In case you haven’t heard, March is Maryland Wine Month. The state’s diverse and beautiful landscape allows there to be four different growing regions. Therefore, allowing the state to grow many varieties of grapes, along with providing incredible scenery as the backdrop of many wineries in Maryland. According to the Maryland Wineries Association there are 70 wineries that are licensed in the state. With so many wineries in Maryland to choose from you will have a hard time choosing which Maryland vineyard to visit first.
1. Running Hare Vineyard
Located in southern Maryland, Running Hare Vineyard, claim they are “a little bit of Tuscany and Napa in Southern Maryland”. You can sample both wine and craft beer with an $8 tasting fee or spend $5 to pick one or the other. Tastings are on Saturday and Sunday when they also bring in live music. Running Hare Vineyard encourages visitors to bring along a picnic lunch and enjoy the day at the vineyard. While they do not offer tours, you are free to walk through this Maryland vineyard during open tasting hours.
2. Springfield Manor Winery & Distillery
The 1765 manor sits on 130 acre private estate. The manor can accommodate overnight visitors in 8 suites. The building features the character and charm of the past, while the Springfield Manor Winery is located in the restored bank barn’s lower level. Springfield Manor Winery adds to the enjoyment of visitors by tailoring tasting choices throughout the year. In the spring and summer you can enjoy a white sangria and in the fall a hot mulled wine, all while taking in stunning views.
3. Layton’s Chance
The Layton family began farming the area in the 1940’s, however, their first grapes weren’t planted until 2007. They now have 14 acres of the 1800 acre farm dedicated to vineyards. With a fun atmosphere that welcomes the whole family, Layton’s Chance is one Maryland winery that you don’t want to miss. They have a large picnic area including games, a nature trail, live music outdoors on Friday evenings, and a tasting room that is open daily. They offer free tours daily of the vineyard and a paid tour option for the family farm. The Maryland Agriculture Hall of Fame inducted the Layton family in 2011, so you can trust this family knows their stuff.
4. Old Westminster Winery
Stop by Old Westminster Winery Friday through Sunday to enjoy the taste of Maryland Wine at its best and take in the beautiful rolling hills that surround the vineyard. This winery operates on four basic principles (1) Done by hand (2) Grown in Maryland (3) Sustainable farming and (4) Attention to detail. Old Westminster Winery, run by three siblings, is working hard to put Maryland wine on the map.
5. Black Ankle Vineyard
Black Ankle Vineyard was started by a couple whose enjoyment of wine took them down a path of discovery that led to their purchase of land to plant a vineyard and own a winery in Maryland. They offer live music every Friday at 6:00 pm with tastings from Friday through Sunday. You can bring your own picnic or enjoy the picnic items offered at the Vineyard.
6. Boordy Vineyards
No list of the top wineries in Maryland would be accurate without Boordy Vineyards. Established in 1945, it is one of the oldest wineries in Maryland. A visit here wouldn’t be complete without a guided tasting tour that walks you through the vineyards, winemaking process, and historic stone tasting room. Their staff is a great resource to answer any of your wine tasting questions.
7. Costa Ventosa
“The fun-spirited winery” in Maryland is Costa Ventosa. It is a 10 acre vineyard owned and operated by Jack Lord, former Maryland State Trooper, and his wife Kathryn Danko-Lord. He focuses on the vineyard and she makes the wine. If you want a taste of just how fun they are check out their about page. They have time for wine and beer tasting throughout the day.
8. Crow Vineyard
Crow farm has been in the family for three generations. In 2010, the family saw the benefit of adding a vineyard and winery to the farm. Crow Vineyardnow takes up 10 acres of the farm. An old milk house has been re-purposed into a tasting room with authentic farm charm. You can stop in for a tasting from noon to 5:00 every day and each tasting includes a tour.
9. Mount Felix Vineyard and Winery
Mount Felix Vineyard and Winery offers some of the best views available. The property is located right near the Chesapeake Bay and is home to the Mount Felix Manor, built in the 1830’s. The vineyard and winery is a hands on family business. They offer tastings Wednesday through Sunday. While you try the varieties you have available, you can also take in the stunning water views.
10. Orchid Cellar Meadery & Winery
Orchid Cellar opened in 2010 offering a single red wine and a small collection of meads. They have since grown and are now considered a “boutique mead and wine producer”, specializing in honey wine. Their tasting room is open for appointments during the week and set hours on the weekend. The tasting room is located in the midst of 15 acres that includes both the vineyard and the bee hives (don’t worry they aren’t where you will be stung).
11. Royal Rabbits Vineyard
There is a lot going on at Royal Rabbits Vineyard. Roy Albin enjoyed making fruit wine, honey wine, and others as a hobby for over 35 years. His wife, Linda, and him decided to turn his passion into a business and Royal Rabbits Vineyard was born. The tasting room opened in 2011. They promote fun and competitive activities at their annual festivals and events, including a Medieval Festival and Holiday Open House towards the end of the year. Stop in to the tasting room to relax with a drink that was grown and bottled on site.
While March is known as Maryland Wine Month, there are incredible wineries in Maryland to visit all throughout the year. If you want to turn your winery visits into a true event consider following one of the Maryland Wine Trails. From stunning views of rolling hills to the gorgeous water views Maryland vineyards may offer, taste rooms that can be considered second to none. Pick one to try today and remember to taste responsibly.