Marianne always figured she’d have, at the least, a hobby making beer. The Lieberman family has a long tradition of career Brewmasters, even into the big brewery transition. The early brewery was Lieberman & Sons, later Daeufer-Lieberman, on 4th Street in downtown Allentown, PA. On the Jean Doern Lieberman side, Marianne’s grandfather, J. Oliver Doern, bought a franchise of Eagle Brewing of Brooklyn, NY, and established Old Dutch Brewery in Catasauqua, PA.
Surviving prohibition with 3-2 beers, Ollie served several years as President of the North American Brewery Association when there were thousands of family breweries before consolidation.
A marketing man, Granddad Doern hired Marianne’s dad to handle advertising for the brewery before its sale in 1954 and helped along a start for Lieberman-Appalucci Advertising.
“While Carolyn and I still enjoy a good German or Irish style beer, my family and travel experiences led us to be interested in high-quality wines and soon, rather than a brewery, a dream to have a vineyard and winery became a goal.”
After leaving Manhattan for Pennsylvania to help run a family airport advertising business, Interspace, Marianne and her wife, Carolyn, started a long search for an area farm. In 1995, they found “the one,” a 1750’s farm with a little stone farmhouse to live in while renovations to make the old barn into a home could be planned and executed. They named the farm “Maple Springs Farm” in loving memory of Marianne’s grandmother, Helen Maple Doern, who left a legacy of loving a sense of place and helping them establish a home. The non-stop underground springs that bubble through old glacier fields on the farm completed the naming inspiration. It was here that Marianne planted the first vineyards in 2008 with Chardonnay vines, thus Maple Springs Vineyard was born.
After a slow start, the vineyard had three years to take hold before preparing to harvest fruit. Now it was time to start thinking about a small production winery. Marianne completed the purchase/lease of a property adjacent to Maple Springs Farm but located on Nuss Road. This provided space for the winery on the property where previously a small cabinet making factory was located.
In 2010, our current winemaker Jef Stebben was brought on board with Maple Springs Vineyard to be part of the Project Management Team. He was tasked to construct and outfit the winery to match his style and maximize the quality of the winemaking process.
Jef has been a professional in the wine industry since 1995 with experience in Napa, Sonoma, Rutherford, and Washington. The award-winning winemaker received his Bachelor of Science in Fermentation Sciences from University of California, Davis, the top wine program in the country. Jef has experience working all aspects of production with wineries ranging from 100 to 100,000 cases. Starting his career at Opus One and Carneros Creek, he then traveled north to gain experience in other climates. In 2002, Jef started a consulting business focusing on small boutique wineries, filling a much-needed niche for quality winemaking on a smaller scale.
Even in Jef's first year on the East Coast, his Paradise Springs Chardonnay won the Governor's Cup in Virginia. Jef's awards for East Coast Chardonnay and dedication to making great wine on a small scale was the perfect fit. In 2011, the first 100 cases of Chardonnay sold out in under two months. It was a true "garage" wine as the production facility wasn't fully finished yet. Under his guidance, the production aspects of the winery were completed in 2012 and the consistent quality and international reputation of the wines established.
Our first red grape varietal, Pinot Noir, was planted in May 2011 in Maddie's Vineyard. In 2012, we expanded the vineyard plantings to include Albariño, followed by Syrah, Grüner Veltliner, and small amounts of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, and Viognier to use for blending. The year 2016 brought the completion of our last addition to the winery, a covered deck with a fireplace, outdoor patio at the entrance to the winery, and a catering kitchen. We had our first crush on our new outside covered crush pad. Our high-tech wine production equipment substantially increased, too, giving Jef the tools he needs to work his magic. In 2017, our Albariño was awarded Pennsylvania's Best White Wine at the Sommelier Judgment Day 2017 and our 2019 vintage was also in the top three. We now produce under 3,000 cases of wine a year. Our intention from the beginning has been an unwavering dedication to quality throughout the wine’s journey.
Maple Springs Vineyard has made it their mission to grow world-class wines every vintage, allowing the distinct character of each vintage and the vineyard, to express itself while focusing on quality and consistency. With the combined experience, knowledge and passion of our winemaking and vineyard teams, we continue to strive to not only produce and share outstanding wines vintage after vintage but also to continue our pursuit towards more sustainable practices both as an agricultural business and as members of our community. With an eye on the future and the generations that will follow, we continue the tradition of making beautiful, handcrafted wines which resonate with a sense of place and are marked with an unmistakable identity that can only be from Maple Springs Vineyard.
Marianne's passion is not only wine but her commitment to family and social programs of enrichment. In 2020 The Maple Springs Charitable Foundation was created to give back and sponsor causes that empower, inspire, and improve the lives of others.