May-June 2019

Vineyard Haven

These Maryland wineries are worth a visit

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Hidden Hills Farm and Vineyard

Hidden Hills planted its first grapes six years ago, after the owners decided to forego farming hay for their horse farm and boarding enterprise. They have been planting 2 acres of grapes a year, with a goal to have 20 acres under vine. They have decided not to rush their young vines into production, so for now you’ll be drinking mostly California wines. Unlike other new local wineries, which usually use local grapes only, Hidden Hill sources most of its grapes from the Golden State.

Regardless of the source, the wines are delightful and well made.

All tastings are done by reservation. The lane to the winery winds through a few small vineyards and ends at a lovely hilltop home, where small signs direct you to the lower level entrance by the pool. You enter what feels more like a handsome basement of a private home than a winery tasting room. Classic movie posters cover the walls, and the furniture, including the six stools at the tasting bar, is sumptuous.

Highlights: There are two wines made with Hidden Hills fruit: The rosé is Provençal in style, both crisp and fresh, and the chambourcin has great body for the grape and isn’t harmed by the off-flavors that are often encountered in it. The vidal blanc, made from grapes grown in Cumberland, Maryland, offers fresh pear flavors, is juicy on the palate and has a creamy finish. Hidden Hills doesn’t have its own facility yet, so all of the wine is produced at Maryland Winecellars in Westminster. Of the wines made from California fruit, the cabernet franc is bold and peppery, complementing food nicely rather than overpowering it.

Prices: Tastings are $10; bottles range from $25 to $36.

Food: Charcuterie and local cheeses are for sale and presented in ample portions.

Extras: There are occasional special events, such as March Madness parties.

7550 Green Valley Road, Frederick; 301-660-8735;