This past Friday I had some free time so I decided to head up to Baltimore County to visit Boordy Vineyards. For those of you who aren’t local, Boordy is the oldest and largest vineyard in Maryland. They are also known for some pretty sweet party and dessert wines, which is NOT exactly my cup of tea. But at the encouragement of some friends who said the wine was getting better, I decided to head out and give it a try. It is afterall, only about 30 minutes from my house!
I headed to Boordy to take a mid afternoon tour and tasting. The combo was a bargain–$5 for a tour and a tasting of six different wines–sure! Just the tasting is $5, so I felt like I was getting the tour for free.
The tour was short, but informative. I learned that Boordy has been making wine since 1945, and that its a family operation. They make all their wine in Baltimore County, but grow grapes at that location and at their South Mountain location in Western Maryland. They also buy grapes from other states for certain varietals.
But probably the most interesting thing I learned was that Boordy makes three distinct lines of wine, each with its own label. The Landmark Series, which is Boordy’s premier wine made exclusively with Maryland grown grapes, the Icons of Maryland series, meant to be drunk with food, and the Just for Fun sweet party wines. The Landmark Series was launched in the mid 2000s in conjunction with the state to encourage viticulture in Maryland, and its really the pride and joy of the winery. And with several big competition wins behind them, it seems the Landmark series has gotten to be very good, particularly for east coast wine.
After our tour, it was time to taste. I let the guide know I liked drier wine, so she poured me a bunch of wines from the Landmark series. From almost the first sip, I was pleasantly surprised. I had previously dismissed Boordy wines, but these were pretty good. Yes, some of them were a bit sweet for my normally bone dry wine palate, but some of them, particularly the Reserve Chardonnay and the port, were right up my alley. And the Icon series shiraz was also quite tasty, which made me excited to taste some of the Landmark series reds…except they were all out of stock.
And then the gentleman next to me inquired about the Landmark Club, Boordy’s wine club for the Landmark series wines. They ship wine to you quarterly, 12 bottles a year, and you get to try all of the Landmark releases. It wasn’t crazy expensive and it comes with free quarterly events at the winery. Next thing I knew, I was signing up too, and taking home August’s release. So far we’ve had two, and they’re pretty tasty.
So yes really, I went from thinking I would not like any wine to joining the wine club. Call me (maybe) crazy? But I like what they’re doing at Boordy and I like supporting the local effort. So i’m interested to see what the next year holds with my membership in the Landmark Club.