A Visit to Boordy Vineyards

by Beth on October 22, 2012

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.

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eileendv October 22, 2012 at 7:11 am

My Mom and I bought the port at the home and garden show this past spring! It’s delicious! :) So sad I couldn’t go with you!

Kandi October 22, 2012 at 9:09 am

I’ve never been to Boordy but I’d heard similar views about them having mostly sweet wines. This post reminded me that I purchased a bottle of Boordy once and enjoyed it. I’m guessing it was the icon series since it had a turtle on the bottle. Now I want to taste more of their wines. Maybe I’ll have to make a trip out there. $5 for a tasting and tour is a good deal.

Biz October 23, 2012 at 10:42 am

Glad you were pleasantly surprised! Tony and I did a wine tour/tasting one time, only to realize it was ALL sweet moscato wine – not our cup of tea either!

CatSynth October 24, 2012 at 10:48 am

Sounds like fun. I had not heard of this winery or wines from that area before.

Danielle October 25, 2012 at 5:06 am

I hope you get to try their reds soon. My absolute favorite is the Petite Cabernet. Did you sign up for their newsletter? They have tons of fun events throughout the year!

Beth October 25, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Danielle, I’m hoping I’ll get the mailing list since I joined the landmark club. Should be fun!

Elizabeth October 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm

I’m glad you liked your visit! It’s always nice to support local businesses, especially those that deserve it! Another great thing about this winery is that they have lots of fun seasonal events that involve tastings.

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