Notes From The Cellar

Grape Harvest & Award Winning Wines!

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Hello everyone!

Pinky here, writing about all the happenings at our place!

We have been very busy here with all of the grapes being harvested.  Eric tells us that so far we have harvested well over 180 tons of grapes.  To give you an idea of how much that actually is, an average bag of grapes in the grocery store is about two or three pounds.  Multiply that by 180,000 (a ton is 2,000 pounds) and I think you would agree that it is a lot of grapes.  You get really sick of eating them while you are picking them (there goes the profit) after the first hundred or so pounds, but the next day, you are back to eating them all over again…Anthony and his winemaking team think that is a lot, as he has to process all of the grapes Eric and his crew pick!  If you come up to the winery and go on a tour, you will be delighted (maybe not…) to savor the wonderful scent of fermenting grapes!  Just for your information, grapes will keep coming in until the end of October/Beginning of November.

Eric and Anthony both add that the grapes are coming in nicely this year.  The extremely dry months of July and August have resulted in exceptionally high quality fruit.  Because one of the results of the drought is high quality wine grapes, we continue to pray for no rain.  However, we realize that some farmers might not be happy with this….so we pray for rain for them.  Anybody know where to buy a 230 acre umbrella?  Some of our grapes are picked by hand, and some are picked with a machine.  It just depends on the grapes.  Some are too tender to be put through a machine, and need the more delicate process of hand picking and placing the grape bunch into a lug (that’s what it’s called!).  Our picture below shows one of our vineyard hands picking the grapes in our vineyards.

Now onto the 27th Annual Maryland Governor’s Cup Competition!!!

The judging took place on Sunday, August 23 in Timonium with over 20 wine experts from the region who tasted over 150 different wines.

We are incredibly thrilled that all ten wines we entered medaled.  Our 2014 Pinky’s Rose was named as the best Rose’ in Maryland!   An affectionate name for the founder’s youngest daughter, Pinky’s Rose’ is a light and fruit forward wine – a wonderfully pleasant soft rose’.

We also are very pleased with the other results:


Blackberry Kiss 2014

Chardonnay Reserve 2014

Pinky’s Rose 2014

Retriever Red 2014

Vignoles 2014


Bacioni 2013

Terrapin 2014

Traminette 2014


Chambourcin Reserve 2013

Indulgence 2012

Congrats to Anthony and Eric and their staff!  Good job!  Keep up the good work!

We hope to see you at the Maryland Wine Festival, coming up September 19th & 20th at the Carroll County Farm Museum!

Hope everyone has a enjoyable and safe weekend!


PinkyHarvest 2015

Bring on the 2015 Vintage

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The grape harvest begins


August 25, 2015

Harvest has begun at Linganore Winecellars in Mount Airy, Maryland.

Each year, vineyard manager, Eric Aellen and his team tend to the ever growing crop of Linganore grapes. After planting 2 new vineyards earlier this year, the vineyards at Linganore continue to grow.

He’s picking Cayuga grapes this week and has harvested 70 tons that will go into White Raven and Skipjack. The next grape to be harvested is Vignoles, some of which will be used to create the first methode traditionelle sparkling wine for Linganore.

The 2015 growing season began began quite wet- recalling the record 13 inches of rain in June and this meant fighting off mold. But this rain also got the growing season started and the heat of July and August make 2015 a good vintage. The reds are looking great and for the first time, the Petit Verdot will be harvested in October.

This harvest season will also be the second year hops are picked, which are grown for Linganore’s sister company, Red Shedman Farm Brewery.  All of this keeps the farm busy through the fall and winter months carefully tending the fermentation process until these grapes become wine. Recently, Linganore released 3 new wines, Retriever Red, Mountain Berry and Blackberry Kiss. Blackberry Kiss is a limited production port style wine made from 100% blackberries from Catoctin Orchards.

Harvest 2015

Peach Wine- August’s Wine of the Month

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Hello and Happy August!

We hope everyone is enjoying their summer months!  Things are bustling at the winery and brewery, as we are in full summer mode.  The new grape plants (our babies), some of which have been planted on the right hand side as you drive up the lane, are looking beautiful.

Peaches are plentiful this time of the year  – and the scent and taste of a ripe peach are one of our summer foods that I think most of us look forward to, along with other summer time favorites .  We thought that all of you might enjoy a few recipes with peaches and wine for you to try at home.   Don’t forget our blog from Father’s Day, which includes the recipe for one of my dad’s favorite desserts – my mom’s Peach Torte!

Peach Salsa

6 ripe peaches, peeled and diced into small pieces

1/2 cup tomatoes, diced small

1/2 Jalapeno, seeds removed, diced into very small pieces

1/3 cup chopped Cilantro, very loosely packed

2 tsp finely chopped Onion

2 tsp. Sugar

1 Tbsp. Olive oil

1 tsp. Red wine vinegar

Juice of 1/2 Lime

1/4 cup Peach Wine

Salt and pepper to taste


Mix first six ingredients together.  Drizzle olive oil over top, mix and add remaining ingredients.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve alone as a side salad, or with chips as a salsa.  Enjoy!



Peaches Tortellini 

1 package cheese Tortellini (I used “Rana” Tortelloni cheese “delicato” from Weis Markets)

1 bottle plus 2 cups peach wine

1/2 cup pesto

7 ripe peaches, diced, skin on

Salt and pepper to taste


Pour one bottle of peach wine into pot for cooking pasta, then add water to this pot, enough to cook the pasta.  In a separate small pot, cook 2 cups of peach wine over high heat until it is reduced so that only about ½ cup of wine remains.  Cook pasta according to directions.  In a medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients.    Add hot pasta and reduced peach wine.  Stir, season as desired and enjoy!


