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Weekend Wine Trip: Frederick Wine Trail, Part 2

March 15, 2010

Part two of our Frederick wine trail adventure! Read on for my notes on Black Ankle Vineyards and Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard Winery. Yes, one is plural and the other is singular! Don’t ask me why.

We’re a week closer to the Taste of Frederick Wine Festival in April – anyone planning to go?

Black Ankle Vineyards

The driving approach to Black Ankle is perhaps the most scenic in Maryland. As you crest over the hill at the entrance to the property, the sprawling estate – complete with landscaped grounds – immediately grabs your attention at the low point between rolling hills. This less-than-two-year-old tasting room would be an envy even of some wineries in Napa! But I’m not writing an architecture blog; let’s get to the wines.

Black Ankle wines contain 100% estate-grown grapes and their menu includes some excellent reds. I used to harp on Maryland wineries for their dearth of solid red varietals and blends, but winemakers like these are working hard to fill this niche. Unfortunately, in this case quality comes at a price; with most wines at $25 a bottle and premium offerings selling for $40+, Black Ankle is asserting themselves at the premium end of the spectrum.

Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard Winery

My most anticipated winery of the day, Sugarloaf is a relatively new vineyard in Montgomery Country that only produced their first vintages within the last couple years. We attended last year’s Bud Break festival in May and enjoyed the wines, the grounds, and the staff so we’ve been looking forward to a return trip.

Sugarloaf offers a great range of wines for such a new vineyard, many of them award-winning. Their line of wines is very traditional, with all five Bordeaux varietals plus chardonnay and pinot grigio grown on the property. You can’t go wrong with either cabernet sauvignon (both the regular and reserve) – in my opinion, their strongest offering.

If you have more time than we did, the Sugarloaf Mountain recreation area offers a number of hiking trails and scenic areas that would make for a great day trip.

Frederick Cellars

Sorry – we ran out of time! Frederick Cellars is the 6th and final winery on the Frederick Wine Trail. For anyone in the Frederick area, the tasting room is right in the middle of the historic downtown, so check them out!

Until next time,

-Matthew K.

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