Maryland is well known for three things: US Naval Academy, The Chesapeake Bay and Crabs. If you mention wine, many folks would say ‘Maryland can’t grow grapes’. Well, I’m here to tell you they can.
California, Oregon and Washington produce most of the country’s wine, leaving the other 47 states somewhat in the background. A movement called ‘Drink Local Wine’ is trying to bring attention to the wine produced in the other 47 states. They are encouraging folks across America to find wineries near them and to embrace their regional wines.
Located just 20 miles east of the US Capital, Thanksgiving Farm Winery uses only estate grown grapes from their 58 acre vineyard to make their wines. Since 1998 they have been growing Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon, from land that once grew tobacco. Vintners Doug and Maureen Heimbuch hand harvest the grapes late in the season to ensure only the ripe berries are picked.
On my recent visit to their vineyard, I was able to taste these three wines:
2009 Dry Rosé made from free run juices of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. A Rosé with some depth, sips very well on its own, but will be welcome at many crab feasts come summertime. $14 Retail
2008 Meritage a medium bodied dry red wine with aromas of wood and flavors of blackberry and vanilla. Aged 12 months in French Oak barrels. This is a classic Bordeaux style wine. 51% Merlot | 18% Cabernet Franc | 17% Petit Verdot | 14% Cabernet Sauvignon | $24 Retail
NV Franc Blanc a semi dry white 100% Cabernet Franc with aromas of geranium, flavors of citrus and apricot, with a hint of clove as well. A great wine for after dinner cheese platter, but would also pair well with a Risotto. $18 Retail
To learn more about Thanksgiving Farm Winery visit their tasting room in Harwood, Maryland.
To learn more about the Drink Local Wine movement, visit their website.