Peach Frappe

2 ripe Peaches, cut into slices, skins removed, frozen

1 cup French vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup Peach wine


Place ingredients in a blender and mix, or, use an immersion blender.  Enjoy for a lovely summer adult beverage!



August 15 & 16 Anna’s Gift

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Happy Summer everyone!



With August right around the corner, and summer in full swing, we would like to invite you to come join us on August 15th and 16th, as we introduce our partnership with a new non-profit foundation named “Anna’s Gift”. The foundation helps kids with life threatening illnesses and their families.  On August 15th and 16th, 2015, the winery will donate to the foundation all of the proceeds from sampling wines on these days, so come on up, enjoy some wine tasting and the beautiful scenery here at the farm.  For those who would like to stay longer than an hour or two touring the winery and sampling the wines, food will be available from a local vendor.  We also have live music in the brewery on Saturday from 4-7 pm and on the patio outside of the winery on Sunday from 2-5 pm.


The foundation is near and dear to the Aellen family, who are the owners of the winery and now, brewery.  In 2008, Anna Leigh Tomalis, granddaughter of Jack and Lucille Aellen, and neice to Eric and Anthony Aellen (winemaker and vineyard manager) passed away from a rare form of childhood cancer.  Anna’s mom (aka Pinky of “Pinky’s Rose”) started the foundation in 2012 in order to help kids in and out of the hospital and their families, after having seen first hand during Anna’s three year battle with cancer what could be done to enhance the quality of life of children/families who are going through such trauma in their own lives.  It is a blessing to be able to give back and to help ease the pain of others who are going through difficulties.


In future weeks and months, the winery will be hosting “put-togethers” for the foundation.  Since the foundation is all volunteer, we rely on volunteers to help put together our kits for our kids in the hospital.  It is our hope that you will join us for an hour or two, or the whole day in helping us put together our special projects for kids in the hospital.


Linganore Winecellars is proud to support the foundation and we hope you will too.  Anna’s mom, family and friends will be on hand also to answer questions about the foundation.   For more information, the foundation can be found on facebook at, or on the web at or at, or on instagram at @annagift, #annasgift, #spreadthejoy

Vine Rewind Festival

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Hello and Happy June to everyone!

Thank you to everyone who enjoyed the Caribbean festival!    Now we are gearing up for our Vine Rewind Festival – with music from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s – we hope you can make it!  Our festival lands on Father’s Day this year, and we are offering half price admission to all fathers on Sunday.

New to the festival this year is our Red Shedman brewery – it will also be open for tours and tastings.   Your dad may enjoy our many new brew releases – Summer Belgian, a light summer ale, and Suicide Blonde an IPA combining Belgian Wit and part dry hopped IPA  (hopefully you beer people will get that…I just know they taste good!)  Our brewmaster, Vic, my brother, will also have a Coconut Porter available, but there is not much of it (and it’s really awesome)!  A total of 11 beers will be on tap and one hard cider, in addition to the 19 yummy Linganore wines that are available for sampling.

In honor of Father’s Day, we honor our own Father – Jack Aellen.   The picture below is from 1977.  Dad was very fond of wearing a beret, and had several of them.   Ahh – the endearing qualities of a dad!  Looking through our archives, we’ve found an article from 1978, maybe from the Frederick News Post, by Nick Wood.  Below is a condensed version of the article:

Those who are happiest, John Aellen told the Frederick Kiwanis Club…are those who “feel as though they are at peace with themselves and with the world”.  Achieving that peace, he said, comes from doing what is pleasurable, doing things that give personal satisfaction…He suggested that the Kiwanians…look within themselves and determine satisfying life modes and goals….He suggested that the charting of a persons’ accomplishments in life is usually an indication of how helpful his friends have been.  Following an industrial accident which cost him his sight, Aellen described acts of helpfulness [of others] while he was going to college to learn management techniques, and of a helpful friend who hired him to an executive post on graduation.  Without this aid, “I don’t know where I would have had employment”. “There’s a way you can manage every situation”, he stated…speaking of his handicap. Coping with life on a farm, with a handicap, John Aellen argued, is not the key to happiness.  “The making of wine is not what is fulfilling my life…it is the outward sign of what’s happening inside”, he said.

Well, there is some wisdom from our dad!  I hope you all get a chance to honor your dad too on Father’s Day!  Thank you for reading about ours!

Our dad loved food – especially my mom’s cooking, which, of course, was (and still is) excellent.

Below is a Peach Pie recipe – one of my dad’s favorite and a bit of a twist on my mom’s original.

Peach Torte con Vino

First, marinate peaches in wine (it’s best to fully submerse them) for two to three (or more) hours

1 quart peaches, thickly sliced, peel and pit removed

1 bottle Linganore Peach Wine


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

1 1/4 cup flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 stick of butter (4 oz)

2 Tbsp Sour Cream



1/2 cup Sour Cream

3 Egg Yolks, beaten

1 cup Sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp. Salt

Peaches from above, drained


For the crust, cut butter into flour, salt and sour cream mixture until the mixture forms pea-ish size balls.  Press into pie plate bottom and sides (making the crust).  Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Add Filling mixture and bake 40 minutes, or until filling is set.  Remove from oven and chill.  Serve chilled or warmed, with vanilla ice cream and whipping crème if desired.  Enjoy!