VINO 301 WINE CONCIERGE RECOGNIZED WITH TRIPADVISOR’S CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE FOR THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR
Local Wine Tourism Business Earning 2017 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
Bowie, MD – June 26, 2017 – Vino 301 Wine Concierge, Maryland’s Wine Tour Experts, today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence for the third year straight. The achievement celebrates hospitality businesses that have earned great traveller reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. Certificate of Excellence recipients include restaurants, accommodations and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a quality customer experience.
“We are delighted that so many local businesses in Maryland have earned the 2017 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said Ms. Leslie Frelow, Managing Director. “We are equally delighted that this is Vino 301 Wine Concierge’s third consecutive year TripAdvisor has recognized our customer service. It is our mission to celebrate the contributions of the local vintners and boutique wine producers and, secondly ensure every customer should be thrilled and delighted when attending a Vino 30l event.”
Vino 301 Wine Concierge appreciates our customers and that they take the time to provide comments and feedback. To show our appreciation, we are offering 25% off Regional Wine Tours booked in July. Customers should use code TripAdvisor when booking.
The recognition helps to set the benchmark on hospitality operational and service excellence for Maryland tourism and ensures that the industry is continuously striving to achieve customer service that is best-in-class for our visitors and the community.
“TripAdvisor is excited to announce the recipients of the 2017 Certificate of Excellence, which celebrates hospitality businesses that have consistently received strong praise and ratings from travelers,” said Heather Leisman, Vice President of Industry Marketing, TripAdvisor. “This recognition allows us to publicly honor businesses that are actively engaging with customers and using feedback to help travelers identify and confidently book the perfect trip.”
The Certificate of Excellence takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period. 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.
About Vino 301 Wine Concierge
Vino 301 Wine Concierge is an all-inclusive wine tours business dedicated to bringing the best wine tastings and travel experiences to wine lovers since 2013. Vino 301 wine tours allow its guests to have the most-authentic experience along all of Maryland’s wine trails. Maryland’s wine tour experts offer tours to over 40 of Maryland’s vineyards and wineries as well as specialty tours like Chocolate and Wine and A Beverage Adventure: Wine, Beer & Spirits.
Always on the hunt for good wine, I heard rumors about a new vineyard opening near Mt. Airy, MD. I headed west to confirm the rumors. Stopping at Serpent Ridge Vineyard and Black Ankle Vineyard during my quest, I asked the tasting room staff if they knew about this new place. Some heard the same rumor but did not know the name of the new winery in Frederick, MD . Finally, I found one person who had a name…New Market Plains. But, she was not quite sure of its location. Armed with Google Maps, I was confident I could find it.
Minutes away from Mt. Airy, New Market Plains Vineyard is located in New Market, MD. The entrance is not obvious. The Vineyard shares the same road with Adventure Park USA. The road appears to dead ends, but it is actually the beginning of its driveway. Success, the rumors are true! (Hint: If you are using GPS, you should enter Monrovia, MD instead. The GPS may not locate the Vineyard if you use New Market, MD.)
When you enter the property, modern day noises are blocked out and you are taken back in time. The farm dates back to the 1700s and many of the original buildings remain intact. You forget New Market Plains is nettled between a major highway and a business park.
New Market Plains’s wines are all estate wines. Its first vintage was harvested in 2014 and bottled in April 2015. The first release included Chardonnay, Rich Forest Chardonnay and Rosé. Both Chardonnays are from the same vineyard. The Rich Forest Chardonnay was aged in oak and the other in steel. The Rich Forest has a very distinct character and is appealing to the palate. The wines are sophisticated and well-balance considering this is New Markets first vintage. The Rosé is a blend of reds. Its color is strikingly bold. I expected the nose to be fruity, but it was floral. The taste was reminiscent of a French Syrah Rosé. It is perfect to drink year-round. There wines are reasonably priced. ($25.00)
Sue and Howard proudly display the vineyard’s 2015 Governor’s Cup Silver Medal. An impressive feat for new winery.
During my visit, Sue offered to give me a tour of the property. I gladly accepted. Along the tour, Howard and Sue shared with me the history of the property. The property has been in Sue’s family for 10 generations. We toured their processing facility where they are aging their red wines. Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah are aging. Looking forward to trying the reds.
It was a great adventure. Thrilled to try new Maryland wines. New Market Plains is a welcomed addition to Maryland’s wine community and a new winery in Frederick, MD. I encourage you to visit. New Market Plains is opened Friday through Sunday or by appointment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since 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!
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.
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
Summer is almost over. Here is a glimpse of how much fun we had this summer. Check out our wine tours video. Summer Wine Tours