Get Your Tastebuds Ready, It's Maryland Wine Festival Time in Westminster

Tens of thousands will travel to Westminster this weekend to enjoy wine from around the state.

Local vineyard owners are preparing their fruity elixirs for the most anticipated festival of the year--The Maryland Wine Festival.

This year's event will be held Sept. 17 and 18 at the Carroll County Farm Museum. Wine lovers can enjoy a host of activities and of course, Maryland wines, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

This unique festival has attracted tens of thousands of folks from all over the state and region for 28 years.

Each year the American Wine Society, a national nonprofit with more than 3,000 members, uses the festival to provide training and education while also promoting all aspects of the wine industry.

Education seminars offer participants the opportunity to learn the finities of wine--taste, aroma, color, clarity and finish. Wine-making demonstrations and exhibits show just how grapes are processed though different stages to create a fine wine.

Another popular festival activity is the wine judging event in which amateur wine makers can enter their creations and receive a friendly review. Each year, an amateur winner is selected by the American Wine Society.

The Governor's Cup Award is a coveted prize for participating wineries. Tastings are conducted throughout the day Saturday and finalists are selected and entered for consideration. The Governor's Cup award winner is announced late Saturday afternoon amidst the festivities.  

Cygnus Wine Cellars in Manchester is one of 36 vineyards participating in this year's wine festival. Owner Ray Brasfield said one of his choices for tasters will be his 2011 Governor's Cup Gold medal winner --Cygnus Rose.

"This is a barrel fermented, barrel aged rose," he said. "Most Americans would think it should be served cold, but we serve it at a cool room temperature."

Cygnus will also be offering its sparkling wine selections. "This is one of the things that sets us apart at the festival," said Brasfield. "We are going to have a couple of our sparkling wine/champagnes there for tasting." 

Visitors can enjoy live entertainment scheduled for both days. More than 40 artisans will be displaying their crafts and goods and more than 30 food vendors will offer an arrays of tempting food choices.

A special premier tent will be available for wine lovers interested in premium wines not served at the main festival. Special cuisine and private music will also be featured in a private tent situated apart from the hustle and bustle of the main festival.

Black Ankle Vineyards of Mt. Airy, Maryland will participate for their third year featuring special wine selections in the premier tent.  

Sarah O'Herron, owner of Black Ankle said, "We have such a limited supply [of wine], so it keeps us from participating on a larger scale. The premier tent allows the focus to be on the wine in a more low key, quiet environment."

Tickets for the Maryland Wine Festival can be purchased in advance by accessing the Maryland Wine Festival site. Regular admission is  $27 in advance and $30 at the gate. Advance tickets for the Premier Tent are $62; tickets at the gate are $65. Reduced rate tickets are available for designated drivers and children ages 13 to 20. Ages 12 and under are admitted free. 

Here's a complete list of participating wineries: 

Basignani Winery
15722 Falls Road
Sparks, MD 21152
Phone: 410-472-0703
Fax: 410-472-2536
Website: www.basignani.com

Berrywine Plantations /
Linganore Winecellars

13601 Glissans Mill Road
Mt. Airy, MD 21771
Phone: 410-795-6432 / 301-831-5889
Fax: 301-829-1970
Website: www.linganorewines.com

Black Ankle Vineyards (Premier Tent Only)
14463 Black Ankle Road
Mt. Airy, MD 21771
Website: www.blackankle.com

Boordy Vineyards
12820 Long Green Pike
Hydes, MD 21082
Phone: 410-592-5015
Fax: 410-592-5385
Website: www.boordy.com

Bordeleau Vineyards and Winery
3155 Noble Farm Rd
Eden, MD 21822
Phone: 410-677-3334 or 410-860-0614
Website: www.bordeleauwine.com

Cassinelli Winery & Vineyards
3830 Church Hill Road PO Box 88
Church Hill, MD 21623
Phone: 410-556-6825
Website: www.cassinelliwinery.com

