Wine is a part of life for many people. For some, it is the perfect drink for winding down at night. It is also a great drink to share with friends. For many years I looked forward to September.
You see, September was the month of Wine Festivals. The Maryland Wine Festival and the Virginia Wine Festival have been a part of my autumnal fun for over 15 years. Due to this period of unintentional pausing, I am exploring local wineries solo.
ROBIN HILL FARM AND VINEYARDS
An invitation on social media to visit and enjoy a local wine tasting seemed interesting. It was welcomed as Prince Georges County entered Phase II of this pandemic. I was eager to cautiously get out of the house, embrace a change of scenery, and take a drive.
I was welcomed by Bubba and Pumpkin. The setting was beautifully maintained and quite serene. Bubba, a handsome goat kept me entertained until the other guests arrived for the tasting. Masks were required and all of the tables were appropriately distanced. I was greeted by Susan and Bob, the owners of Robin Hill Farm and Vineyard. What a wonderful Maryland welcome it was.
As the tasting began, I made sure to get a front-row seat. Susan filled us in on the history of Robin Hill and included a few fun facts. The labels on the bottles share the love of land and family. Memories of moments with her Dad to meeting Bob were all a part of the tasting journey. The five acres of grapes are harvested by hand in late August or early September.
I was not aware this Vineyard was formerly a nursery. According to Susan, when you visit National Harbor and see the Cherry Blossoms – they came from Robin Hill. When they decided to close the nursery, little did they know the soil was perfect for new adventures. The soil where Tobacco was previously grown was also great for growing grapes. A winery was born. Robin Hill has also become a destination for weddings and more.
The wines were absolutely divine! The labels are artfully designed by family members. The stories Susan shares are heartwarming and speak to faith, family, and community. Due to the pandemic, Robin Hill had to pivot, like most venues to stay alive. They offer limited small group tastings, food trucks on weekends, music, and a terrific view of pastoral bliss.
I can’t decide if it was Rooted, October Glory, or PI’Goat Blend that brought joy to my tastebuds. I know that I am saving Hogshead for the perfect autumn evening. Home Sweet Home will be enjoyed as I begin my garden cleanup. It was an amazing experience and I look forward to returning.
ROMANO VINEYARD AND WINERY
It was a perfect Labor Day Monday and other wineries were not advertising as being open. The Romano Vineyard and Winery were open for business and I accepted the invitation. What a terrific surprise to find out I was visiting another woman-owned winery. The Legacy Wine Trail consists of four wineries. According to Jo-Ann Romano, this was the first winery in southern Maryland to open to the public.
As I sat in the shadow of the sun, the setting was perfect for a day away from it all. A few couples, a group of four friends, all seemed to be enjoying the moment.
I nibbled my snacks and savored each wine sample. It was clear that the Chambourcin Reserve made me fall in love. In the past, several Maryland Wines I experienced were a bit sweet. It seems as though Maryland wines have matured and are now savory. Perhaps my palette has changed and I choose more savory selections. I am certain there is a Maryland wine to adapt to a variety of palettes. Trying several wines can help you decide which one is right for you.
There are two more wineries on the Legacy Wine Trail :
All of these wineries are in a nine-mile radius. A nice drive watching the leaves float gracefully from the trees, a good book, or a friend is the perfect way to see Maryland Agriculture at work. After this beautiful day at Romano Vineyard and Winery, my taste buds are willing to try more local wines. Have you experienced the Legacy Wine Trail in Southern Prince Georges County?
Waiting for the perfect crisp evening, with a shawl, on the patio enjoying a glass of Chambourcin…
Teri, Cottage In The Courtby