Drew Baker, vineyard manager at his family’s Old Westminster Winery, sent this report earlier today:

“It’s been an interesting season in Maryland. April – June were wet and cool. Many vineyards – particularly those to the south of the Potomac – endured frost on April 6 and 10; those of us in the hills to the north were fortunately unaffected.

In our home vineyard, full bloom was 3-4 days behind last year, as was veraison. But a hot/dry August-September was just what we needed. This season has the early makings of a great one. We managed to keep everything clean early and the harvest has been high quality and plentiful. Overall, I’d sign up for this season every year.

All whites were brought in under optimal conditions and are fermenting away. I’m particularly excited about this year’s grüner and chardonnay crops. We also hand bottled about 300 cases of pet-nat albariño, grüner and Barbera rosé over the past two weeks.

It’s been a balanced year. Nice acidity, moderate sugars and flavor/aroma development has been very good across the board. I hesitate to make promises too soon, but I think we’re going to look back on 2016 favorably.

Most reds remain in the field. We’ve harvested blocks of merlot and barbera that seemed a bit fragile on the last days of September, but our best blocks of cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot are still hanging. Looks like abundant sun for the next 7-10 days — let’s hope this forecast is accurate.”

About Author

Lenn Thompson, a proud Pittsburgh, PA native, moved to Long Island more than a decade ago and quickly fell in love with the region’s dynamic and emerging wine community. A digital and content marketing and community professional by day, he founded NewYorkCorkReport.com in early 2004 to share his passion for the wines, beers and spirits of New York State. After running that site -- which became the premier source for independent New York wine commentary, reviews and news -- for 12 years, he launched TheCorkReport.us in late 2016 to add the wines of Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Vermont and beyond to his beat. Lenn currently serves as the wine columnist for The Suffolk Times weekly newspaper and is the former editor of the Long Island Wine Gazette. He contributes or has contributed to publications like Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Beverage Media, Edible Brooklyn, Edible East End and Edible Hudson Valley. Lenn served on the board of directors for Drink Local Wine, and is the creator and founder of TasteCamp, an annual regional wine immersion conference for writers and trade. An admitted riesling and cabernet franc fanatic, he’s intensely passionate about eating local and the many local wine regions of America. Lenn lives in Miller Place, NY with his wife Nena, son Jackson, daughter Anna and their dog, Casey Lemieux Thompson.

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