Our Guide to Noteworthy Offerings from Local Wineries
Maryland is home to a wide variety of excellent wineries, and autumn is the perfect time to pay them a visit. To plan your tour, visit the website of the Maryland Wineries Association: MarylandWine.com/wineries.
To help highlight some of the region’s top offerings, both whites and reds in a variety of price ranges, we turned to Kevin Atticks, the association’s executive director. His picks—and his notes—are included below. Cheers!
Barrel-fermented chardonnay lot 5, $16
This chardonnay is barrel-fermented sur lie, giving it a rich body and long finish. Citrus aromas lead to vanilla on the palate. Grown, fermented and bottled south of Salisbury, Maryland.
Vidal blanc, $20
Vidal blanc makes fine wines when in the hands of masters. This one is earning space on some of the best wine lists in the state.
Winner of the 2016 Governor’s Cup; the stunningly floral and tropical fruit aromatics of this variety made popular in Spain delight, while crisp acidity lends it to food pairings.
Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard
Chardonnay unoaked, $24
This estate-grown chardonnay is on the vibrant, crisp end, making it a wonderful pairing with all manner of dishes.
New Market Plains Vineyard
Muscat blanc, $30
Will delight the senses with its tropical aromatics and bright acidity. The muscat blanc grape isn’t widely grown in Maryland, but this winery has mastered its beauty and complexity.
Old Westminster Winery
Pet-nat albariño, $40
There’s a buzz about this effervescent dream of a wine, which is naturally sparkling because it finishes its fermentation in the bottle. Tropical fruit aromas bubble up through the glass!
Port of Leonardtown Winery
Chambourcin reserve, $28
Floral at the start, with dark cherry and earth aromas, chewy on the palate. It’s a big food wine. This chambourcin is widely considered the best in the East.
Cool Ridge Vineyard
Cool Red, $32
A typical left bank Bordeaux blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and petit verdot. Superb now but will age for years to come. Winner of the 2017 Governor’s Cup.
Big Cork Vineyards
Aromas of dark cherry, sweet tobacco and blackberry lead to a full-bodied mouthfeel. Fans of fine Argentinian malbec will find this a favorite.
Catoctin Breeze Vineyard
Cabernet franc, $37
Exudes finesse. Cab francs can be huge and sometimes rough, but this one is gorgeous—soft tannins follow a deep cherry aroma. Winner of the 2018 Comptroller’s Cup.
Antietam Creek Vineyards
Petit verdot, $38
Ripe dark fruit is wrapped in firm tannins that end with a very long finish, with black pepper and an earthiness on the palate. Should hold up for a few decades in the cellar.
The Vineyards at Dodon
Primarily cabernet sauvignon, then merlot, cab franc and petit verdot, this wine is stunning. Buy it now, but drink it in a few years. From an acclaimed producer.