Our day at Boordy Vineyards in northeastern Maryland was honestly better than expected. We already knew they had good wines, having found their Terra Maria red blend at State Line Liquors. Yet, we were hesitant to visit Boordy on one of their “Crush’ ‘18” Saturdays – a weekly event throughout September and October. We aren’t fans of wine festivals (a topic we’ll likely revisit in more depth next spring), and while this event isn’t an actual festival, it does draw large crowds that can make the wine tasting experience less intimate. Regardless, once we were there we were able to taste some exceptional wines, after which we purchased a few bottles and found an out-of-the way space to set up our lawn chairs (we always have a pair in the car, just in case) and relax within view of a live band.
A Great Location
Just north of Baltimore and minutes from Interstates 95 and 83, it’s in a rural enough area to be relaxing without being so remote that you’d have to dedicate an entire day to visit. The property is beautiful – apparently located on a converted farm – with a large lawn for relaxing, indoor and outdoor tasting areas, a designated smoking area, and picnic tables.
From the number of families attending the event, the winery appears to be a community hub of sorts. And on the day of our visit Boordy hosted two local food vendors and the live music of Dear Creek.
How Wine Should Be Made
Boordy divides their wines into two collections: the Landmark Series, made only from estate and Maryland grown grapes, and the Chesapeake Icons, which sources additional grapes from other states. As tasters particular to local vintages, this simple delineation is so amazing we don’t understand why we don’t see it more often. It should also be noted that, despite our steadfast support of “keeping it local,” we did seem to like the Chesapeake Icon wines a little more, although everything we tasted was wonderful.
Our tasting included a Seyval/Chardonnay/Vidal blend, a Vidal Blanc, a Dry Rosé, a red blend, a Merlot, and a Syrah. Boordy has a wide selection of reasonably priced wines (over 20 in total), ranging from dry to off-dry to semi-sweet to sweet, so there is something for everyone. As our previous posts on Sauvignon Blanc and Vinho Verde suggest, we do prefer dry wines (although sweet wines have their place), and of the wines we tasted at Boordy the Seyval/Chardonnay/Vidal blend and the Syrah were our absolute favorites.
The Syrah is deep, rich and bold. This is typical of the varietal, but Syrah isn’t common to the east coast. In fact, this was one of the best Syrahs (or Shiraz) we’ve ever had! We also love the Seyval/Chardonnay/Vidal blend. Vidals of the northeast US tend to be used in sweeter wines, but Boordy’s blend was crisp and dry, with a pronounced melon flavor that was more savory than sweet.
And Dinner Afterwards
Although we didn’t pop a bottle with dinner, the food was so exceptional that we couldn’t go without mentioning it. About 30 minutes east of Boordy is Riverside Pizzeria in Belcamp, MD. A native Marylander told us Riverside has the best crab cakes in the area, so we had to stop by, and it was so worth it. The crab cakes of this simple pizzeria rival those of any high-end seafood restaurant, and are twice the size! We highly recommend a visit if you’re travelling along I-95 north of Baltimore We regret not taking pictures of our meals, but take our word for it, they were delicious!
- Boordy Vineyards has a great selection of wine for all tastes, and enough different wines to encourage multiple visits.
- The two collections of wines allow for wonderful examples of Maryland grown varieties, as well as amazing wines using grapes from other areas of the country.
- The wines are budget-friendly, with most averaging below $20, and some reserve wines between $25 and $45.
- The grounds are beautiful and relaxing, yet still easy to reach from major highways.
- Check Boordy’s website for their calendar of events – you may be able to sample some local food and music while you’re there.