Friday, October 01, 2010

New York Times Talks Maryland Wine

Vineyard Hopping, in Maryland?
Published: September 2, 2010
New York Times

ON a recent warm summer evening, well over a thousand people packed the lawns at Boordy Vineyards in Hydes, Md. Families tucked into picnics, toddlers ran freely, and couples and singles danced on the makeshift floor to a swing band pumping out oldies. But the main reason for the crowds was the wine.

Boordy, situated on a 240-acre farm a mere half-hour outside Baltimore, was a dairy and cattle farm for more than two centuries before becoming a winery in 1945. On this night, the cavernous tasting room — where cows were once milked — was lined with patrons sampling from among the vineyard’s 18 choices; an outside bar was selling full pours.
The wines on offer were quaffable, even enticing, but the mostly local crowd spending Saturday night at Boordy captured the essence of Maryland’s fast-growing wine scene: coming here is as much about having a good time as it is about having a good sip.

As the state’s first winery, Boordy was an outlier until a second opened in 1962. A handful debuted over the next few decades, but since 2001, four to five have sprung up each year, many opened by baby boomers trying second careers. Today, there are 39 in all, with three more set to open this fall, and an additional 12 planned for 2011 and beyond.

Thus far, Maryland wine is rarely available outside of the state, so when my husband, Mahir, and I — both wine enthusiasts — heard about the burgeoning area, we made the train trip from New York City to Baltimore to see it firsthand. What we found is a homegrown industry that has plenty to offer the casual visitor, vintages worthy of national recognition, and a chance for some first-class vineyard-hopping.

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