New Maryland Wine Explorer Packs Are Available!
Maryland Wine Explorer
Celebrate Maryland Wine Month with quality local wine. The Maryland Wine Explorer is a program for those wine connoisseurs interested in exploring the vast diversity of wines throughout the state. This quarter, the Maryland Wine Explorer program features two wine packs, each containing a hand-picked selection of local offerings. Fans of reds or whites are able to select the pack they prefer, or you may order both and explore this great selection. The best part is that you can get these bottles delivered straight to your doorstep. This program is hassle-free and delicious.
Red Wine Pack
The first in the red pack comes from Catoctin Breeze Vineyard in Thurmont. The 2019 Estate Cabernet Franc has lovely notes of clove, white pepper, and plum on the nose as well as a flavor profile of oaky tannin and wild strawberries. This particular wine is made using “Vinification Integrale,” a technique where whole berries are fermented in oak barrels versus traditional fermentation techniques in steel tanks. The barrels are placed on a special wine rack which allows the skins to be extracted gently by manually rotating the barrel several times per day.
Crow Vineyard and Winery located in Kennedyville is offering their 2016 Barbera. The wine is predominantly Barbera (77%) and blended with Cabernet Sauvignon (10.78%), Merlot (6.7%), and Petite Verdot (5.52%). Rich aromas of cherry, raspberry, cocoa, spice, and mushrooms complement the mouthfeel of coffee, vanilla, graphite, sour cherry, and raspberry. Crow’s 2016 Barbera has hints of chewy tannins and soft French Oak notes that leave a long dusty finish. Crow has been operating a farm for three generations that has grown to become a successful farm winery. In addition, their 365-acre farm includes soy, corn, a herd of grass-fed Angus beef, as well as a Farmstay B&B.
The final release in the red pack comes from Poolesville at Rockland Farm and Winery. Offering their 2019 C&O that’s heavy in Cabernet Sauvignon (66%), Merlot (23%), and Tannat (11%). The wine has notes of blueberry, black cherry, black currant, cedar and graphite. A fully estate-grown blend from their outstanding 2019 vintage. This particular blend spent up to 16 months in a neutral French Oak, bottled in January 2021 and then aged for another 8 months prior to its release. In addition to wine, Rocklands offers pastured meats as the historic working farm mission to “Feed. Nourish. Engage” remains present.
These three reds are really about the place itself. Two of the three wineries are located on working farms that also raise livestock. They all share similar environments where you can relax and enjoy the fruits of their labor. We’ve picked these wines as they hold well during the cold weather months and pair well with heartier foods. In addition to the Barbera, a grape of Italian heritage, we’ve got the two French cousins: Franc and Sauvignon. All three wines we are thrilled to offer for this quarter’s red wine pack.
Our Maryland Wine Explorer program is offering three exceptional white wines for this quarter. Given the name “Aromatic,” none of these wines will disappoint the nose or palate. This pack offers grapes representing several countries in Europe including France, Spain, Portugal, and Germany. Two of the three wines offered in the pack are off-dry and pair well with hearty and/or spicier dishes, where the subtle sweetness balances out the heat.
Our first and only “dry” option on the list comes from a winery that’s celebrating its 75th anniversary! Boordy Vineyards in Hydes is offering their 100% Albarino “dry bench” Reserve. The term “dry bench” refers to the low-fertility and discrete bands of rocky soil that have been yielding exceptional fruit. The Dry Bench Albarino, harvested on the 7th of September, was chilled overnight, then pressed, and transferred to French Oak barrels to ferment for 6 months. On the nose, it displays roasted pine nuts, lemon-lime, pear, and tangerine.
Elk Run Vineyards and Winery is offering their 2020 Gewürztraminer. Packed with rich floral aromas and flavors of exotic honey, lychee, grapefruit, and jam with a soft and yet bright finish. Gewürztraminer pronounced “guh-vuertz-tra-meener” has a distinct lush aroma of ginger, which should be considered when pairing with food. Elk Run has a property that dates back to the 1700s and was a land grant from King George to Lord Baltimore. It’s been continuously operating as a winery since 1983.
The final white wine we have in the pack comes from Romano Vineyard and Winery in Brandywyne. Offering their 2020 Fallen Leaf which is a blend of Vidal Blanc (63%) and Cayuga (37%). This semi/off-dry fruit-forward blend provides great aromatics and shares similar flavor profiles found in Riesling. Romano Vineyards was Prince George’s County’s first winery, founded in 2007. In fact, there are several MWA staff who remember the very early days of sorting grapes in the Romano’s garage and having tastings in Jo-Ann and Joe’s living room.
Explore this must-taste white wine pack HERE.
You can subscribe to the Maryland Wine Explorer Club to ensure that you don’t miss out on each quarter’s hand-selected wines. Subscribers receive flat-rate shipping and discounts on all wine orders. Order today and receive the white pack, the red pack, or even both.
This blog entry was written by Christos Yiatrou, an intern for the Maryland Wineries Association.