Neighbors can be near or far. That was the premise behind three brands that came together to celebrate the joy of making new acquaintances and connecting over a shared love of community building.
In 2020, at the height of pandemic-induced quarantine and isolation, our team was craving connection. As an agency, we’re used to collaboration, meetings, site visits, and gatherings on a weekly basis, so when we made a shift to all remote work, we began yearning for those little interactions that made day to day work so meaningful.
We also began drinking – much like many folks out there, opening a bottle of wine at home at the end of a long day of Zoom sessions became a small moment of joy. A moment to think through the day’s accomplishments, clink a glass, and build a little division between that work-life blur.
Always aiming to collaborate and bring more like-minded brands together, we reached out to some Baltimore connections with an idea. Let’s make a wine to reinforce the idea of connection during this weird time, and to celebrate all the new connections yet to be made. With that kernel of an idea, we brought together Good Neighbor a new retail concept in Hampden, Baltimore and Old Westminster Winery one of the area’s most popular and emerging wineries to see what we could create.
After a few brainstorming sessions, a comprehensive winery tour, and good bit of sampling, the recipe and ethos for New Neighbors Rosé Piquette were born.
What is Piquette?
To all the new connections made during these strange times, and the others to come. In 2021, this team of “new neighbors” came together to create a wine that feels as good to share as it does to drink. That vision meant blending a wine that is accessible and sharable, something your post-grad neighbor will enjoy just as much as the older couple that’s been on the block for decades.
Piquette is a low-alcohol wine made from the second pressings of grape pomace. It was known to have been enjoyed by vineyard workers to cool off from a day’s work, and is a natural extension of winemaking culture that has just recently hit the public’s attention. Ours has a touch of fizz and notes of tart strawberry that make it as bright and cheery as your favorite neighbor.
Clocking it at 9% ABV, this wine is lighter than most. The second pressing of the grape juice is kind of like the second steeping of a tea bag. The flavor and color are all present, just at a more dilute concentration, allowing other nuances to emerge. You also don’t have to overthink it. It’s a “drinking wine” not a “thinking wine” as Old Westminster’s sommelier Joey Fox so eloquently put it.
Old Westminster Winery
Old Westminster Winery is the project of three siblings who share a common family vision: to put Maryland wine on the world map. Started in 2011, the winery is a result of family discussions about how to best preserve their farm and put the previously-tilled land to work. Their meticulous vineyard care and cellar work yield wines that are strikingly complex, character-rich, and most importantly — are a joy to drink. Wild yeast fermentations, and a focus on minimal intervention are key to crafting their wines – expressive of Maryland soil, climate and geography.
Meet the Neighbors
Lisa, Drew & Ashli
Three siblings each play a crucial role in this family-run winery. Old Westminster started as a family effort, and has remained that way even as they gain local and even national attention for their low-intervention, no fuss approach to wine making. Noticed by The Washington Post for their “cultured but unpretentious” wines, it’s easy to see why they’ve gained a steady following.
Adapting to the times, they were some of the loudest and more active in pushing for the ability to deliver wine in Maryland when the pandemic started. Opening up a whole new way to reach customers, Old Westminster became an even bigger name in Baltimore and beyond. Creative packaging, smart blending, and consistent quality have made them a standout choice and reason to be proud of the local wine scene.
With an eye for “what’s next” the family is pushing everyone involved to produce great wines and build even better community around it. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of that community with this special blend and release.
Meet the Neighbors
Shawn Chopra & Good Neighbor
Equal parts worldly and local, The store represents the “culmination of a lifetime of design inspirations” for co-owner Shawn Chopra. Chopra opened Good Neighbor with his wife Anne Morgan in May 2020, built on a vision based on inspiration he couldn’t shake – as a child, he was struck by the concrete brutalist buildings and rattan weavers in his mom’s hometown of Chandigarh, India. Equipped with that global point of view, the couple moved to Baltimore over 10 years ago pursue healthcare and dentistry careers, but the idea of owning their own shop had always been a part of the “what if” list. It sat on the back burner until the time felt right.
Opened in the middle of the pandemic in 2020, Good Neighbor demonstrates what design-forward thinking, sharp branding, and true community and collaborative input can do to launch a business successfully.
Envisioned out of an old hardware store in Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood, Good Neighbor has become a community staple already. Launching with not only a highly-refined vision for coffee and small bites, the shop adds to the mix by introducing The Greenhouse at Good Neighbor and an expansive “backyard” green space full of patio chairs, tiered seating, a gazebo and plenty of lush greenery – elements that have become critical for providing a sense of togetherness while being safely distant this past year.
Anchored with shelves of highly curated goods from both Baltimore and abroad, Good Neighbor’s design-centric offering and approach was embraced almost immediately. Shawn’s vision for a shop where people could interact with high quality goods: everything from the mug they sip from, to the chair they sit on is one we felt compelled to promote and collaborate with.
You’ll find natural wines, local beers, single origin coffees, and ceramics all presented in a non-pretentious, totally welcoming storefront. It’s a selection even Bon Appétit is noticing. Now, introducing the collaboration ‘New Neighbors’ wine to their shelves, we know it will be a natural fit to their already stellar lineup of goods.