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January 29, 2020

Old Westminister Winery: A New Winery Practicing Old Ideas

Post by South Lyndale Liqours

Old Westminister Winery

Old Westminster Winery is West of Philly, North of Baltimore and well positioned to grow both vitis vinifera (commonly known as European wine grapes) and hybrid grapes-like Minnesota’s finest wines!

Old Westminster is guided by the land. They know they have old soil and a welcoming climate, two necessary elements for world class wines.

Operated by family

It’s a family affair! Jay & Virginia Baker started working the land in 2008 with the hope the winery would be a place the family could work together. It worked!

After college, the three kids (Drew, Lisa & Ashli) came home to work the farm. Drew is the vigneron, Lisa is the winemaker and Ashli is the face of Old Westminster.

Guided by a philosophy made up of four principles

  • Done by hand-a farm is a living breathing organism and everything from the vineyard to the cellar has a fingerprint on it. A farm is a complex system and the level of care for that system can only be expressed through sweat, not oil.
  • Grown in Maryland-diverse geology. The right vine planted in the right soil makes the right wine. Just because Cabernet Sauvignon is popular doesn’t mean you should plant it in slate if that’s all you got. Plant what makes sense. From schist to rocky soil to a ridge of limestone Old Westminster farms and helps farm Gruner Veltliner, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Albarino, Cabernet Franc and more.
  • Sustainable farming-yes, yes ‘sustainable’ can be a bit of a catch all. It can include the truest sense of farming and it can also cover some lazy non-committal farming, wherein the farmer is afraid to totally embrace and endure the tireless commitment to true sustainable farming. Old Westminster employs cover crops, systematic rotation of treatment to disease in order to boost immunity within the plant. It’s not hard, well it is hard work, but the idea is not difficult to understand. Consider the consequences of all that one does and how decisions influence the delicate balance of nature.
  • Attention to Detail-essentially avoiding anything and everything that doesn’t need to be there.

Tradition + Experiment

Where Old Westminster really excels is in its honor of tradition and its bravery to experiment. The winery produces a substantial amount of wine and within its stable some single varietal, straightforward wines. Rev is a Cab Franc-centered blend that is balanced, fresh and energetic. The 100% Cabernet Franc encompasses a similar style. Experimentation begins in the dessert category with Solera. It’s a port-styled wine that has aged in oak for 7 years (think cherry, chocolate, cinnamon…).

The below bottels are in stock at SLL.

Old Westminister Winery Traditional Wines

Then, there are cans...

Everything from Piquette to rose to carbonic Cab Franc blends. Piquette is a welcome respite from seltzers-a refermented grape must and water. The wines are lower in alcohol and ultra-fresh with some fizz.

Canned Wines from Old Westminister Winery

Petillant Natural

But the thing that Old Westminster does best is Petillant Natural. They make quite a few and each express not only terroir but varietal character. The wines are naked and proud. They are exactly what they are supposed to be.

Old Westminster excels because of a symbiotic relationship between the Bakers and nature.

These wines below by Old Westminister are in stock at SLL.

Old Westminister Winery Petillant Natural

Dessert Wine

You may also want to try their dessert wine. Solera is a scrumptious port-style dessert wine. It embodies flavorful notes of fig, prune, toffee and caramel.

Old Westminister Winery - Solera No. 1
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