Red Grapes: Chambourcin and Blaufränkisch
Geography: Maryland, United State
The Baker family, established in 1985, didn’t always know they would spend their lives making wine together.
Jay & Virginia, founders of the family, always dreamed of working with their children and preserving their farm. In 2008, all three of their children – Drew, Lisa and Ashli – were away at college, and they found themselves empty nesters. It was time to either put their land to work, or move on.
Upon discovering that grapevines have an affinity for rocky soil, elevation, abundant sunshine and a steady year-round breeze – all characteristics of their land – the family explored the idea of planting a vineyard and starting a winery together.
Today, Jay & Virginia support their children in the family’s wine business. And, as you can imagine, they’re enjoying the view. Not just of the flourishing vineyard, but also of the energy and determination they see in Drew, Lisa and Ashli building this great thing together. They love their children’s synergy and their ambition to put Maryland wine on the world map.
Drew, now 28, is Old Westminster’s vigneron. At age 22 he planted the first 7,600 grape vines on the family farm. Each year he travels the world studying his craft and honing his skills. He married (eloped with) Casey, a beautiful nurse, on April 1st, 2014. Drew is an entrepreneur and a leader; he pours his energy into growing great American wines on the family’s Maryland farm.
The second in line is Lisa (27), Old Westminster’s talented winemaker. She married her husband, Zach Hinton, a passionate elementary school teacher, on New Year’s Eve, 2013. Lisa, a chemist by education, has been crafting some of the best wines in Maryland since she was 23 years old; wines that are not only a pleasure to drink, but also reflect the region’s unique geologies and climate. Her experience making wine stretches from the hills of northern Maryland to Sonoma, California. She loves exercising her passion for science through the art of crafting delicious wines.
Then to tie it all together, there’s Ashli (25), the youngest. She’s Old Westminster’s “people person”. She married Brandon Johnson, an area director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, on July 14, 2012. Ashli creates special events and a memorable environment for visitors at our farm. She’s passionate about building an exceptional, wine-centered experience at the Tasting Room by sharing the stories of our wines, connecting visitors with their local farmers and making sure everyone leaves with a smile.
Drew, Lisa, and Ashli are young, smart and eager to jettison every negative stereotype ever leveled against Maryland wine, and replace them with wines of renown, forging a new reputation for wine in the Old Line State.
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