4-26-22 Tonight on Gotmead Live, we’re talking with Rachel Lipman, owner of Loew Vineyards, in Mt. Airy, Maryland, one of the oldest vineyards in Maryland. The mead production in the Loew family dates back to the mid-1800’s in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, with a few prominent meaderies and distribution all over Europe. Rachel is one of the youngest winemakers in Maryland (if not the youngest), and she’s pushing the boundaries in a male-dominated industry.

Rachel is the granddaughter of Wolfgang Loew, and he adopted the name William when he came to the US after World War II, having been the only member of the family to survive the Holocaust, and he did so by being in the Underground. William ended up in Maryland after some time in Indianapolis, and when he arrived, he felt compelled to start making wine at home, remembering his childhood and the smell of the barrels in his family’s meadery. He practices and tweaked, and became very well versed in creating a palatable bottle of wine. He kept this up, and when he retired from his ‘day job’, Bill found a great 37 acre piece of land in Frederick County and planted grapevines. At the time there were only a handful of grape growers and wineries in Maryland.

Now the torch has passed to the next generations, and Rachel, the eldest granddaughter, has taken over. Rachel grew up learning about the family history and the winery, and immersed herself in the industry, getting a Bachelor’s of Science in Plant Science and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication. She also studied in France, interned at an organic vineyard in the Loire Valley. She also completed the Washington State University Enology Program. Rachel now manages most aspects of the operations for the vineyard, winery and tasting room. Including winemaking.

Rachel makes her families’ mead. They have a dry, semi-dry and semi-sweet mead, and make a cyser and a pyment (which has multiple vintages). She spent quite a bit of time uncovering her families mead-making past. While things were shut down during Covid, she dug through Polish documents, magazines and newspapers to learn more about the family business. She learned that her families’ meadery was in a district that had warehouses, vodka distilleries, several other meaderies, and a beer garden. Her families’ meadery took up an entire city block!

At the time in the 1800’s when the Loew family were meadmaking, they distributed internationally. And of the ten kids that they had, two of them started meaderies of their own. The rest got into winemaking. One son established the first national meadery and beeswax facility in Poland. He and his wife had three sons, one of which was Wolfgang, Rachel’s grandfather.

Rachel is now carrying one the family winemaking, and has updated the winery with all new equipment, and is looking to a future of providing her family’s wine and mead to the customers of the future.

Join us as we talk with Rachel and explore the rich mead (and wine) history she is part of.

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Honnibrook Craft Meadery. Rated the very best winery in Colorado! Visit our state-of-the-art meadery and tasting room south of downtown Castle Rock, Colorado, in a converted man cave. Mention the Got Mead Podcast this month for a free draft taster!  Google H-O-N-N-I Brook for hours and directions. They love visitors!  www.honnibrook.com

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Vicky Rowe
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