Monday, June 30, 2008

Maryland Wines

We had a beautiful weekend. Berry picking. Amazing BBQ. And wine. Perfect really. The weather was predicted to be oppressive and unruly. Turns out it was just a twitch over hot with a dab of humidity and the occasional breeze helped that out. There were a few moments of sprinkles, but overall, a very nice day.

J-lo, Caroline (aka The Sommeliatrix) and I truly enjoyed the day. Here are some photos from our time at Elk Run Vineyards and Loew Vineyards. The Sommeliatrix sent some great words about the wines & wineries...enjoy:
We visited the admirable Elk Run Vineyards in Mt. Airy, MD - admirable because its wines come from varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Riesling, which are hard to grow in humid Maryland where they can rot. The young Syrah, the spicy Cabernet Franc, and the dry but fragrant minty pineapple Gewurztraminer all got high marks. A suprise was the raisiny chocolately port, made from Cabernet Sauvignon - delish.

Two miles down the road was Loew Vineyards, a charming winery with an extensive selection, made all the more charming by owner/wine pour'er Lois. Her husband's family made wine in Lvov Poland/Ukraine until WWII - they even have a wine label from 1860! There, we discovered and tasted a red wine blended from Marechal Foch and Millot hybrids. Interesting - it was made like a Beaujolais, where fermentation occurs, not by crushing grapes and adding yeasts, but inside of the whole uncrushed grape. Just tell your friends the process is called Carbonic Maceration, and they'll nod their heads like they know what you're talking about. It had some of the fresh fruity notes you find in a Beaujolais but very high acidity - its hallmark. S&J will have to tell more about Loew's blueberry dessert wine when they open their bottle.

Go forth and support your local winery!

Barrels waiting for some love.


Checks, Circles, Underlines, All sorts of notes. The Elk Run tasting room offers two price points for the tasting. $2 for 5 wines, $5 for 5 wines, plus the glass. The Loew's tasting is gratis and we had 6-8 tastings.

The beautiful vines and blue sky!

The Seyval Blanc grape.

It is what it is. A small, independent winery. No frills. After our tasting, we were taken into the back to see the barrels, fermantation tanks and all the other fun stuff for wine making! We do have a bottle of the blueberry wine. We'll let you know how it is. I generally don't go for the fruit/berry wines, but this sounded interesting.


Stef said...

I'm so jealous of your gorgeous photos! And

Dancer in DC said...

What a fun time, getting the chance to try locally-grown wine.

I have to agree with the Sommeliatrix - the port was a really pleasant surprise.

And special thanks to the ladies running both tasting rooms. We got to hear how Elk Run makes their own champagne using the French method, and hearing about Lois' family and their wine-making tradition was a rare treat.

helen said...

I agree with Stef, the photos are fantastic. I like the way you show pictures of some of the grapes used in the wines. Please do let us know how the blueberry wine tastes asap. Thanks.