Editor’s Note: This column is sponsored by Georgetown Square Wine and Beer (10400 Old Georgetown Road).
This column was written by Georgetown Square Wine and Beer customers Nick and Kristin Cook.
Many people may not know it, but there are more than 60 wineries in the state of Maryland that produce more than 400 different wines to choose from. From the Eastern Shore to western parts of the state, Maryland’s wine industry is growing.
Whether you travel to the vineyards or purchase a bottle from Georgetown Square’s new local wine section, you can take pride in knowing that you are supporting local, sustainable farms and small businesses. What’s more, you will enjoy delicious wine! Cheers!
Black Ankle is one of Maryland’s newest vineyards, but it has quickly risen to prominence. Often referred to as Maryland’s premier winery, Black Ankle is situated in the rolling hills of Frederick County in Mt. Airy, about an hour west of Baltimore. Black Ankle’s first grapes were planted in 2003 and harvested in 2005. The tasting room is constructed of eco-friendly, natural materials found locally or from the farm. When the weather is nice, we highly encourage a visit to their “Fireside Fridays” event, where you can enjoy their wine while listening to live music beside a fire pit.
Of the three vineyards profiled for this piece, Black Ankle produces the fewest number of varietals at the highest price point, on average. But don’t let that deter you from trying their wine; they have earned their reputation as Maryland’s “top-shelf” vineyard. From the light, easy-drinking Passeggiata to the fuller-bodied (and appropriately named) Rolling Hills, Black Ankle’s wines do not disappoint. The 2010 vintage of their piece de resistance — Crumbling Rock — earned “Best in Show” honors at the 2013 MD Governor’s Cup Competition. Their hallmark white blend — Bedlam — earned “Best in Class.”
Boordy Vineyards is located just 30 minutes north of Baltimore on a picturesque farm in Hydes.
The oldest vineyard in the state, Boordy has been producing wine for more than 68 years. With over 45 acres of vines and production of more than 100,000 gallons of wine annually, Boordy plays host to more than 60,000 visitors each year with on-premise concerts, farmer’s markets and other events throughout the year. They recently completed an expansion project that added a new 6,800-square-foot winery to their farm, enabling them to produce even more wine while providing dedicated barrel-aging cellar space for their premium wines.
Boordy produces three “series” of wines: the Landmark Series, the Icons of Maryland and the Just for Fun Series. Each series, as you might expect, has a unique offering of a broad selection of wines. From the “Just for Fun” Tango Peach to the smoky, medium-bodied Petit Cabernet (our personal favorite), this vineyard has something for everyone. The Cabernet Franc Reserve 2010, part of their Landmark Series, earned “Best in Class” in the 2013 Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition.
A 10-minute drive from Black Ankle, Linganore Winecellars is situated on 230 acres of farm land in Mt. Airy. The winery opened in 1976 and has been a fixture on the state’s wine scene since.
Like many other small farms in the state, Linganore is dedicated to sustainable farming. In 2011, all of the power supplied to the winery was converted to wind power. This achievement led to Linganore being named the 2011 Green Business of the Year by the Baltimore Business Journal.
Like Boordy, Linganore produces a huge selection of wines ranging from dry whites to sweet fruit wines. When you visit the winery, you’ll be able to taste 16 different wines and they offer a Wine and Food Pairing tasting option. Our personal favorite (and not just because of the name), Red Skins, took home the 2013 Wine Master’s Choice Gold Medal. Six other wines earned Linganore medal honors at the 2013 MD Governor’s Cup Competition.
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