Saturday, September 15, 2012

Maryland Wine Festival Is This Weekend

Two of Carroll's wineries the newest at Maryland Wine Festival this weekend
Posted: Friday, September 14, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 11:33 pm, Thu Sep 13, 2012
Carroll County Times
By Carrie Ann Knauer Times Staff Writer

Dan Taminga, of the Detour Winery, secures a load of supplies and crepe myrtles to bring to the winery’s tent at the Maryland Wine Festival Thursday afternoon. Detour Winery will be an exhibitor for the first time at this year’s wine festival, which takes place at the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster Saturday and Sunday.

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The Maryland Wine Festival will be adding two new wineries to this weekend’s event, and both of them are from Carroll County.

Detour Winery, located on the western edge of Carroll, planted their vines in 2008 and started wine production in 2010, said Beth Tamminga, of the winery. The family has 35 acres planted in grapevines and an additional seven acres in berry bushes for their wine production, she said, so they were able to hit the ground running when it came to making wine.

Detour Winery will be bringing 22 of their varieties to The Maryland Wine Festival this weekend, Tamminga said, and have another 10 or so varieties still being processed. They’ve been pouring their wines at festivals this summer held both at their vineyard and at community events, such as the Sykesville wine festival earlier this summer, and have received some great reactions to their early vintages, she said.

“Right now our most popular wine is the Mornin’ Deux, it’s a semi-sweet white,” Tamminga said. “We have a bunch of dessert wines that are pretty popular.”

Some of those other favorites include their Pineapple Dessert Wine and Passion, which is made with red grapes and red raspberries. Overall, the winery has won more than 30 medals at the five different contests it has entered this year, including six awards from the Maryland Governor’s Cup Competition held in conjunction with The Maryland Wine Festival.

“This is our first major event that we’re getting out in front of the public with,” she said. “We’re excited for it, you get your name out there and meet a lot of people who like the wine and you can get people introduced to our wine.”

The second new winery at this year’s festival is the Old Westminster Winery. Drew Baker said his family established the winery in 2010 and produced their first vintage in 2011.

“This will be our public debut,” Baker said.

One of their wines, the Remnant Rosé, is bottled and ready to be poured at the festival, but their full reds are still in the maturation process. However, Baker said the winery is planning to bring a few barrels of their Cabernet franc to give some samples straight from the barrel.

“It has not been filtered or bottled yet, it’s still in the aging process until next spring,” Baker said of the Cabernet franc. “We wanted to bring some representation of where we’re going so people can gauge the types of wine that we’re making.”

This will probably be a rare opportunity for many of the festivalgoers, he said, and can be an opportunity for individuals to learn more about the wine-making process.

Old Westminster Winery has 6 acres of grapevines, Baker said. The winery, located just 3 miles from the Carroll County Farm Museum where the festival is held, is not open to the public yet, though the family is planning to open for visitors in late spring 2013. Baker said they still wanted to attend this year’s Maryland Wine Festival to get some exposure in advance.

“We’re trying to make premium dry wines,” Baker said. “We’re really trying to niche ourselves as a boutique winery that angles ourself toward people who have an appreciation for finer local wine.”

Kevin Atticks, executive director of the Maryland Wineries Association, said The Maryland Wine Festival has traditionally been the debut event for many of the state’s wineries.

“It’s kind of the birthplace of Maryland wine,” Atticks said of the festival, now in its 29th year.

“When you think of the original industry, it was focused in Carroll and Baltimore and Frederick [counties], and this was the first festival. When new wineries are coming up, they’re cognizant of that, and they’re excited to join in.”

The layout for the festival this year will include three large pavilion tents, housing about 15 of the wineries, and then smaller tents with individual wineries. Old Westminster Winery will be in the Pavilion 2 tent and Detour Winery will be in its own tent.

“It’s exciting to see them launch and we’re thrilled with their wine,” Atticks said of Carroll’s newest wineries.