At Adams County Winery, grapes mature in rich Pennsylvanian soil before traveling to visitors' palates to teach them the secrets of matching food to wine. During Creative Wine & Food Pairing classes, expert oenophiles teach students how to match brews to their meals without having to sign their refrigerators up for an online dating service. Learn to divine the weight of food and wine, then use your newfound expertise to choose what to serve at home or order at restaurants. Conventional pairings illuminate how to match white wines with chicken or fish, and nonconventional pairings showcase each libation's diversity. Flavors dance across palates as pupils sample traditional Pennsylvanian eats, sip Adams County Winery's eclectic wines, and craft tiny dartboards out of discarded corks.
Detour Winery is not a big-name brand, but this smallish quality is part of the estate's charm. The other part is its location in the shadow of Catoctin Mountain. Here, close enough to Mother Nature to steal her purse, travelers can stop and savor life in the presence of wildflowers, grapes, pavilions, and softball fields.
The proprietor, Daniel Tamminga, cultivate award-winning wines—their current offerings cover all the bases from fruit and dessert wines to reds, whites, and blushes. But they also cultivate a healthy community with wine festivals, youth athletic-program sponsorships, and a summer concert series. They welcome weddings and corporate events onto their property and routinely host winemaking classes to help out new brewers, much to the horror of unstomped grapes everywhere.
Though many vintners refer to their winemaking techniques as "old country," those of the Loews are older than most. The family's first forays into the drinkable craft began in the 19th century, in an area of the Austro-Hungarian Empire known as Galicia, now part of Ukraine. There, they brewed honey wines and distributed them throughout Europe. The Loews continued in the business well into the 20th century, but their enterprise was disrupted by the outbreak of World War II. The Loew name wouldn't appear on another bottle until nearly a half-century later, in a vineyard an ocean away.
The modern iteration of Loew Vineyards was established in 1982, and today stretches across 37 lush acres in Frederick County. Here, the gravelly soil sprouts flavorful grapes ideal for both red and white wines. The Loews tend to the vines throughout the year, harvesting the grapes in the fall and pruning them and fitting leaves with tiny mittens in the winter. Their crops are transformed into more than a dozen varieties of wine, ranging from the citrus-y, semi-sweet Serendipity to a balanced Cabernet Franc. The family even bottles a honey wine in a nod to their European past.
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On February 1, 2011, Linganore Winecellars' staff members celebrated with a barrel tasting. They had just finalized the winery's transition to operating on strictly sustainable wind power.
Founded in 1971 by the Aellen family, Linganore has since expanded in every way, from its grape selection to new bottling rooms to a renovation of the offices in the 19th-century barn on the grounds. Today, the sustainable winery stocks more wines than ever before, with its award-winning selection including traditional grape varietals, fruit wines, and specialty bottles. The idyllic winery routinely hosts events as well, with concerts, tastings, and tours taking place 361 days out of the year, granting the grapes four days to just hang out.
Vino 100 offers visitors a chance to peruse a head-spinning array of wine and complementing grub that will soothe even the most pork-rind-singed palate. Visitors dining in at Vino 100 will be able to bait a warming buzz by purchasing one of more than 100 wines priced at $25 or less (there is a $7 corkage fee). A boutique-style shopping experience is paired with a casual dining area, allowing patrons to shop and eat just like at the mattress store. Wines by the glass ($5–$9) change on a daily basis, while a wide range of delectable bites are available for noshing. Try a mixed cheese platter ($5), hummus platter ($6), or spinach dip ($6), or chow down on a hot panini (starting at $7.95, available starting June 15). Additionally, several premium beer varieties are available to soothe hoppy cravings and cannonball wounds.
Armed with 20 years of experience, the brewmasters at Mr. Steve's Homebrew and Wine Supplies help amateur boozesmiths notch the proper equipment and wisdom to craft homemade beer and wine. Bring beer dreams to foamy fruition with the Brewer Best kit (a $75 value), which includes the containers, tubes, and other necessary gewgaws, but excludes bottles and patience. A variety of ingredient kits (a $40 value) can facilitate the production of about 50 bottles of beer in a wide range of flavors and species, including standbys such as irish stout and brown ale or seasonals such as Summer Delight. Alternately, find a way to fill up empty water balloons with a winemaking equipment kit (a $115 value) and ingredient kit (a $100 value). The kit enables budding vintners to produce about 30 bottles of riesling, pinot grigio, cabernet sauvignon, or myriad other varieties.