Md. Winery planting new roots in Chester County, Pennsylvania

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A winery on the east coast of Maryland is moving operations to Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Casa Carmen, a boutique winery with a tasting room at 312 Cannon St. in Chestertown, will keep the same name but add a new address by summer, Enrique Pallares said. He and his brother Felipe, who are also involved in The Wine Collectiveopen for over a year and a half in a Baltimore neighborhood called Hampden.

The brothers, who grew up in Ecuador, opened Casa Carmen in 2017. Its list of dry varietals and blends is produced entirely by The Wine Collective, where Enrique is managing partner and general manager and Felipe is managing partner, chief operating officer and culinary director. Winemaker John Levenberg is the other founding partner.

Enrique said the new Pennsylvania property is in West Grove, off Highway 1 and near Jennersville Hospital. In addition to planting a 5-acre vineyard that will provide room to expand, they are renovating a barn on the property and turning it into a tasting room. They also plan to create a botanical garden to help provide the ingredients for the vermouths they currently make and offer for sale at Casa Carmen and The Wine Collective.

They will keep their tasting room in Chestertown open, Enrique said.

The winery is located at 312 Cannon St., Chestertown, Maryland.

The original idea called for a vineyard and tasting room on a farm they purchased outside of Chestertown, but zoning issues negated the full scope of those plans. While the current tasting room is very comfortable, it lacks room to grow, leaving the brothers to decide to “go bigger or go home,” Enrique said.

So they sold that farm and instead widened their search to southeast Pennsylvania and found a property they were able to purchase between Chaddsford and Oxford. “The [new] the property has a lot of character,” Enrique said, “and a nice little slope to the side, which will be great for the vineyard.

In terms of finding a great spot, a number of other wineries are located nearby, including Domain of Galer, Chaddsford, Penns Wood and Go there.

Among the wines on Casa Carmen’s list are varietals (Gruner Veltliner and Viognier), a rosé and several red blends, including one called Gitano ($34/bottle) that includes Merlot (34%) with complementary amounts of Syrah , cabernet franc and tannat. . There is also food available. You can access full menu here.

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