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Celebrating Women in Maryland’s Wine Industry

Unrelenting Commitment to Quality, Robin Sagoskin

Unrelenting Commitment to Quality, Robin Sagoskin

Celebrating Women in Maryland’s Wine Industry

 

It is evident women impact the Maryland wine industry.  Women influence the industry in so many aspects.  Winemaker, vineyard manager, tasting room manager, and owner/operator are a few are the roles women play.  If you think about it, it should not be surprise women play an active role in wine. Viticulture is the science of growing grapes which is essentially is farming. Traditionally in agrarian cultures, women are an integral part of managing and operating farms.  Robin Sagoskin, Hidden Hills Farm and Vineyard proprietor, speaks to this fact during our Celebrating Women in Maryland’s wine industry chat.

 

We discussed the prominent role women have in the wine industry like the equestrian industry. Robin’s equine roots run deep.  Robin and her husband, Art, established Hidden Hills as a horse farm several years ago.  It is a premier boarding facility that welcomes all equestrian disciplines in Frederick, MD.  It is home to 14 horses. The vineyard overlooks the pastures and horse facilities. It is quite beautiful and a delightful escape.

Robin Sagoski

 

It was a natural transition from horses to grapes. The worlds can be very similar according to Robin. She applied the similarities to develop and to grow the vineyard. Robin also has a talent for business and finances.  She began her career in the financial sector.  We discussed how wine can be intimidating, but Robin takes the challenge head-on.  If she can handle a 1,000-pound horse, then the wine industry is a piece of cake. She is unafraid to say she doesn’t know and ask questions.  She is naturally curious and eager to learn.  Robin surrounds herself with the most knowledgeable people and a team that is equally passionate about customer service and wine.  She and her team are committed to providing their customers a quality experience. This may explain why Hidden Hills has achieved success in a short period.  Hidden Hills is one of Maryland’s newer vineyards in the acclaimed Linganore AVA. She attributes Hidden Hills success to her talented team.

 

Our chat with Robin took place in Hidden Hills tasting room.  You feel at home when you enter the tasting room. Maybe it’s because Robin and Art converted a portion of their home into the winery tasting room.  Or perhaps it’s because the staff is extremely welcoming and you are treated as a part of the family. So much so, Vino 301 guests never want to leave.  There are subtle hints of the horse farm in the tasting room.  As you watch the video, you may notice the saddle in the background.

 

Coming this summer, Hidden Hills is moving the tasting room to another building on the farm.  Robin promises the newer and larger tasting room will be equally as inviting.  She never wants to lose that feeling and quality of service. Can’t wait to visit the new location!  Knowing Robin it will be just as spectacular, if not more than, as the current tasting room.  Please enjoy our discussion.

 

 

We love to hear from you. Who do you know who is making an impact in Maryland’s wine industry?

Enjoyed this blog?  Great, receive more Vino 301 blogs twice a month. Subscribe to Vino 301’s email list and receive your very own copy of our blog. Subscribe here

Bringing Old World Charm to Maryland, Maureen Heimbuch, Celebrating Women in Maryland’s Wine Industry

Bringing Old World Charm to Maryland, Maureen Heimbuch

Celebrating Women in Maryland’s Wine Industry

Have you ever played the game, “How many Maryland wineries you can name?” It is fun to compare notes with your friends. Boordy Vineyards and Linganore Winecellars are usually the wineries names. Thanksgiving Farms is rarely mentioned. But a winery you should know, especially if you love Bordeaux-style wines.

Thanksgiving Farm (Harwood, MD) is a hidden gem outside of Annapolis, MD.  If you drive by the entrance quickly, you will miss it. It is tucked behind another farm. A striking image is unveiled once you drive beyond the neighboring farm. Lush vines and a historic home emerge. Located in Southern Anne Arundel County, the vineyard and tasting room have old world charm. Maureen and Doug Heimbuch are the proud proprietors, grape growers, and winemakers.

 

 

Operating and managing a vineyard is a second career for Maureen, like many women in Maryland’s wine industry. Her career began as an attorney in New Jersey. Her analytical and interpersonal skills developed in the legal professional easily transferred to her burgeoning winemaking career.
While Maureen leaves most of the winemaking tasks to Doug, she is a significant contributor to their end product. From the very beginning, they decided they were making traditional Bordeaux-style wines. Maureen discusses how she was influenced by old world French wines. Thanksgiving Farm grows noble grapes such as Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. They are known for their Meritage vintages. Meritage is a term used to identify American handcrafted wines blended from the traditional “noble” Bordeaux varietals. She expresses her desire to bring that history and quality winemaking to Maryland.

 

We also discuss Thanksgiving Farm notable Franc Blanc and what was the impetus. Franc Blanc is a white Cabernet Franc wine. Cabernet Franc is traditionally a red wine. They decided to try making it as a white wine because they were not making white whites. Franc Blanc was a surprising success.

