March is Maryland Wine Month: Tasting Saperavi 2019 from Linganore

March is not only women’s history month, it is also Maryland wine month. I choose Linganore Wine Cellars and their Saperavi to celebrate. Saperavi is a red grape that is comes from Georgia, the country. Another country on edge these days.

This is a teinturier grape, meaning a deep colored grape with red flesh. It has anthocyanin pigments that gather within the pulp of the grape berry itself. It is very acidic and is moderately productive. I was intrigued that they wanted to use this very particular grape variety. It’s a family run winery in New Market, Maryland. Jack and Lucille Aellen founded it in 1971. Their first 6 acres were planted in 1972 and they were off.

The winery began on Lucille’s family’s dairy farm. Their first son Anthony joined the family business in the 1980s. During those years they were also experimenting with many grapes. The family was instrumental in the creation of Maryland’s first AVA or American Viticultural Area, Linganore Viticultural Area. Eric, the second son of the family joined in the mid 1990s to management the vineyards. Since 2011 they use 100% wind power to supply the winery.

They make a huge range of wines and renovated a tasting room. They feel that the Saperavi grows well in the soils of Maryland. I found this dark ruby red wine filled with berry fruit aromas and oak notes on the nose and the same fruit, spice and cedar on the palate. I paired that with a spiral ham.

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