A newspaper assignment meant I had to spend a lovely fall afternoon in the countryside of Northern Baltimore County. Poor me.
It was a fun assignment with kids and celebrating. Easy to cover. Easy to write.
Best of all, I got to wander along back roads that took me past the blue waters of the Loch Raven Reservoir, the rolling hills of golden corn and—oh lucky me—the already harvested grape vines of DeJon Vineyards.
DeJon is a relatively new winery, opened about eight years ago on property previously used as a cattle farm. It was, I was told, the first winery in Baltimore County in 25 years. Nearby is about the oldest vineyard in Maryland, Boordy Vineyards. Some of the visitors tasting at DeJon with me had visited Boordy first. I couldn’t; work got in the way. (I visited Boordy a few years ago, pairing it with a visit to Prigel Family Creamery.)
But what a beautiful day to sample a few wines and enjoy the scenery. I went on a
weekday and was surprised when the bar already had a handful of visitors trying out the wares. That always makes for a convivial visit.
DeJon grows its own chambourcin grapes and bottles it as a straight varietal and with a bit of sugar added for those who like sweet wine. (And lots of local wine drinkers do.) That wine, which is quite sweet, is dubbed Festivus. Other wines are produced from grapes grown elsewhere in Maryland and New York. Pinot Grigio comes from grapes grown in the Finger Lake region. They also have chardonnay, a Sweet Denise made from vidal blanc and a touch of sugar, a rose made from Maryland merlot grapes. Their malbec grapes came from Chile. I didn’t get a chance to try their vidal blanc or cabernet blend–both were sold out.
Wine tasting is always a very personal experience. The other four people sampling the wines while I was there said they enjoyed them very much.
I suggest a visit, perhaps paired with Boordy or Prigel Creamery or lunch at McFaul’s Iron Horse Tavern, which is on the way. (GPS helps me find everything.) The winery is lovely, overlooking beautiful countryside. Add sunshine, a cool fall breeze and some friends and this would be a delightful way to while a day away.
Ⓒ Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman