While much of the quality of a wine is determined in the vineyard, it is the winemaker’s job to ensure that the fruit achieves its best expression. Tom Burns, who has been Boordy’s winemaker since 1986, literally lives with his work - his house is a stone’s throw from the winery. During the vintage he is monitoring his wines at all hours of the day and night, measuring temperature, sugar, and alcohol content, and watching for problems which can arise at any time during fermentation. This degree of dedication is what distinguishes the best winemakers.
Our philosophy at Boordy is to blend the traditional with the innovative as quality dictates. Traditional practices are pervasive in our vineyard and winemaking operations, with many tasks still being performed by hand. Our Landmark wines are aged in select French oak barrels; we rely upon sensory judgment to assess grape maturity and wine development; and we favor minimal intervention in the production and aging of the wines.
Concurrently, our winemaking has benefitted from advances in science and technology that have occurred over Boordy’s seven-decade history. Their impact upon virtually every facet of winemaking at Boordy has been profound, as the steady rise in the quality of our wines bears witness.
The Landmark Project
In 2006, Boordy initiated the Landmark Project. While our primary goal was to greatly improve the quality of our estate grown grapes and the wines we produce from them, the project’s benefits would extend to all of the wines we produce.
Since good wine begins in the vineyard, the first step was to replant our 45 acres of vineyards to new clones in a closely spaced format, an expensive and labor-intensive process that will not be completed until 2018.
The investment in the vineyard has been matched by equally impressive upgrades to our winemaking equipment. To provide our team with world-class tools we constructed a new winery that was first used for the 2013 vintage. A collaboration between a Maryland architect, a Pennsylvania builder, and a wine process engineer from South Africa, the building’s exterior design blends harmoniously with the historic architecture of our farm, while the winemaking equipment inside is 21st century, designed for gentle yet efficient handling of the fruit and precise temperature control of each wine fermentation tank.
The results of the Landmark Project have been gratifying: Boordy wines have achieved consistently high scores in regional and national competitions, and critical acclaim has followed suit. Most importantly, the wines have received an enthusiastic reception from our customers.
No matter where you are in the world, to grow and make good wine requires hard work, careful observation, and patience. Our family’s experience in Maryland spans many generations, through which we have gained a deep appreciation of the climate and soils of our vineyards, and how to make expressive wines from them. We have a profound faith in Maryland as a fine wine growing region, and our goal is to realize the full potential of this beautiful place that is our home.