All crafted from local ingredients sourced from a handful of nearby farms, the ciders and wines at Great Shoals Winery are firmly rooted in the region. And folks have taken notice. Their collection has earned a number of ribbons, which have accumulated since the very first year the hard cider went into production. The more than 20 wines made there appear in a range of styles, including dry and sweet sippers made from apples, pears, and cherries. At the tasting room, visitors can sip samples of many of these, as well as purchase bottles and gifts, or enjoy the frequent events that are hosted on-site.
You want to drive to all those wineries—but you want to taste all the wines there, too. Vino 301 Wine Concierge removes the potentially hazardous but necessary element of driving from the equation: their tour ambassadors whisk tasters from one winery to the next, providing helpful information along the way. Several different tours offer prospective clients the chance to explore the area's different wine regions, and each lasts up to five and a half hours. There are also specially-orchestrated tours for events such as bachelorette parties, birthdays, and celebrating your friend Dionysus' birthday.
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When you think of mead, you might immediately conjure images of Tyrion Lannister or the dwarves of Middle Earth tossing back horns of the stuff. Cool enough, sure, but James Boicourt is out to reinvent the perception of it. At Charm City Meadworks, the owner and mead-maker has developed modern spins on the spirit—instead of the viscous, sugar-sweet recipes of yore, his meads finish more like a crisp wine or cider, depending on the varietal. Using honey sourced from Dutch Gold in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as well as some from the meadery's own hives, Boicourt might offset its sweetness with something herbal (rosemary), bitter (elderberry), spicy (cinnamon), or floral (wildflower). Some are carbonated and some are not, but all can be sampled in the facility's brand-new tasting room. There, guests can hang on a patio with cornhole boards and feast on whatever snacks or picnic they choose to bring along.
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.
You might recognize the merlot and the cabernet, but the rest of the residents at Romano Vineyard & Winery may need some introduction. There's the Traminette, for example, a floral and spicy white wine made from a new breed of grape, and the French-American hybrid Chambourcin, which pairs nicely with barbecue and grilled dishes. If you have time to do more than pick up a bottle or two, tastings are scheduled every Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.