Discover Maryland’s Wine Trails
Maryland’s wine industry has experienced rapid growth over the past few years. So much so, I joke there is probably a vineyard a few blocks from you during Vino 301’s wine tours. Every county has a vineyard. Almost every county has a wine tasting room including Baltimore City. Yes, Baltimore city has a tasting room. Howard county is the only county that does not have a winery tasting room. Maryland’s wine industry growth is an impressive fact considering there were less than 30 wineries 20 years ago… now over 80.
Maryland’s vineyards and wineries are along seven wine trails. Over the next several weeks, Vino 301 will take a journey along each trail and highlight the splendor of each trail. Let’s discover Maryland’s wine trails.
Maryland’ Wine Trails
The Maryland Wine Association (MWA) established seven trails:
Antietam Highlands Wine Trail (Western Maryland)
Capital Wine Trail (Washington Beltway – Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties)
Carroll Wine Trail (Central Maryland – Carroll County)
Chesapeake Wine Trail (Eastern Shore)
Frederick Wine Trail (Central Maryland – Frederick County)
Patuxent Wine Trail (Anne Arundel County and Southern Maryland)
Piedmont Wine Trail (Central Maryland – Baltimore County)
Antietam Highlands Wine Trail
Antietam Highlands is Maryland’s westernmost trail. The trail’s name is inspired by the historical Antietam battlefields. The Antietam National Battlefields commemorates the American Civil War Battle of Antietam. The Trail spans from Deep Creek to Hagerstown. This region is ideal for growing grapes. It’s high elevations and cool evenings are the perfect for cultivating grapes. The grapes in this area is the source for many wineries in the state. Wineries throughout the state purchase grapes from vineyards in this area.
Although Antietam has ideal growing conditions, there are not many tasting rooms along the trail. A cidery and meadery are among the wineries. Similar methods of make cider and mead are share with wine making; and therefore included in Maryland’s winery count. The wineries are small in production and size, except for Big Cork Vineyard and Knob Hall Vineyard. They are the quintessential boutique wineries. Their wines are not widely distributed outside of the state. So, I encourage you if you find a wine you like buy it. It may be difficult to locate later.
The tasting rooms have limited staff. If you are travelling with a group, I would encourage you to call before you arrive. Do not let the size discourage you from visiting. You will receive personal attention and care. You will learn about about the winemakers’ philosophy and style.
There are many orchids in this region, so you can incorporate apple picking and other outdoor activities during your wine tasting adventures. Late summer and early fall are extremely scenic along the byways and hiking trails.
Capital Wine Trail
The Capital Wine Trail is the newest trail. The wineries are located Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. You can get the best of the countryside and urban experiences when you visit Montgomery’s wineries. Because Montgomery county borders the Nation’s Capital, people forgot there are agriculture areas in the County. The vineyards are in the northern part of the County. Rockland Farms, a traditional farm, added grapes to their farm. They began growing grapes and producing wine near Poolsville, MD.
But if you are not interested in traveling to the countryside, you can stay in the urban areas. Montgomery county wineries popularizes the “urban winery” concept. Wineries are in city centers like Silver Spring, MD. The grapes and juices are purchased from local and international vineyards. The wine is made onsite.
Maryland’s newest wineries are in Prince George’s County. The latest winery is opening fall 2017. Brandywine, MD is home to many of Prince George’s County vineyards. Former tobacco farms are now thriving vineyards. The wineries are close in proximity, so you can visit them all in the same day.
Chesapeake Wine Trail
The Chesapeake Wine Trail is the most diverse trail. The trail spans from the northernmost part of Maryland bordering Delaware and Pennsylvania to the southernmost part of the state bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Virginia. The climate and terroir vary in this region. Micro-climates exist producing very distinctive wines. Grape growers are able to achieve success with grapes, like Barbera, that are challenging to grow in the rest of the state.
Similar to the Antietam Highland trail, the tasting rooms are uniquely apportioned and charming. Many venues welcome visitors by appointment. Bordeleau Vineyards & Winery and Chateau Bu-De Winery & Vineyard are the exception and are large estates. People perceive the Eastern Shore as only a summer place to visit. However, the wineries and vineyards are opened year-round. There are so many places to see and to enjoy tastings. Take a long weekend trip along the shore to enjoy its diversity.
Our journey continues next week. We will discuss the other four trails. Join our mailing list to receive the Discover Maryland’s Wine Trail series.
Maryland’s Craft Beverage Map
People are always amazed when our Tour Ambassadors state how many vineyards and wineries are in Maryland. The Maryland wine industry growth is remarkable. Maryland’s craft brew industry has experienced record growth too. Craft beer’s growth and popularity has been rapid in recent years. Over 70 breweries are in the state and increasing.
These industries along with the Maryland Distillers Guild have combined forces and published the Maryland Craft Beverage map. It is a full-size, two-sided map of Maryland displaying wine trails, beer, spirits, cider and mead tasting rooms. It is perfect. Before the Map, you had multiple documents and websites you had to references to locate venues. Now it’s in one place. THANK YOU to the brilliant person who thought of this. You can easily fold it, and place it in your pocket when you are out exploring Maryland’s beverage regions.
Maryland Craft Beverage map is a great resource. There are multiple ways to find your next favorite craft beverage location. Each winery, brewery, cidery, and distillery are alphabetized, categorized by region and wine trail, and numbered on one side of the map. On the other side, is the big colorful map. Each region is denoted by color. Eastern, Central, Southern, Capital and Western are the regions. There is a listing of all the venues by region on the map side.
Cheers to Maryland’s craft beverage industries . See you along the trails.
Wine Trails & Tasting Events
Wine’ing Maryland is your personal calendar of wine tasting activities in Maryland occurring over the weekend. The upcoming weekend’s events are published every Thursday. Send us your event or share events with us and we will posted. Click here to Contact Us Check out Wine Trails Events and many more events that can be a part of your weekend.
Type of Activities
- Free Activities
- Charitable Events
- Family Events
- Arts & Crafts
- Food & Wine Tasting Events
November 18 – November 20, 2016 Events
November 18, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
November 19 – 20, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
November 19 -20, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Prince Frederick, MD
November 19, 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm
November 19 – 20, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
November 20, 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm
Forest Hill, MD
Arts & Crafts
Art Painting Event at Royal Rabbit Vineyards
November 18, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
November 18, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Food & Wine Tasting Events
November 17, 3:00 pm
Chesapeake City, MD
November 18, 6:30 pm
November 19, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
November 19- 20, 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm
Harford and Baltimore County Vineyards
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Millstone Cellars (Monkton, MD) ciders and meads are non-traditional, dry ciders. Millstone ciders are complex and flavorful. With every taste, you will experience and enjoy different flavors. If you are not use to this style of cider, try using the cider as a base for cocktails instead of a spirit. It is a refreshing change to your traditional cocktail.
Cidermakers are not only using apples. Maryland ciders are made with pears, strawberries, and other seasonal fruits. Great Shoals Winery (Silver Spring, MD) Bartlett Pear sparkling wine is a fan favorite at wine festivals. It can be served with most appetizers and entrees.
Do not be surprised if you are served mead wine with your pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving dinner. Mead is made with honey. It is honey wine. It is often prepared as a dessert wine. Orchid Cellar (Middletown, MD) has a selection of mead dessert wines that pair well with most desserts. However, mead is not a one trick pony and is made in a semi-sweet style as well.
Vino 301 wine tours visits some cider and mead tasting rooms. Give ciders and meads a try this fall on a wine tours or serve Maryland’s ciders and meads during the holidays.