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wine tourism

Celebrate Spring: Take $5 Off Regional Wine Tours

Spring is here! The flowers are blooming and the wine is chilling. It’s time to head to Maryland’s vineyards and wineries.

Take $5 off any Regional Wine Tour taken in May. Use code SPRING at check out. Book your wine tour today  #winetour #Springtour

Grand Opening of Old Westminster Winery Tasting Room

Vino 301 Wine Concierge’s first endeavor was a self-guided tour of Maryland’s vineyards and wineries.  For a flat fee, a person could go to all of the participating wineries across Maryland and enjoy a wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres. Great project … right?  Well, not so much.  Vino 301 just started and no one knew who we were. No one was interested in taking a chance on a new company. It was a challenge convincing vineyard owners to take a chance on us.


There was one vineyard that stood out during that time.  They were fairly new too.  They just opened their tasting room and were abundantly cautious about participating in our project.  They had their own woes of being a new business. Several calls were placed; selling the merits of this endeavor to the General Manager, Drew Baker.  Mr. Baker finally agreed to Old Westminster Winery participating.   I would love to say the event was a huge success. It wasn’t and we had to cancel it.  However, it was the beginning of partnership between our organizations.


What a difference three years makes.  Since that time, Old Westminster Winery has grown and experienced tremendous success.  Old Westminster officially opened a newer and grander new tasting room earlier in this month.  “It looked like someone’s home, with a huge front porch and beautiful lights, just begging you to come in and have a drink”, is how someone described Old Westminster’s newly opened tasting room.  The building is airy with vaulted ceilings, and plenty of space to socialize.  Outside is beautifully landscaped.  Most of the construction was completed by the family, which is not surprising.  Old Westminster Winery is synonymous with family.  Each member of the Baker family contributes to the success of the vineyard.


Old Westminster is a must visit.  You can bring a picnic with you, but they do have food to purchase. You are always greeted by warm and friendly people, who are extremely knowledgeable about the wines they are pouring.  The staff is always happy to answer any questions you have, even the geeky questions, like what was the growing elevation for these grapes.  On the weekends, they have live entertainment.Farmer Fizz Sparkling Wine


Most importantly, you have to sample the wine. Old Westminster is known for its award winning wines. Our new favorite is the 2014 Farmer Fizz.  Just in time for the holidays.  It is a sparkling wine. Chardonnay-dominated blend. It has crisp apple and citrus flavors, followed by a touch of apricot.  It is youthful, fresh and crisp.

Congratulations Old Westminster Winery and much success.  We look forward to our continued partnership.

Wine’ing for Charity While Celebrating Wine Tourism Day

What is better than chocolate and wine?  Enjoying chocolate and wine for charity!  Vino 301 Wine Concierge is participating in Wine Tourism Day on November 7, 2015.  For the third annual Wine Tourism Day, Vino 301 Wine Concierge will be donating portion of its Chocolate and Wine Tour  proceeds to the Bowie Food Pantry  Bowie Food Pantry provides emergency financial assistance and food.Wine Tourism Day


Wineries, hotels, restaurants, and other wine tourism businesses across North America and beyond are offering special events to the public on this day to celebrate the importance (and fun) of wine tourism. Events are being planned in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Events differ and can range from wine pairing dinners to music events to structured tastings.  Organizations that participate in Wine Tourism Day will be donating a portion of their earnings for that day towards a local charity or non-profit of their choice.


The Chocolate and Wine Tour is a fan favorite of our guests.  On Wine Tourism day we are headed to Parfections for our Chocolate and Wine Tour.  Maryland wine is paired with handmade gourmet truffles and chocolate barks.  Vino 301 Wine Concierge will transport you to Parfections store where the tour begins.  To learn more about this tour click here


“We believe if the wine tourism industry as a whole is successful, we all succeed as individuals,” says Allan Wright, president of Zephyr Adventures.  “This year, we’d like to take it a step further and extend that philosophy into the community, which is why this year’s Wine Tourism Day is focused on giving back to local charities.”


Wine Tourism Day is being supported by a number of industry partners including LocalWineEvents.com, Touring and Tasting Marketing & Media, WineAmerica, Canadian Vintners, Visit Penticton, BeverageTradeNetwork.com, Wine Trail Adventures, The Tasting Panel, WineBusiness.com, Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute, Wine Industry Network (WIN), Wine Institute, CANVAS, and the Wine Tourism Conference in addition to wine and tourism associations in wine regions throughout North America.


