The Urban Winery: Wine in the Heart of Silver Spring
Working winery, world-class wine bar, and expert wine education. No limousine or bus required.
Visit our wine bar to sip our wines crafted right here in Silver Spring. Also try a selection from our extensive wine list, featuring Maryland and Virginia wineries alongside wines from around the world. Enjoy locally-sourced charcuterie, cheeses, and small plates. Grab a bottle (or a case) to take home with you.
Find your wine personality. Our wine experts will offer courses for all levels: curious to connoisseur. Experience new regions and varietals.Discover your own palate, as you learn how to taste wine like the pros.
Your wine.Your story. Make wine by yourself or with a group of friends. One of our winemakers will guide you through the process of choosing your favorite styles from our selection available, making the wine, customizing your label, and bottling your creation.
Keep reading to meet the team, and find out how you can help!
Who We Are
This project was founded by winemakers Damon and Georgia Callis. He’s a Marine Corps Veteran, successful financial planner and small business benefits advisor: she’s a long-serving nurse at Georgetown Hospital. They’re also longtime award-wining winemakers – more on that in a bit!
Why an Urban Winery?
Great question. Here’s Damon with the answer:
“Georgia has always made wine with her father since she was a little girl – even crushing the grapes with her feet. Her dad, Anthony (aka“Bole”) came to the US from Greece in the mid ‘70s, bringing his family winemaking traditions along with him. I joined the winemaking team in 2002, in order to win over my hopefully-future Father-in-Law. That year, we bottled 60 gallons of Bole’s beloved Old Vine Zinfandel. In following years, new varietals were tested, production was expanded, and Fathers-in-Law were won over: Georgia and I bottled our own wine for our wedding in 2008.
Soon, our wines began winning awards at local and regional competitions, but we didn’t think about taking the next step until 2012. That year, sadly, was Anthony’s last year making wine with us, as he began to succumb to Alzheimer’s. He did get to see his daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren making wine together – and what a smile he had! Sadly, Anthony passed away in April, 2014.
With Bole’s ongoing legacy as our motovation, we started to talk about the next stage. We carefully weighed the risks, necessary hard work, and myriad sacrifices that would be required of our family. Finally, we decided to take the leap. In August, 2013, we created the project that has become Fig Tree Wines and The Urban Winery.
For our family, winemaking is about being together, sharing, collaborating, and even sometimes arguing: each is part of the adventure. We want to help our community create that same amazing feeling by making and enjoying wine with their friends and family.”
How You Can Help!
Remember that 60 gallon batch of Zinfandel back in 2002? We’re ramping up to produce over 5,000 gallons! To do that, The Urban Winery needs to expand out of Georgia and Damon’s basement. We’ve found the perfect space on Bonifant Street in Fenton Village – you know the neighborhood: Kefa, Quarry House, Ambrotos, Pennyworth-- the heart of Silver Spring. Needless to say, we need to upgrade our equipment and make our space look awesome. Here’s what we need:
$10,000: This gets us $4,500 for three brand-spanking new stainless steel wine fermenters. This goal also pays for the climate control system for the space. Wine likes to be stored at a comfortable temperature – and wine bar patrons do, too, from what we’re told.
First Stretch Goal:
$20,000: At this level, our new kitchen becomes operational! We need somewhere to prepare those delicious locally-sourced cheeses, meats and housemade appetizers. If we hit this goal, we’ll give each backer a hand-signed voucher for a glass of one of our featured beverages.
Second Stretch Goal:
$30,000: This pays for our fermenters so we can make the wine, our climate control so we can store the wine, our kitchen so we have food to pair with the wine, and completes our buildout of the wine bar -- so you can drink the wine! When we reach this level, we’ll make that voucher good for a bottle of our handcrafted wine!
Risks and challenges
Starting a business, especially a winery and tasting room, always entails risks and challenges. However between Damon and Georgia’s winemaking experience and Jarrod’s time in the Silver Spring restaurant scene, we fully expect to deliver a first-class winery and tasting room. However, not everything is in our control: permits and licenses can be held up, construction can experience delays, not to mention the fact that wine matures at its own pace, regardless of deadlines. Increasing the production of our wine while maintaining the quality may be a challenge. What we ask is that you bear with us: we will get there, and it will be amazing.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)