Mobile winery being built in Hyattsville will focus on ‘living wines’
By MATT HUMBARD — What does a shipping container have to do with an off-the-grid, self-contained and solar-powered mobile winery?
Nathan Zeender, the head brewer at Right Proper Brewing Company in D.C., and Hyattsville resident Bret Stevenson are currently constructing a mobile winery inside a shipping container behind the four-bay garage at 5334 Baltimore Ave. The winery is called Hibernaculum, which is Latin for “tent for winter quarters.” The concept of the winery is something Zeender calls “living wines” or “low intervention wines.”
“They will have no filtration or added sulfites,” Zeender explains. “I picture them as young, vibrant and full of personality.”
The goal of Hibernaculum is to be low impact. To achieve this goal, Zeender and Stevenson have designed the storage container to run entirely on solar power. The winery will have no staff and the wine will be allowed to mature naturally in the fermentation chamber.
“I see this project as very seasonal and quiet,” Zeender said. “We’ve named this first container ‘Quietus.’ We will harvest and crush grapes in the fall and allow a long fermentation on skins and seeds with spontaneous fermentation from native yeast. In the spring, we will begin sensory evaluation and blending.”
The duo won’t just be making wine.
“We plan on making ciders as well as unfortified vermouth-style apertifs. Mead is a possibility too,” Zeender explained.
The storage container is currently under construction and will be in Hyattsville until July 4th when it will be transported to Distillery Land Ciderworks in Frederick County, Md., where the solar panels will be installed and the winery will be kept for the time being. Zeender encourages people to go by and see their progress.
“Hibernaculum is at the intersection of wine, sustainability and art,” Zeender said in a video.
Zeender and Stevensons and currently raising money to complete the project through a Kickstarter campaign, which ends July 14th.