Maryland Wineries With a Bit of Romance

Big wine, spicy mead, and a novel place for lunch—all in Maryland.

Photograph by Jason Turner/Big Cork Vineyards.

Start at: Big Cork Vineyards

This sleek winery is big, fun, and quirky—guests can sit on stools that look like giant corks. Outside are acres of vines (16 different grapes are grown), lots of places to pull up a chair or spread out a blanket, and even a 70-inch flat-screen TV on a cigar-friendly patio. If it’s offered, don’t pass up the Russian Kiss, an unusual blend of Muscat and Eastern European grape varietals. Tasting: $10.

Lunch stop: Vesta Pizzeria

Fans of romance novelist Nora Roberts will be tickled to find Vesta, a feature in some of her mysteries, in nearby Boonsboro—Roberts lives nearby. The cheesesteak pizza is a favorite. 2 S. Main St.; 301-432-6166.

Last stop: Orchid Cellar Meadery & Winery

More meadery than winery, Orchid Cellar is a good choice for people who don’t think they like mead—also known as honey wine. In a tasting room that’s an oversize log cabin, you can sample more than ten styles of mead, including the spicy Hunter, made with red chili peppers. Two Merlot-based wines are also offered. Tasting: $7.

Round trip from DC: 140 miles

Read more from our winery guide: 

This article appears in the May 2017 issue of Washingtonian. 

Nancy Bauer

Nancy Bauer is founder of the popular Facebook group, Virginia Wine Love, and the website