Rob Deford knows about the footsteps he follows as owner and president of Boordy Vineyards, which sits on an historic 240-acre farm with its signature 19th century stone barn in the Long Green Valley of northeastern Baltimore County.
It’s the winery started by Philip Wagner, a former editorial writer for the Baltimore Sun who made wine with, among others, H.L. Mencken and became so immersed in the development of his vineyard that the dean of American enologists, Maynard A. Amerine, once called him the most influential on grape growing east of the Rockies. Indeed, it was Wagner who wrote a book called American Wines and How to Make Them that was published in 1933, around the time Prohibition was repealed. It was widely distributed and used by many, wrote Regina McCarthy in Maryland Wine: A Full-Bodied History, because all the other books on on wine making and grape growing at that time were written in French.