This morning I googled "Maryland Wineries" and found a lovely site that describes several wine trails throughout my lovely state. Given that it was a beautiful day -- probably the last before the next wave of high heat and stifling humidity -- we took off to explore the Frederick Wine Trail. (Want pictures? Here's the Flickr set!)
Our first stop was Black Ankle Vineyards, a lovely place in the middle of the woods. We took the long way to the tasting room -- the road was easy enough to find, but when it went from a regular road down to a one-lane gravel track we started to get a little anxious. Happily, the road turned back in a paved byway and then, just up over a hill, there was the vineyard!
It's quite a beautiful setting. The tasting room is lovely -- it was built in 2007-2008, a hay bale structure made from hay grown on the land. The tables inside were made from curly maple trees harvested from the land; even the plaster was made from clay from the land!
But what of the wine? It was great, from a crisp, light Viognier to a rich, sweet dessert wine called Terra Dulce. After the tasting (six wines), we settled at a table and had a glass of wine (Terra Dulce for me; Crumbling Rock -- a very tasty red -- for Joe), some cheese and bread, and a couple of chocolate cake pops. I also splurged on a bottle of the Terra Dulce -- what can I say, I'm a sucker for sweet wines.
I could've stayed at Black Ankle all afternoon, but other wineries were beckoning! Off we went to Elk Run winery. This vineyard was founded in 1983. We were met by the owner, who offered us another six wines to taste! Again, they ranged from dry whites to full reds to sweet dessert wines, and once again my favorite was their ice wine, Vin de Jus, made from a reisling grape. They were getting ready to have live music on the patio overlooking the vines, but alas! We had more vineyards to visit and more wines to taste, so we pocketed our tasting sheet and headed off down the road...
...to Loew Vineyards, founded in 1982. Once again, we got to try six lovely wines. This tasting room did not have anyplace to sit or relax, but that was fine. We had a fun conversation with another couple and with the co-founder, Lois. And, predictably, my favorite of the six wines was a sweet mead made with honey and grapes.
After Loew, we drove onward to Linganore Winecellars, but got stopped on the road because of an accident. Rather than wait, we decided to check out Linganore another time and started home.
But we had one more stop: Jimmie Cone! Yep, some soft ice cream with chocolate sprinkles was the perfect end to our long and "wining" road.