The Urban Winery in Silver Spring, MD is the closest winery to our nation’s capital and the first winery in our region in an urban environment.
The Urban Winery was created with the understanding that wine is a social occasion. Our wines are best enjoyed in the company of friends and family, a concept deeply instilled in us by owner Georgia Callis’s father, Anthony “Bole”.
Georgia began making wine at an early age, learning the trade from her father, a Greek immigrant carpenter who started making wine in the 1970’s in America. As Georgia advanced from crushing grapes with her feet as a child, to creating her own wines as a young adult, she meet Damon, a Marine, who was determined to marry her. Bole encouraged her to invite Damon over to make wine. It was not only a rite of passage for dating his daughter, but a tradition that has passed from generation to generation, a true test of loyalty and family. Eager to impress Bole and win the hand of his daughter, Damon took them up on the offer and winemaking became a treasured hobby.
Even as Damon left the Marines and became a financial planner and Georgia became a registered OR nurse, their hobby continued to grow into a passion to explore and expand their knowledge, while entering competitions and continuously improving their craft. While it was difficult to sway Bole away from his Old Vine Zinfandel, they explored and created new blends and single varietal natural wines. Many of these wines were created with little to no sulfites, using a traditional preservation method they still use today.
2013 was a particularly pivotal year, as Anthony, an otherwise healthy and strong man, started to deteriorate with signs of Alzheimer’s. Though this was Anthony’s last year making wine, he always had an enormous smile when he watched his daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren continue the tradition.
Anthony departed in April 2014. His legacy would become the catalyst and motivation for The Urban Winery. In Greece there is the vision of “παρεα“ the concept of family and friends and enjoying each other in health and happiness. The Urban Winery strives to create the same amazing feeling for others who want to create wine and share their stories.
We make not only wine…but wine that creates a story. For our family, it was about being together, sharing, collaborating, and, sometimes, arguing. That is all part of the adventure…the process…the love and satisfaction of creating something to enjoy year ’round with friends and family.