Cove Point Winery
755 Cove Point Road
Lusby, MD 20657
Phone: 410-326-0949
Fax: 413-480-2853
Website: www.covepointwinery.com

Cygnus Wine Cellars
3130 Long Lane
Manchester, MD 21102
Phone: 410-374-6395
Fax: 410-374-6483
Website: www.cygnuswinecellars.com

Deep Creek Cellars
177 Frazee Ridge Road
Friendsville, MD 21531
Phone: 301-746-4349
Fax: 410-243-4731
Website: www.deepcreekcellars.com

DeJon Vineyards
5300 Hydes Road
Hydes, MD

Dove Valley Vineyard & Winery
645 Harrington Road
Rising Sun, MD 21911
Website: www.dovevalleywine.com

Elk Run Vineyards & Winery
15113 Liberty Road
Mt. Airy, MD 21771
Phone: 410-775-2513
Fax: 410-875-2009
Website: www.elkrun.com

Far Eastern Shore Winery
Easton, MD

Fiore Winery
3026 Whiteford Road
Pylesville, MD 21132
Phone: 410-879-4007
Fax: 410-879-4926
Website: www.fiorewinery.com

Frederick Cellars
Everedy Square/Shab Row
221 N. East Street
Frederick, MD 21701
Phone: 301-688-0311
Website: www.frederickcellars.com

Fridays Creek Winery
3485 Chaneyville Road
Owings, MD 20736
Fax: 301-855-6470
Website: www.fridayscreek.com

Galloping Goose Vineyard
4326 Maple Grove Road
Hampstead, MD 21074

Harford Vineyard
1311 West Jarrettsville Road
Forest Hill, Maryland 21050

Knob Hall Winery
14108 St. Paul Road
Clear Spring, MD 21722

Layton's Chance Vineyards & Winery
4225 New Bridge Rd.
Vienna, MD 21869

Legends Vineyard
521 Asbury Road
Churchville, MD 21028
Phone: 410-914-5122
Website: www.legendsvineyardmd.com

Little Ashby Vineyards
27549 Ashby Drive
Easton, MD 21601
Phone: 410-819-8850 / 410-822-6027
Fax: 410-819-8849
Website: www.littleashbyvineyards.com/

Orchid Cellars
Thurmont, MD

Penn Oaks Winery
11 Midhurst Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 301-562-8592
Fax: 301-562-8593

Perigeaux Vineyards and Winery
8650 Mackall Road
St. Leonard, MD 20685
Phone: 410-586-2710

Port of Leonardtown Winery
23190 Newtowne Neck Rd
Leonardtown, MD 20650

Running Hare Vineyard
150 Adelina Road
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
Phone: 410-414-8486
Website: www.runningharevineyard.com

Serpent Ridge Vineyard
2962 Nicodemus Rd
Westminster, MD 21157
Phone: 410-848-6511
Website: www.serpentridge.com

Slack Winery
Woodlawn Farm
16040 Wynne Road
Ridge, Maryland 20680

Solomons Island Winery
515 Garner Lane
Lusby, Maryland 20657
Phone: 410-394-1933
Website: www.solomonsislandwinery.com

St. Michaels Winery
605 S. Talbot Street #6
St. Michaels, MD 21663
Website: www.st-michaels-winery.com

Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard
18125 Comus Rd
Dickerson, MD 20842
301-605-0163 fax
Website: www.smvwinery.com

Terrapin Station Winery
Elkton, MD
Website: www.terrapinstationwinery.com

Thanksgiving Farm
P.O. Box 213
Harwood, MD 20776

Tilmon's Island Winery
755 Millington Road
P. O. Box 17
Sudlersville, MD 21668
Phone: 410-438-3842
Website: www.tilmonswine.com/

Woodhall Wine Cellars
17912 York Road
Parkton, MD 21120
Phone: 410-357-8644
Fax: 410-467-1990
Website: www.woodhallwinecellars.com


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