Frederick Wine Trail
When Vino 301 started; we brainstormed about what to name our regional wine tours. We did not want to duplicate Maryland Wine Association’s wine trail names. In hindsight, it would have been easier to have names that played off the Maryland wine trails. Oh well, you live and you learn. After a lot of brainstorming and wine, we came up with the Westminster Region and Mountainview Region. Our guests who visited wineries along the Carroll trail could take the Westminster Region wine tour. Those interested in the Frederick trail would take the Mountainview Region wine tour. Having separate wine regions was a great idea, but in the beginning being a young company with a small team we could not staff both regions. We combined the regions and called the tour Westminster Mountainview Region wine. Over time, it became the Westminster Region wine tour. The Westminster Region tour is primarily composed of the Frederick Trail wineries.
Frederick Wine Trail Wineries
Black Ankle Vineyards (Mt. Airy, MD)
Catoctin Breeze Vineyard (Thurmont, MD)
Elk Run Vineyards & Winery (Mt. Airy, MD)
Hidden Hills Farm & Vineyard (Mt. Airy, MD)
Linganore Winecellars (Mt. Airy, MD)
Loew Vineyards (Mt. Airy, MD)
New Market Plains Vineyard (New Market, MD)
Springfield Manor Winery & Distillery (Thurmont, MD)
The Westminster Region wine tour is our most popular tour. It is the tour that most frequently is booked. I have some theories why …unproven, of course.
- Linganore Winecellars festivals are legendary. Their wine festivals are widely attended. Hundreds of people attend their festivals… coming from near and far. Linganore also has a very extensive wine tasting menu. You can try over 10 dry or sweet wined during your visit. Their sweet and fruit wines are extremely popular.
- Frederick is the “unofficial” foodie and drink capital of Maryland. A food and craft beverage eco-system has evolved attracting more visitors to this region.
- Black Ankle Vineyards established a new benchmark for Maryland wine. Prior to Black Ankle, Maryland was commonly known for sweet wines only, rightfully or wrongfully. After Black Ankle, the American wine industry started to view Maryland wine through new lenses. It’s Bordeaux style wines brought a sophistication and maturity to the region. Black Ankle is not solely responsible for changing the perception, but led the charge.
New to the Trail
Hidden Hills Farm & Vineyard and New Market Plains are the newest wineries to join the trail. They are boutique vineyards. They produce small batches of wine and have no intention of becoming a large production facility. Both are equally charming and have unique characteristics that make them memorable places to visit. You will find traditional dry wines when you visit, mostly white wines. The red wines are very limited and are still aging. If you taste something you like, buy it. There is no guarantee it will be available later.
More than wine
Springfield Manor Vineyard and Distillery began as a vineyard and lavender farm. The historic property has a beautiful tasting space, wedding venue and bed and breakfast. Their scenic views overlook the mountains. A couple years ago, they expanded their offering to include craft spirits. Springfield Manor’s Gin, Rum, and Vodka are as noteworthy as their wines. Springfield Manor is a fun place to visit… music, painting parties, crafts, food, so much to do. It is not a place where you quickly visit. Plan to spend some time.
Redshed Man Brewery shares Linganore Winecellars property. You can visit the Brewery when you go for your wine tasting.
Black Ankle is very conscience of limiting its carbon footprint while producing quality wines. It is their belief to sustain the vineyard’s resources for growing grapes. Their belief is not limited to the vineyard, but includes the tasting room. The tasting room is built from straw, clay, stone and wood from the farm. Electrical car charging stations are available.
Quality, award winning wines
The Frederick trail vineyards produce some of the best wines in Maryland. It is not by accident. The soils, climate, and elevations have tremendous influence on the quality of wines from this region. If you are a big, tannic red wine lover call this trail home. Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Merlot grow extremely well in this region. Ask for the Petit Verdot when you visit Catoctin Breeze. It never disappoints. Albariño and Chardonnay also grow amazingly well here. It is one of the few regions that Chardonnay does well. One of the trail’s lesser known grapes is Seyval Blanc. It is a good alternative to the mainstream Pinot Gris. Stop by Loew Vineyard for their bright, well balanced Seyval Blanc.
