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.
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?
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Boutique Wineries in Maryland: Newest Generation in Maryland Wine
Maryland’s wine industry has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years. Over 70 vineyards and wineries claim Maryland as their home. The latest generation is not looking to compete with the established vineyards size or production volume. This generation of vineyards is interested in producing small quantities and high quality wines. Many of the newest wineries in Maryland are boutique wineries.
Boutique wineries’ philosophy is to grow exceptional grapes and to make remarkable wine in small volumes. The winemakers produce 5,000 or less bottles of wine annually. Many produce estate wines. They do not use outsource grapes. This is to ensure the quality of the product, according to Gary Cohen, co-owner of Mazzaroth Vineyard. Mazzaroth Vineyard is a small vineyard, less than two acres, located in Middletown, Maryland. Mazzaroth sits on a slope and at the top of the hill is their home. From the top of the hill, you experience an amazing view of Frederick County countryside and the South Mountain. In their vineyard, you will find Vidal Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Tannat. Surprised to see Tannat among the varietals. Tannat is typically found in very warm climates with low humidity; however it appears to be doing well in Maryland.
Gary is passionate about maintaining its boutique size vineyard. He is not interested playing host to crowds of people. He prefers the intimate setting and hosting members of their wine club. Catering to smaller groups is another characteristic of boutique wineries. You will not find grand tasting rooms. In fact, the winery may not have a tasting room. Mazzaroth host guests on their patio overlooking their vineyard. You will have a very personal tasting experience at Mazzaroth. You learn about his growing philosophy and a tour of the vineyard. It is inviting and relaxing visit. If you are a wine geek, like myself, you will find it an memorable experience and appreciate the hands on care. Make an appointment to visit Mazzaroth. Other boutique wineries will require an appointment; they do not have a walk-in policy. Some wineries are not open to the public. You can only enjoy their wines at farmers markets or small wine festivals.
Because boutique wineries production is limited, you will not find them in many wine stores. You can purchase their wine at their vineyards, online and/or join their wine clubs.
I was not able to sample Mazzaroth’s wine, because I was the designated driver. However, the others who were with me thoroughly enjoyed the wines. Mazzaroth is a new vineyard, but their wines are showing maturity. There is something to be said about small quantities, high quality.