 

Our chat with Maureen took place in Thanksgiving Farm’s tasting room. Thanksgiving Farm tasting room is one of the most stately tasting room I have ever visited. The mahogany panel walls remind me of a formal parlor or sitting room. Although the tasting room is well appointed, it is not stodgy. It is an inviting and intimate setting. It is like the television show Cheers, “everyone knows your name.” When you visit once, you will never be forgotten. You will always be greeted by name. Thanksgiving Farm’s tasting room is an extension of Maureen’s and Doug’s home. They want you to feel as welcome in the tasting room as you would in their home. Please enjoy our discussion.

 

 

Stay tuned for more videos in March.  We love to hear from you. Who do you know who is making an impact in Maryland’s wine industry?

 

Enjoyed this blog?  Great, receive more Vino 301 blogs twice a month. Subscribe to Vino 301’s email list and receive your very own copy of our blog. Subscribe here

Powerhouse Winemaker, Lauren Zimmerman

Powerhouse Winemaker, Lauren Zimmerman

Celebrating Women in Maryland’s Wine Industry

Celebrating Women in Maryland’s Wine Industry

Last month I attended a ceremony honoring the 2018 Governor’s Cup Competition winners. The Governor’s Cup Competition is Maryland’s wine competition recognizing the state’s best wines.  Port of Leonardtown Winery was among the wineries of distinction honored at this reception.  Port of Leonardtown Winery (Leonardtown, MD) won top honors – Best in Show for its Barbera Reserve 2015.  Port of Leonardtown Winery didn’t stop there.  Their wines took home –not one, not two, not three, but SEVEN gold medals in 2018.  A first in Maryland winery history for a winery to win seven gold medals for seven of the eight wines entered in the competition.

 

Who?  Who is the person behind this history making event and leaving lasting impressions on Maryland’s wine industry? It is powerhouse winemaker, Lauren Zimmerman.  She is making finely crafted wines.  She answered the question asked for centuries: “Is wine making a science or an art?”  Her wines clearly demonstrate it is an art.  Winemaking starts with the science of fermenting grapes, but Port of Leonardtown wines end with priceless art.   In every glass is complexity, dimension, and passion that tells a story which only an artist could convey.  Please do not mis-interrupt my statement to imply technical skill is missing, which is frequently hinted when people describe female winemakers. It is a given these wines are technically solid.

 

Lauren has been mastering her craft for 14 years.  Her youthful appearance makes it hard to believe she has been in the industry for a stretch of time.  She literally started as a child and developed a love for all aspects of wine.

 

Our chat with Lauren took place at the newly renovated Port of Leonardtown Winery tasting room.  It is a great place to visit. Bring your friends, family, even your pet with you when you go wine tasting.  There is a park directly across from the tasting room.   The Winery is opened daily.  We recorded the video in barrel room. Hence, why we are wearing the coats in the video.  It was a special treat to be in the barrel room.  Visitors do not often have a chance to enter the processing area.

 

Our chat with Lauren was a perfect way to begin the weekend.  Please enjoy my chat with Lauren.

 

 

Stay tuned for more videos in March.  We love to hear from you about who you think should be celebrated this month.

Enjoyed this blog?  Great, receive more Vino 301 blogs twice a month. Subscribe to Vino 301’s email list and receive your very own copy of our blog. Subscribe here

Celebrating Women in Maryland’s Wine Industry

Celebrating Women in Maryland’s Wine Industry

Celebrating Women in Maryland’s Wine Industry

March is Maryland wine month and women’s history month.  What an outstanding duo! Vino 301 recognizes some of the women who make Maryland wines phenomenal.  We chat with several women who work in the wine industry. We visit tasting rooms, barrel rooms, and even board rooms to discuss their roles in the industry.  It’s exciting times in Maryland.  Maryland wine industry is experiencing record growth. We seek these phenomenal women insights how they foresee the future of the industry.

Celebrating women in Maryland’s wine industry is video series.  The series begins with Lynn Basignani, co-owner of Basignani Winery (Sparks, MD).  Basignani Winery is among the original 13 vineyards which established Maryland’s wine industry.  Basignani started as a passion project and grew into a labor of love. Lynn and Bert, winemaker and co-owner, have operated Basignani Winery for since 2016.  Bert is the master vintner, but Lynn is the heart and soul behind the tasting room and events.  She is very modest about managing a successful business.

Our chat with Lynn takes place in Basignani’s quaint and inviting tasting room.  The walls are aligned with vintage wine bottles from all over the world. We discuss how she got started in the business and how her role evolved over time.  Lynn shares with us her favorite wine they make and their brick oven pizza.  OMG!  You have to go to Basignani for their brick oven pizza.  A perfect Friday night is sitting on Basignani’s lawn, a glass of Lorenzino Reserve and their mushroom pizza.  That is good living!

We also talk about Basignani’s newest project, its wine club.  Their wine club replaced their case club.  We talk about why it was important to make this change to the wine club and building a better relationship with their loyal customers.  If you are fan of Basignani’s wines, you can visit or contact them to learn more about their wine club.

Our chat with Lynn was a great way to start a winter Saturday morning.  Please enjoy my time with Lynn.

 

 

Stay tuned for more videos in March.  We love to hear from you.

Enjoyed this blog?  Great, receive more Vino 301 blogs twice a month. Subscribe to Vino 301’s email list and receive your very own copy of our blog. Subscribe here

 

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