Read and sip along with Vino 301
It isn’t fun to just read about the wine, you should taste too. We are giving away prize packages every week of the series. You can try the wine with us. Enter a chance to win Vino 301’s give away.
Maryland’s Wine Country Fall Foliage Excursions
Delighted Maryland’s hot and humid summer is behind us; cooler days are gradually becoming our norm. As the air turns cool and crisp, this region’s fall displays unforgettable foliage. Maryland’s Wine Country is the perfect back drop to view the leaves changing. October and November are peak season months. Vino 301’s wine tours are idea for fall foliage viewing from the comfort of the car. We spotlight a few tours and wines to sample.
Westminster Region Wine Tour & Wine, Beer and Spirits: Beverage Adventure
Westminster Region Wine Tour expands beyond Westminster, MD. Westminster is the most eastern point of the region and reaches west as far as Big Cork Vineyard (Rohrersville, MD). Big Cork Vineyard looks upon the mountains in Washington County. The tasting room has breath taking views. Enjoy sipping on Viognier during your visit. Viognier has become Maryland’s “IT” grape this season. You will find it in several tasting rooms across the state. Big Cork does it extremely well. Viognier is clear and burgeoning on golden yellow. It is a dry wine with medium acid. Immediately, aromas of apricot, peaches, and floral notes are detected. Pear and honeysuckle are on the palate. The finish is long and you cannot wait to take another sip. It is a very good wine.
Wine, Beer and Spirits: Beverage Adventure is Vino 301’s newest tour in the Westminster Region. This is a journey takes you Mt. Airy to Thurmont, MD. You travel through the rolling hills and you are at the foot of the Catoctin Mountains. Travel in comfort as you literally drink in local wine, beer, spirits, history and culture of Maryland’s beverage industry. You can select any combination of wine, beer, and spirits at the two vineyards we are visiting. Your tour begins when Vino 301 pick’s you up at one of our designated pick up locations. Your tasting adventure starts at Linganore Winecellars and Red Shedman Farm Brewery & Hop Yard. Linganore Wincellars is one of Maryland’s largest vineyards and home to Maryland’s newest brewery. Vino 301 completes the tour at Springfield Manor Winery & Distillery. Springfield Manor offers fine wines, gin, rum and vodka.
Chambourcin, a French-American hybrid grape, has become Maryland’s native grape. Springfield Manor’s Chambourcin 2013 is a favorite to have during autumn. It is a clean, ruby red dry wine. By its color alone, you would expect high tannin. Your expectations would be wrong. It has medium tannins and acid, and traditional black fruit characteristics like black berries and currants. Vanilla and clove spices on the nose. When Springfield first opened and released its first Chambourcin vintage was fair and had room for improvement. Its current vintage is very good is shows complexity and winemaking maturity.
Patapsco Region Wine Tour & Chocolate and Wine Tour
Patapsco Region takes you to the heart of horse country in Baltimore County. The drive through this region is an array of spectacular tree-scape roads of yellow, orange and red. It is the perfect back drop to wine tasting. Along this trail is Boordy Vineyard. Boordy Vineyard’s Landmark Albariño 2015 was the 2016 Governor’s Cup Winner. There is an emergence Albariño in Maryland you see in western Maryland as well as Baltimore. Boordy’s wine is a medium bodied, with notes fresh green apples, and grapefruit. Clean, pale yellow appearance is crisp on the palate. Albariño typically high in acid, the Boordy Vineyard wine has medium acid. It is a very good wine.
The Chocolate Wine Tour is located in the Patapsco Region. Vino 301 visits Parfections (Cockeysville, MD). Parfections chocolate truffles and bark are paired with Maryland wine. The wines served are selected from regions across the state. As we like to say, “Your chocolate pairing is a trip through Maryland’s wine country without leaving your seat.” Parfections truffles are seasonal. They have flavors like pumpkin spice, cranberry and walnut, and many more truffles. Not to worry, they have the favorites like chocolate mousse, honeycomb, and dipped bacon in chocolate.