Herds of buffalo and cows graze between hundreds of fruit-bearing trees. But it’s the grapes sprouting throughout Cassinelli Winery & Vineyards' 110 wooded and open acres that matter most. Each hand-selected and sustainably farmed grape emerges from the earth to take its first step toward becoming one of 12 wines produced at the vineyard. Those include a 2009 barbera reserve and a 2009 merlot, bronze- and gold-medal winners, respectively, at the Maryland Governor’s Cup, a cup always filled with wine or melted cheese. Five total medals have distinguished Cassinelli wines, which the company’s sommeliers share at their tasting room, events, and a quartet of outlets throughout the state.
Guided by wine connoisseurs-turned-creators, Auburn Road Vineyard & Winery bottles a passionate appreciation for fine wine into every vintage made on its secluded countryside property. Tours gather at The Enoteca, the vineyard's wine bar, before venturing out into the fields to see the green and purple bunches that start the oenophilic life cycle. Journeys continue to the barrel room, where rows of sealed oak casks rest and gradually transform their liquid stores into wine and corks into monarch butterflies. Tour-goers rest their feet and test their palates during the wine tasting back at The Enoteca as they comb the depths of varietals, such as the merlot reserve 2008, with velvety flavors of toasted vanilla and cherry, or the White Bottle chardonnay, a green-apple- and oak-infused drink named after the Beatles' White Album.
Amid a 22-acre estate, Heritage Vineyards's grape grapplers craft award-winning wines and pair them with sumptuous finger foods. Visiting pairs can choose a lunch dish and a glass apiece from the grandiose wine list. Sip the 2007 cabernet sauvignon, which comes tinged with a deep crimson hue and flavors of cherry and currant, or the Jersey blush, a semisweet concoction that can be smeared on the cheeks to express embarrassment. Meanwhile, the newly released 2009 chambourcin has been aged for 14 months in French-oak barrels and brandishes a complex bouquet of tastes. Or find matches for your wines without filling out 30-page questionnaires by scanning the lunch menu, which pairs the wines with compatible cheese-laden fare such as the warm pepperoni-and-cheese bread or the baked brie, formed with a fig spread and served with sesame crackers.
Flickerwood Wine Cellars is a family-built, family-owned-and-operated winery that was named Best Wine Shop by the Philly HotList. Their vine-harvested, lovingly crushed fruits create seasonal vino for the tasting—choose from more than 20 varieties of reds, whites, and blushes from sweet to dry and then back to sweet again. White-wine connoisseurs can opt to bathe the buds in Chardonnay Gold, a dry white with a citrusy honey-olive flavor and a touch of oak, while the Cabernet Franc's dry, peppery red hits rouge rogues with a hint of berry and boysenberry. Or, try the Ruby Z, a rose-colored fruity wine blended from native North American grapes. Bring your own foodstuffs to bolster your tasting experience and take home a bottle of your favorite wine to continue the tasting at home.