Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Taking a trip down Maryland’s wine trails

Looking for something more exciting to do in Maryland? You can go for a wine trail tour in Maryland, take your pick from Maryland’s six official wine trails that covers five microclimates from the inland where it is more humid, to the cooler areas that are drier near to Chesapeake Bay. You don’t have to go alone, by renting a charter or coach bus, you can organise an awesome group getaway with your friends to sample the delicious wines Maryland has to offer.

There are four main regions where grapes are grown; the Piedmont Plateau, the Eastern Shore, the Southern Plain and the Western Mountain. They all have different weather conditions which makes each of the wines from different areas taste distinctly different.

Piedmont Plateau holds the oldest wineries and you can visit them using the Frederick Wine Trail and the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail. The type of grapes planted here are such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. Basically, the Frederick Wine Trail consists of three cluster wineries - Linganore, Loew, and Elk Run Vineyards. The landscape at this trail is unique and varied, and as you visit all the wineries here, you will realise that the flavors are very diverse just like how each of the vineyards here are as varied. As for the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail, there are more than 20 family-owned vineyards here as well as one distillery. The York County Convention & Visitors Bureau manages the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail and you can visit this trail all year round to explore the art of winemaking and tasting.

The Eastern Shore has warm days and cool nights and a wide variety of grapes are grown there, from the Upper Shore, to Mid Shore and Lower Shore. You will find Chesapeake Wine Trail here and throughout this trail you can enjoy not only the fine wines, but beautiful scenery, seafood, beaches, wildlife and historical places of interest.

It is hot at the Southern Plain which is not very good for growing many grapes except for the Southern Italian and Mediterranean varieties which tends to thrive here. You can take the Patuxent Wine Trail here where you can sample superb wines in charming restored tobacco barns, or even on the slopes of a vineyard or on the bank of a trickling creek.

Lastly, at the Western Mountains you can find a few vineyards and two wineries. Since the climate here is predominantly cold, the grapes grown here are hardy and can withstand long winters and short growing seasons. You can find varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Chardonnay, Norton/Cynthiana, Chambourcin, Vidal and Seyval grown here.

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