is among the new wave of vintners raising the bar for Maryland wine. The state has 77 wineries total.

"The thing that's encouraging to me about Old Westminster — it's almost like the second start for Maryland Wine," Al Spoler, co-host of WYPR's "Cellar Notes" program, said at the vine-cutting. "What's happening is that young people are coming into this business and they're making what I think is a lifetime commitment to growing wine here in Maryland and turning Maryland into wine country."

Old Westminster produced about 25,000 bottles this year, and Drew Baker, one of the winery’s cofounders, said he expects next year’s production to remain consistent with that level."

By Sarah Meehan; Published November 6, 2015