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Romano Vineyard & Winery
by
Kathy Sullivan

Romano Vineyard and WinerySummary: Romano Vineyard and Winery in Brandywine, Maryland is one of Maryland’s newest wineries. In addition to producing wines, the Romanos have an onsite apiary and honey is sold in the tasting area.

For Joseph and Jo-Ann Romano, this is their second full time job. The Romanos’ daughters and son-in-law support their parents efforts in the winery and vineyard and provide much support and help.

Romano Vineyard and WineryThe vineyard is close to their home and their small porch provides a scenic view of the vineyard. The vineyard was started in 2007 and the Romanos did everything themselves. They planted Cayuga, Vidal, Traminette, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Chambourcin varieties. A weather station in the vineyard submits data to the Maryland Grape Growers Association. The association provides helpful information based on this data from the vineyard. Initially the Romanos wanted to sell grapes as a crop. Prior to their first harvest they decided to produce wine themselves. Joseph is the winemaker and Jo-Ann maintains the two-acre vineyard.

Currently additional plantings of vines are contemplated. The land is being prepared now. Jo-Ann discovered that the University of Maryland had a program attempting to discover what varieties would do well in Maryland. She received a grant from the university to help plant the vineyard. Between the vineyard and house, there is a small apiary. Honey is sold in the tasting room area of the house.

 

Romano Vineyard and WineryRomano Wines

For Joseph the packaging of wines is important. He has spent time developing the wine labels. Back labels offer suggestions of foods to pair with the wine. Joseph mentioned that he “tries to appeal to a range of palates.” The first vintage was in 2010.

Romano Vineyard and WineryChardonnay 2010 was produced from Chardonnay juice sourced from the Finger Lakes. It was fermented in stainless steel. The wine was a straw color. The aroma was fruity and the taste had apple and pear notes. The finish was crisp with citrus on the finish. Suggested pairings were white meats and seafood. Liberty 2010 was a light straw color. Liberty was produced with grapes from the onsite vineyard, Cayuga and Vidal. The wine taste offered an apple aroma and the taste was slightly sweet. The soft finish had fruit notes. This is a 3P (Patio, Porch, Pool) wine. Suggested pairings included shellfish, salad or white-sauced pasta.

Chambourcin 2010 was produced with grapes from the Romanos’ vineyard. The wine was a light ruby with an aroma of berry fruit. The taste had raspberry and a hint of strawberry while the finish was crisp and fruity.

Romano Vineyard and WineryJoseph produces wines in the garagiste attached to the Romano home. Inside the garagiste the stainless steel tanks gleam against the sparkling white walls and ceiling. While the current production is about 1,000 cases, they hope to grow production by a few thousand cases.

Availability

Romano wines are available at some of Maryland’s smaller wine festivals. In 2012 they participated in the Annual Decanter Wine Festival at Pimlico. On occasion tastings of wines are available onsite.

The neighbors of the Romanos enjoy having a vineyard and winery in their area. Not only do they purchase Romano wine, they also help with the harvest.

Watch for more wines from Romano Vineyard and Winery.

Romano Vineyard & Winery
15715 Bald Eagle School Road

Brandywine, Maryland 20613

GPS: N38º 40.561’ W076º 43.935’

 

 


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