The District Winery Winemaking Process

The first ever commercial winery operating in Washington, DC, District Winery sources grapes from boutique vineyards across the country. Making a broad portfolio of wines each year has plenty of challenges, but the passion and dedication from everyone involved—from the farmers in the fields, to the winery production team, to the staff who pours wine for our guests—makes it all worthwhile.

 
Our goal: to make incredible wine from world class vineyards.

By building partnerships based on trust and mutual respect with premium grape growers across the country, District Winery winemaker Conor McCormack has established relationships that allow him to showcase the best varieties that each region has to offer.


Although uncommon, sourcing grapes from all corners of the United States and getting them delivered fresh to the winery for production gives us the unique chance to highlight the flavor profiles that different American grape growing regions are known for. The challenges of an urban setting spur creativity, resulting in the wide variety of innovative and elegant wines created by our winemaking team.

 

Where it all begins

“I was once told that I should be the conductor of an orchestra,” Conor recalls from his first harvest in 2003. Early in his career, while running the production crew on a particularly busy day at the vineyard négociant firm he was working for, the owner voiced his appreciation for the controlled chaos carefully being choreographed into a harmonious operation. This orchestration that is winemaking, a multitude of factors waiting to come together at precise moments and eventually falling effortlessly into your glass, actually spans through the past, present, and future. Each element is as important as the next, and every detail must work together perfectly. For example, during the harvest season, Conor will be watching the weather closely on both coasts, pressing finished fermentations, and making sure the equipment is running properly, all the while considering how previous vintages of wines are currently tasting (and selling), and simultaneously forming plans for wines that will be ready to drink in the coming months and years.


The beginning required plenty of innovation and experimentation, but fast forward over a dozen vintages and you have District Winery! We are a commercial urban winery set in the heart of DC, committed to pushing the boundaries of winemaking by blending traditional old-world methodology with a modern perspective. Our creativity and pursuit of excellence translates into everything that we do. From our relationships with growers to those built between our customers and our staff, we are striving to foster a community of food and wine lovers that enjoy and appreciate District Winery as much as we do.

Discover how District Winery wine is made—it all starts In the Vineyards