Great wine starts in the vineyard.
Although it's a cliché, winemaking truly begins in the vineyard. The basic four elements that give life to our vines are; earth, air, water and sun. Collectively they create what the French call, "terroir". In plain English, terroir can be described as the" character of the place". Our site is defined by our:
Earth: Alluvial soil that eroded over eons and cascaded down from the Appalachian mountains form this unique hill where our vineyard is situated. The heat retaining properties of the quartz deposits in our soil assist in frost prevention as well as the ripening of the fruit.
Air: Higher elevation and our location at the foothills of the Catoctin Mountains provides our site with a constant breeze from Owen's Gap - day and night. This breeze helps to keep the vines well ventilated, preventing mold formation on the leaves and significantly reducing need for fungicide spraying.
Water: Vines need water to grow, but ideally, you want to vine to work hard for its water. Since vines don't like "wet feet", it is best for the root systems to go deep into the earth, where they can obtain water and other nutrients needed to sustain healthy growth and quality fruit.
Sun: The morning sun hits our vines right after the sunrise. Unobstructed by trees - the sun quickly dries the morning dew and starts doing its magic.
In addition to Mother Nature's gifts, another important element is of course our people. Our Vineyard Manager, Larry Sipe, has developed a special relationship with the land by diligently caring for every single one of our 7000 vines with this dedicated team. The pride that they take in their work can be witnessed as you pass by the well manicured vines, or it can be experienced in the glass.
In the cellar, our philosophy is one of minimal intervention. Mike Lentini, our winemaker, guides the fruit with a gentle hand, with a style that is simply a logical completion of nature's work.