A Maryland Wine Country Day Trip

Around tiny Mount Airy’s four square miles are three wineries, including some of the state’s oldest. This route highlights all three, with options from bubbly to dessert wines.

Photograph Courtesy of Loew Vineyards.

Start at: Black Ankle Vineyards

Owners Ed Boyce and Sarah O’Herron doubled their planting in 2011 and are reaping the rewards. New releases will include their first Pinot Noir in nearly a decade plus an inaugural late-harvest Grüner Veltliner. Tasting: $10 to $15.

Next stop: Elk Run Vineyards & Winery

Boasting more than 600 regional, national, and global awards, Elk Run has added accolades for its raspberry-rich Cabernet Franc and Maryland’s only locally grown Gewürztraminer. Fans of Netflix’s House of Cards may want to pick up a bottle of Liberty Tavern Cabernet Sauvignon, featured in two episodes. Tasting: $6 to $10.

Lunch stop: Vanessa’s Corner Pub

This popular spot in nearby Westminster serves pizza and pasta as well as an eclectic collection of takeout dishes including tater-tot nachos, rockfish tenders, and salmon BLTs. 2600 W. Liberty Rd.; 410-875-2779.

Last stop: Loew Vineyards

Bill and Lois Loew have grown grapes here for 35 years, but their family’s winemaking dates to the mid-1800s—a history that lives on in their mead, made from local honey and white grapes. Sweet lovers will appreciate the refreshing fruit wines, while dry aficionados will gravitate toward citrusy Seyval Blanc and the Harvest Red. Tasting: $7.

Round trip from DC: 125 miles

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This article appears in the May 2017 issue of Washingtonian.

Jessica Strelitz

Jessica Strelitz is a food, wine, and spirits writer in Virginia.