May-June 2019

Vineyard Haven

These Maryland wineries are worth a visit

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The old farm buildings at New Market Plains Vineyards were repurposed for use at the winery. Photo by Howard Sumner.


New Market Plains Vineyards

New Market Plains is an up-and-comer on the Maryland winery scene. The vineyards are located at the former estate of Nicholas Hall Sr., the co-founder of the town of New Market. The farm has remained in the family since the 1760s. The current owners, Howard and Susan Wilson, make wines primarily from European vinifera grapes, which are more difficult to grow in our climate than the hybrids so common in Maryland. Howard has dabbled in grape growing on the farm since 1995 and is a former president of the Maryland Grape Growers Association. He planted commercially for the first time in 2012 and has been making wines since 2014.

The old farm buildings have been repurposed for winery use and are quite rustic. A party of six would take up the entire tasting room.

Highlights: The wines here are clearly from young vines and are not yet able to produce fruit that’s as full-flavored as more established plants. But the quality of the juice in these wines is high. I especially liked the Rich Forest chardonnay with its judicious use of oak to round it out nicely. The winery offers one red, Hogshead, a delightful Bordeaux-style blend that’s light now but should develop nicely in future vintages. For dessert, Trop Elyts is a “muscat blanc orange port-style wine” that is simultaneously a slightly thick port style and a refreshing orange muscat—and worth a taste.

Prices: Tastings are $10; bottles are $25 to $47.50.

Food: Cheese and crackers are available.

Extras: Picnic areas and live music on Fridays from spring into the fall.

11111 W. Baldwin Road, New Market; 240-674-2859;