Our Story begins simply as a couple who have loved wine for decades. We have and continue to enjoy wine with our meals, on picnics, and even just savoring it with family and friends. That was the initial motivation to learn how to craft it. We were encouraged with some early wine making success, and it pushed us to become more involved with our hobby. We quickly learned that to make a premium wine requires outstanding grapes and it was challenging finding available local fruit of the highest quality that was responsibly grown.
In 2011 we became serious about our passion. After completing a soil analysis we planted a small vineyard on our property in Middletown, Maryland; a beautiful rural area which is located in the south western part of Frederick County. The original 1/4-acre test vineyard was planted in April 2012 with types that we believed to be the best suited for our site. The vineyard has been expanded every year since and is currently 1.75 acres.
Our mission is to grow the finest wine grapes in the Catoctin American Viticultural Area or AVA. This AVA is geopgraphically defined from the north by the Mason Dixon line, from the east by Braddock Mountain, from the south by the Potomac River and from the west by South Mountain.
The fermentation and aging process in wine-making are extremely important, however at least 80% of what you taste in the glass is what originates in the vineyard. To achieve our goal of crafting premium wines, requires managing our vineyard with a relentless focus on quality and an unending respect for nature. We devote enormous time treating each vine as an individual and know that our intensive pruning practies will yield outstanding fruit which in turn will evolve into outstanding wines.
We maintain a glyphosate-free vineyard. There are many reasons that we do. One of which is that we are convinced that cultivating a beneficial cover crop under the vines moderates soil temperatures and produces more flavorful grapes. Omitting this indiscriminate herbicide requires us to hand trim the grasses around the base of the vines which is incredibly time consuming but is unquestionably worth the effort.
We also remain unconcerned about the amount of grape that our vineyard produces in that we will routinely "drop fruit" in our unending quest to develop grapes that express the area's terroir. For us, it is all about quality not quantity.
The Name of our vineyard is something that we agonized over for several years. We considered many options but nothing seemed quite right. A good friend recommended the name Mazzaroth. We were puzzled as we had never heard the expression before. Our friend explained that it originated in the Book of Job. Its literal meaning is the "star array", but could be translated as a set of constellations or perhaps the zodiac. We loved the mysterious biblical and astronomical references and, as luck would have it, the name was still available.
In a larger context, Mazzaroth means more than just a group of stars. Its reference implies that humans can't control or change the forces of nature. For a vineyard, you'll achieve harmony if you, the sun, the soil, the rain, and the vines, all work together.
Off-Site Availability - The 2016 Vidal Blanc is available at three Frederick retail locations, Viniferous Wine World, Trout Liquors, and Old Farm Liquors. The Vidal Blanc is also on the menu at The Main Cup in Middletown MD and at Volt and Reina restaurants in downtown Frederick.
We are excited to announce that our 2016 Vidal Blanc was awarded a silver medal at the MD Governor's Cup!