Linganore Winecellars in Mt. Airy, Maryland, one of the oldest wineries on the East Coast, and in their second generation of wine making is celebrating its 40th anniversary with the start of the 2016 harvest from their 75-acre estate vineyard. Committed to making excellent wines, dry and sweet, grape, fruit and artisanal wines, the celebration will kick off in late September at the winery. Events are also planned for October, November and December 2016 (details at bottom).
Started in 1971 as a hobby in hope of a dream, Jack and Lucille Aellen purchased the 230 acre farm and planted a few acres of vines on its rolling hills. Wine making was a hobby then, having German-Swiss roots on Jack’s side and Italian roots on Lucille’s. In 1974, Lucille’s father gifted the Aellen’s with his hand press and two hand-crank crushers, which the family used to open the winery in 1976. Understanding that one-size-did-not-fit-all when it comes to taste in wine, Jack strove to produce many different (30+) wines, becoming a pioneer in the industry, denoted by the Maryland Wine Association’s “Jack Aellen Cup” for Fruit wines and Meade. That tradition continues to this day, with the winery producing 38 different types of wine in 2016.
1984 saw the passing on of the wine making to Anthony Aellen, now the Executive Winemaker and Eric followed later as Vineyard Manager. With 75 acres of vineyards, the largest in Maryland, most Linganore wines are Estate Bottled (grown, produced and bottled on the Linganore property), and allows for excellence by careful tending and picking of grapes when conditions are optimal. Originally begun in Hybrid grapes, the family added Vinifera a little over 10 years ago, which has expanded their dry wine offerings. Crafting wines has become a wonderful pleasure to the family ... as Anthony says, "...each year I get [antoher] chance to make the perfect vintage." This delight in their work has paid off, as their wines have won over 500 awards, with a double gold for their Reserve Cabernet and Reserve Chardonnay in the 2016 Maryland Governor’s Cup.