The Annapolis area is well known for sailing/boating, seafood, the Naval Academy and waterfront scenery, but we’ve got a new topic to consider: wine. Yes, wine.
After you’ve checked in at the Flag House Inn, make plans for an outing to some wineries near to us, you can be away for a few hours and still have lots of time to explore Annapolis!
In past months we have visited two wineries nearby – Great Frogs & Thanksgiving Farm. Great Frogs has a bit more room inside while the grounds at Thanksgiving Farm are ore scenic & rolling, but in common, they both have great wines
So let’s review your options:
Thanksgiving Farm is located in Harwood MD about 25-30 minutes from Flag House Inn. It’s owned by Doug and Maureen Heimbuch, who purchased the property in 1996 and have transformed it literally, planting the vineyards since 1998. The property sits on 58 acres and has only changed hands 3 times since the 1860’s. They specialize in production of European style dry wines and have built up the business from scratch, renovated the 1893 house in 2004 to include potential for dinner parties and summer tastings on their lovely veranda. They even have the original blueprints!
Open Saturday-Sunday 1-5p. No food served other than pretzels to clear the palate, ok to bring your own.
When we arrived they were quite busy so it took some time to get seated but once seated, we got fantastic attention from Doug & Maureen as well as very detailed descriptions of each of the 6 wines in the tasting flight. Our tasting host works her day job as a high school teacher so you can be sure our descriptions were thorough and accurate!
The tastings included a “Franc Blanc”, a white wine made from cab franc, a dry rose, 3 red blends (Meritage, Meritage reserve, and Farmhouse Red) topped by what we called a chocolate dessert wine (sweet red, sure tasted like a liquid tootsie roll!)
We most enjoyed getting to know the owners. We will be back!
Great Frogs Winery is only 15 minutes away and near to both Quiet Waters Park and Thomas Point county park.
They have a series of buildings – a tasting room and a barn with a private tasting room as well as a public space, often with entertainment. In warm weather, there are also several picnic tables outside. Dogs are welcome and you can stroll around the vineyards too. The site has been a farm since the late 1600’s and is near to the water. We paired the visit with a trip to Thomas Point park, which provides a nice lookout on to the Bay and the Bay Bridge and Thomas Point lighthouse.
So about the wine and tastings: During these entertainment/open house events, you don’t need a reservation (but it doesn’t hurt) or you can just have a glass of your favorite varietal. However, when there is not a special event you need a reservation. Ah, just make a reservation!
We opted for the seated tasting, it has 2 whites, a dry Rose and 3 reds, along with a basket of crackers, nuts and olives…. It was casual and low key, the hostess gave us some commentary on the wines but overall it was more laid back than most tasting rooms elsewhere
You can stroll around the vineyard, often there is food for sale or you could pop in anytime to buy a bottle. Me I like reds, so try the Atomic red and vintner’s red
Following are a few more pictures… So consider a trip to Great Frogs in your travel planning!