The first Maryland wine festival of the year will take place May 19th and 20th in Columbia's Symphony Woods, adjacent to Merriweather Post Pavilion. Last year's festival was attended by record crowds whcih lead to long lines at the tasting tents. We recommend arriving early and once the lines form, select a few wineries that you haven't experienced before.
The following wineries will be participating at the event:
Basignani Winery, Boordy Vineyards, Cove Point Winery, Cygnus Wine Cellars, Deep Creek Cellars, Elk Run Vineyards, Fiore Winery, Frederick Cellars, Fridays Creek Winery, Linganore Wine Cellars, Little Ashby Vineyards, Loew Vineyards, Penn Oaks Winery, Solomons Island Winery, Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, St. Michaels Winery, Tilmon's Island Winery, Woodhall Wine Cellars.
The first winery we plan to visit is Fridays Creek Winery, a new winery located in southern Maryland. We look forward to trying this winery's wide array of wines from Gewürztraminer and Riesling to Syrah and old Vine Zinfandel. Sugar Loaf Mountain is also a relatively new winery that you shouldn't miss. We will then stop by Deep Creek Cellars, the farthest winery from the Washington DC area. This is usually our only chance to taste their wines and we hope their Ursa Major (5% Cynthiana, 35% Zinfandel, 30% Grenache blend) will be available. After that, we will see which tent has the shortest lines. In the last two years Linganore Cellars and Frederick Cellars have won the Governors Cup for their Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon - so they are both worth visits. Fiore Winery makes excellent Chambourcin, Loew Vineyards Chardonnay, Basignani Winery's Marisa (Foch, Chambourcin and Chancelor), Solomons Island Winery's Marytage, and Woodhall Wine Cellars' Cabernet. Plus, Penn Oaks Winery makes several excellent whites from German grapes and all the wines from Elk Run Vineyards are worth trying. You make the call.
As for entertainment, your best bet Saturday is to see the boogie blues of the Daryl Davis Band. He learned the piano from the great Pinetop Perkins and always performs a great show. On Sunday, don't miss Charles 'Big Daddy' Stallings. Stalling's most recent hit "4x4 Woman" reached #1 @ XM Radio (Bluesville).
Besides a wide variety of craft vendors, the festival will provide wine demonstrations each day. At 1:00 pm - Yogi Barrett, Wayne Peppers and Paul Bresson of the Tasters Guild International, will guide you through the wine tasting experience. At 2:00 pm - Maryland’s White Wines will be introduced by Yogi Barrett, Wayne Peppers and Paul Bresson. At 3:00 pm - Maryland’s Red Wines will be introduced by Yogi Barrett, Wayne Peppers and Paul Bresson. And at 4:00 pm - Maryland’s Sweet and Dessert Wines will be introduced by Yogi Barrett, Wayne Peppers and Paul Bresson.
See you there.