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.
Sparkling Wines in Maryland
Sparkling wines are synonymous with celebrations. And this time of year is no different to punctuate your holiday events with bubbles. Champagne, Cava, and Prosecco immediately come to mind when you are making your wine selections. Wait… before you grab an European selection, look a little closer to home. Maryland sparkling wines are available in various styles.
“Elk Run Vineyards, Bordeleau Vineyard & Winery, Great Shoals Winery Old Westminster Winery each offer a Blanc de Blanc (traditional dry sparkling wine), while Cygnus Wine Cellars produces a Blanc de Blanc plus four other sparkling wines in various styles. Knob Hall Winery offers white and rosé versions, and Crow Vineyards offers a Sparkling Vidal. Slack Winery offers five different sparkling wines, Fiore Winery offers a Prosecco and St. Michaels Winery has introduced Bubbly Wobbler, a sparkling addition to its Gollywobbler line of sweet wines.” according to Ms. Rebecca Dulka, Maryland Wine Association representative, in 2015 Maryland Offers Wide Variety of Sparkling Wines article. Old Westminster Winery introduced a Gruner Vetliner sparkling this year, a departure from the traditional grapes used in Maryland.
Sparkling wines are not limited to grapes. Maryland’s cider producers are making noteworthy bubbles. Distillery Lane Ciderworks makes a delightful Apple Cherry wine. A must try and welcomed addition.
Where You Can Find Maryland’s Sparkling Wines & Ciders*
- Bordeleau Vineyards & Winery, Eden: bordeleauwine.com
- Crow Farm and Vineyard, Kennedyville: crowfarmmd.com
- Cygnus Wine Cellars, Manchester: cygnuswinecellars.com
- Distillery Lane Ciderworks, Jefferson: distillerylane.com
- Elk Run Vineyard and Winery, Mt. Airy: elkrun.com
- Fiore Winery, Plyesville: fiore.com
- Great Shoals Winery, Princess Anne; tasting room, Silver Spring: greatshoals.com
- Knob Hall Vineyard, Clear Spring: knobhall.com
- St. Michael’s Winery, St. Michael: stmichaels.com
- Old Westminster Winery, Westminster: oldwestminster.com
- Slack Wines and Vineyards, Ridge: slackwine.com
- Springfield Manor, Thurmont: springfieldmanor.com
*Not a complete list
Tour Ambassadors of Vino 301 Wine Concierge are raising their glasses to support of the Alzheimer’s Association with the sponsorship of a charitable wine tour to the Westminster Wine Region.
The event is scheduled for March 6, 2016 at 10:00 am, and will include tours to the Old Westminster Winery and Springfield Manor Winery. Many of the vineyards featured on the tour are grown in Bordeaux style. Lovers of Cabernet Franc, Pinot Grigio, or Vidal Blanc will especially relish this tantalizing treat.
According to statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association, there is an estimated 5.1 million people 65 years and older in the United States living with Alzheimer’s. Approximately 200,000 individuals below the age of 65 are afflicted with the disease.
Vino 301 Wine Concierge is the one of the latest sponsors to join forces with the organization in the fight against the disease. The company was asked to host the tour by a former tour guest, Ms. LeeAnn Charpentier, whose grandmother had the disease and died. LeeAnn wanted to do something to honor her grandmother’s memory and raise funds for Alzheimer’s research.
Discussing Vino 301 Wine Concierge’s response to Ms. Charpentier’s request, Managing Director of the company, Leslie Frelow said: “We thought it was a great idea and were eager to help. Ms Charpentier has been a tremendous supporter of Vino 301. We hope our contribution will further research for a cure for this debilitating disease.”
Net profits will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. For further information or to register for the tour, visit: Charitable Wine Tour for Alzheimer’s.