These Maryland wineries are worth a visit
Rocklands Farm Winery
Rocklands Farm Winery in Poolesville bears visiting over and over. What started as hobby winemaking in 2005 has grown into a symbiotic farm, vineyard and production facility. It is great to see so many family members and friends focusing on their “Feed. Nourish. Engage.” mantra and producing excellent products across the board.
Dr. Greg Glenn Sr. purchased the 34-acre farm in 2003 to escape the urban sprawl of Bethesda, and soon planted his first grapes. In 2010, Greg Glenn Jr. took over with fellow Virginia Tech graduate Shawn Eubank and started to evolve Rocklands Farm Winery into the enterprise it is today. Vegetable crops gave way to animals and more grape vines when winemaker TJ Fleming came on board.
The tasting room, in the basement of a converted barn, is rustic and appointed with the same bare wood that dominates many tasting rooms. Director of Operations Sara Siegel, the guide for our tasting, knows everything about the farm and the players. Rocklands Farm Winery still relies heavily on the ubiquitous American appellation, meaning it sources its grapes from assorted areas of the U.S. I would hope its commitment to local will lead it to segue into more Maryland and even more Montgomery County appellations.
Highlights: The whites are crisp and clean, with a lovely Monocacy featuring a seyval blanc-valvin muscat blend that’s juicy and ripe without being overly sweet. The skillfully blended White Oak is a bright wine, with the chardonnay, gruner veltliner and chardonel combining to offer scents of fresh orange blossom on the nose. And the Honey Blossom vidal blanc bursts with fresh fruit and is delightful on the palate. Reds were consistently good, as well; the ever popular chambourcin is clean and light without the mustiness that is so common elsewhere. The Montevideo blend is constructed with tasty cherry notes and a touch of pepper at the end.
Prices: Tastings are $14; bottles range from $22 to $45.
Food: Local charcuterie and cheese and crackers are available; food trucks are on-site on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Extras: Live music on Friday evenings; special dinners on occasion in the winery.
14531 Montevideo Road, Poolesville; 301-825-8075; rocklandsfarmmd.com