To learn more about Wine Tourism Day or to locate activities near you http://www.winetourismday.org/

Great Shoals Winery Brings Maryland Ciders to the Capital Region

Looking for a local winery that produces extravagant wines and ciders? Great Shoals Winery is the perfect winery for you. The winery has been in producing great wines for about five years now. Two years ago, Great Shoals moved to their location in Silver Spring, Maryland. Now that they do not have a remote location, business has been booming. It is tucked away in a local farmers market.  You can buy fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as, Maryland wine when you visit Great Shoals. Their tasting room has attracted wine lovers from all over.Wine Club at Great Shoals


In addition to their lovely wines, Great Shoals offers sweet ciders made from fresh whole fruits. Making their wines and ciders from whole fruits and not from concentrate or artificial flavors gives the wines at Great Shoals a distinct taste loved by all. The ciders Great Shoals produces ranges from very sweet to drier champagne style ciders. People who do not drink cider often tend to love the drier champagne style cider due to its rich bubbly flavor. Make sure to keep a close look on the new release for this summer. In just a few weeks, Great Shoals will be releasing they Strawberry draft and their Cherry cider.


Great Shoals Tasting RoomSince they are conveniently located, join Great Shoals on Wednesday night for a night filled with live music and delicious wines. Sara Nuttle will be performing live and Great Shoals will be featuring their stainless steel chardonnay.   Check out their Facebook page Great Shoals Winery for more information!

Vino 301 appears on Behind the Mind Radio Show

Imagine my delight when Behind the Mind Radio Show (1480 am) asked me to talk about Maryland wine and its tourism industry (my favorite subjects).  For those who are not familiar with this excellent show, Behind the Mind is  a 1-hour bi-weekly talk show airing LIVE ON Friday 11am (EST) and Tuesday 7pm (EST), showcasing design thinkers, visionaries, game changers and innovators; while shedding light on designers of well-known and upcoming products and services both domestically and internationally.  So you only can imagine how excited I was when they called.

Karen Baker, host and Anthony Leonard, co-host lead the interview.  Our discussion ranged from the diverse landscape of Maryland wines to  how Maryland wine has impacted the tourism industry. We discussed how wine is popular and has a growing following.  The following is not limited to wine drinkers but grape growers and wine makers, known as vintner. People romanticized having a vineyard, but it takes a financial commitment not to mention a lot of time and patience. behind the mind

We ended the interview with Behind the Mind top three questions at least that is what I like to call them.  A couple of the questions were:  if you were a superhero what power would you posses, and if you could have lunch with someone living or dead who would that be?  My favorite questions: as a child, what was your favorite toy?  For the record, the Barbie Dream House was my favorite toy.

I had an amazing time. They let me sign their wall of fame.  Thank you Karen and Anthony for making me feel at home.  If you missed the interview, you can listen to it here

TripAdvisor Awards Vino 301 Wine Concierge Certificate of Excellence



Recognized as a Top Performing Tour Company as Reviewed by Travelers on the 
World’s Largest Travel Site
 TripAdvisor® awards Vino 301 Wine Concierge its Certificate of Excellence award. Now in its fifth year, the award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. Certificate of Excellence winners include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a superior customer experience.
When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews and opinions submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period as well as business’s tenure and ranking on the Popularity Index on the site. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.
“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a true source of pride for the entire team at Vino 301, Wine Concierge and we’d like to thank all of our past guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor,” said Leslie Frelow, Managing Director at Vino 301 Wine Concierge. “There is no greater seal of approval than being recognized by one’s customers. With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence to our business and our continued commitment to excellence.”
“TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional hospitality businesses that have received consistent praise and recognition by travelers on the site,” said Marc Charron President, TripAdvisor for Business. “By putting a spotlight on businesses that are focused on delivering great service to customers, TripAdvisor not only helps drive increasing hospitality standards around the world, it also gives businesses both large and small the ability to shine and stand out from the competition.”
See for yourself what people are saying on TripAdvisor about Vino 301  Vino 301 Reviews on TripAdvisor

Chesapeake Wine Trail

Maryland wine region is growing along Maryland’s Eastern Shore. “Six wine trails now lace Maryland’s countryside and the Chesapeake Wine Trail on the Eastern Shore is poised to play a significant part in the new Vintage Atlantic Wine Region, along with Delaware, Pennsylvania, and southern New Jersey,” according to the Talbot Spy. You can travel along the Chesapeake Wine Trail and try wines from 14 vineyards and wineries. Vino 301 can arrange a wine tour for you and your group to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. For more information check out Talbot Spy article. Maryland’s Chesapeake Wine Trail

Vino 301 Wine Tour

Vino 301 Wine Tour at Mark Casica Vineyard

Sunday Sips Wine Tasting with DMVino Meetup

DMVino hosted a wine tasting event at Adega Winecellars in Silver Spring on Sunday, August 17.  Sarita Cheaves, wine blogger for Vine Me Up,  captured the event in her latest blog.  Click here to read about the event and check out the pictures http:// www.vinemeup.com/2014/08/sunday-sips-adega.html

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