Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cider, Wine, and Sparkling - Great Shoals Winery

We heard recently that Maryland cider maker, Great Shoals Winery, opened a tasting room in my old neighborhood, so on my next trip home, I headed a few miles away to Heyser Farms. This is the orchard that grows the tasty Spencerville Red apples which Great Shoals has developed into one of my favorite hard ciders.  But there are more reasons to visit - several other hard ciders, including the Black Twig; still wines such as Chardonnay and Chambourcin; and many Champagne-styled sparkling wines - either grape or fruit. These last are made in the true traditional méthode champenoise and are nice interpretations of local fruit. Visitors have a choice of many tasting routes and I choose the Champagne-styled fruit sparkling wines which included Apple, Peach, Pomme Aronia (Aronia berries), and Elderberry. The last two were my favorites, I think from their uniqueness which balances the many apple profiles in their portfolio. The one objection: sample sizes were very small - even after paying a tasting fee.  I couldn't leave without stocking up on some hard cider - now that biking season is ending - time for more Hemingway Josie Russell.  Pairing all with Maryland based O.A.R.. Cheers

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