2000 Boordy in the new millenium

Deford Family 2001

As Boordy celebrated its 55th year and calendars rolled into the new millennium, Boordy's management undertook a complete review of the company with the goal of preparing for competition in an industry that was undergoing rapid change and globalization.

The first order of business was to update the winery’s image to reflect the many improvements that had been implemented over the past fifteen years; contrary to conventional wisdom favoring incremental change in an established brand, it was decided that a radical shift in the winery’s graphic identity was warranted. The search for an appropriate firm ultimately led to the brilliant Australian designer, Ian Kidd, and his team, who gamely took on the project in 2002. Ian’s designs divided Boordy’s wine offerings into three ranges: “Landmark”, “Icon”, and “Just for Fun”, each fulfilling a distinct role in the market.  The redesigned labels were affixed to bottles in the spring of 2004, and the results in the marketplace were immediate and dramatic.

While this process unfolded, concurrent investments were made in the vineyards and winery. Ron Wates, who had eight years prior experience growing grapes in Maryland, was brought on as vineyard manager, enabling winemaker Tom Burns to focus fully upon his wines (he had been tirelessly been juggling both winery and vineyard responsibilities). From the outset, Ron worked closely with Lucie Morton, an old friend of Rob’s and internationally recognized vineyard consultant with experience in the vineyards of California, France, and New Zealand.  Many initiatives were implemented, including clonal and rootstock selection to match site characteristics, close inter-vine spacing for balanced growth, and religious canopy and crop management to promote even ripening. New plantings of chardonnay and pinot grigio were added to the hill on the east side of Long Green Valley, and a program of expansion was initiated at South Mountain Vineyard, where in 2008 alone over 14,000 new vines were planted.

On the winery side of the ledger, this busy decade included the construction of a new building for wine bottling and storage and the upgrading of nearly every critical piece of winery equipment - from processing and fermentation through aging and filtration. These tools enabled winemaker Tom Burns to effect quality improvements in all three ranges of Boordy wines while keeping up with increased production, which had quadrupled between 2000 and 2010.

Boordy’s rapid growth was fueled not only by improved wines and dynamic new labels, but was abetted by a hyper-active “social calendar”. Under the guidance of Susan Rayner and events director, Dottie Bistransin, the winery participated in an increasing number of festivals throughout Maryland, expanded its offering of events at the winery to a four-season calendar, and conducted innumerable wine tastings in retail stores and winemaker dinners at restaurants. A summer concert series, seasonal events featuring food pairings and live music, open air festivals, and a farmers market filled out the year, and drew a steadily growing audience.

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