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2020 Old Westminister Piquette/White 'Blinded by the Light'

2020 Old Westminister Piquette/White 'Blinded by the Light'

Region: Maryland < USA

Grapes: Piquette Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Vidal Blanc, acidulated with verjus

Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; bottled without fining or
filtering with minimal (if any) added So2; 10% ABV

Winemaker: Lisa Hinton

We're big fans of Maryland's Old Westminister Winery, run by three
siblings.  Drew Baker, the vineyard manager, explains the origin
story: "In 2009, family discussions began on how to preserve our
farmand put the land to work. We were abducted by the idea of planting
a vineyard. We all agreed that growing and making wine that reflects
our and through a vineyard was an exciting proposition."  So, they
researched, traveled, tasted and consulted, and made it happen by 2011,
when they planted their first vineyards.  Their first vintage was
2013, and now they produce 30,000 bottles total, with everything done
by hand, grown in Maryland and farmed organically.  Middle sis Lisa, a
chemist by training, started making the wine for her family's project
when she was just 23!

They make both traditional wine and a style called piquette, which is
a low-alcohol wine made from the second pressings of grape pomace.
Derived from the French word for “prick” or “prickle,” which describes
the drink’s slight fizz, piquette dates back to ancient Greek and
Roman times, when it was known as "lora". Given that it was a
cheap-to-produce drink made from the scraps of winemaking, it was
given to slaves and field workers.  Fast forward to today, when
piquette is often the preferred drink of vineyard workers at the lunch
table, as its low alcohol encouraged post-lunch productivity rather
than that  booze-fueled stupor.  While the style is tied closely with
France, nearly all Euro winemaking countries have their own version of
piquette, usually made and consumed by field workers and their

We're loving piquette not only for its low ABV, refreshing qualities but also because it's super eco-friendly - after all, this is literally wine made from the scraps.  Nothing wasted!    This one is unique and especially delicious, being a hybrid of piquette and wine that gets a hit of acid from verjus (the pressed juice of unripened grapes) at the end.  Glowing a gorgeous hazy neon yellow color, it smells like tart lemon and lightly aromatic apricot, but the palate is all pineapple, not so much the drippy, juicy yellow summer version, more so the January not-quite-ripe white pineapple flesh and core, with a touch of crunchy texture, almost like a skin contact wine.  So light and fun, yet very much wine leaning vs. kombucha-esque, as you'll find many straight piquettes. STAFF FAVORITE 

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