Harvest Ridge Winery, Marydel, DE – July 12th, 2014

Harvest Ridge Winery, Marydel, DelawareTechnically, this piece should be called Maryland’s Eastern Shore, part deux. Even though Harvest Ridge has some vines in Maryland, the winery sits just over the state line in rural Delaware so I made a judgement call. Same trip, different state.

Harvest Ridge opened their gorgeous winery and tasting room last fall to a lot of fanfare on social media. I originally planned to attend the grand opening, but something came up. Life, you know how it is.

Although Harvest Ridge in the middle of nowhere, it is a worthwhile destination. The newly constructed facility is huge, with banquet facilities and room for outdoor seating in the front and the rear of the building. There is a courtyard in the middle, which accommodates outdoor games and also a gazebo. The first vines were planted here in 2011 and the grass on the property is just starting to come in.

Backyard Louie'sSo we rolled into the lot on this humid afternoon and my stomach was rumbling. There really wasn’t much of a lunch selection between here and Chestertown. Fortunately, Backyard Louie’s BBQ truck was right out front. I was covered. My little group opted for air conditioning over food, however, so I decided to wait.

So how do the grapes grow right on the Mason Dixon line? If the delicious arsenal of wine being poured today is an indicator, I would say pretty good. Kira was our hostess today, and walked us through the tasting. Per standard practice, we went from whites to reds to sweet wines. They have some alternate fruit based offerings, as many other local producers do, so there is something here for everyone.

I tasted eight wines today, as follows:

1. 2013 Pinot Gris – This light, off-dry selection flaunts fresh, green apple on the nose and the palate. You can’t go wrong with a chilled glass of this on a hot summer day.

Kira, our charming barkeep2. 2011 Viognier – This French grape grows very well here. The Viognier is more full bodied than the Pinot Gris, with some oak and subtle stone fruit notes. This finishes smooth and slight spicy.

3. 2013 Chambourcin – Yeah, they grow it outside of Pennsylvania, people. This Chambourcin was lighter in flavor than what I’m used to. A deep colored wine, the dark, spicy texture gave way to a slight hint of Good & Plenty. That’s just my opinion. Disclaimer: Don’t share it with the kids.

4. 2011 Merlot – A complex, oaked Merlot. This was my favorite wine today. Red fruit characteristics and a powerful finish. This is what Merlot should be.

5. 2013 Blue Hen Blue – This is a blend of Concord grape and blackberry. This makes great Sangria, see below.

6. Apple – 100% apple wine, from locally sourced fruit. Crisp and delicious. Serve chilled.

The 2013 Country Bloom7. 2013 Country Bloom РA sweet Ros̩ made with Chambourcin grapes.

8. 2013 Vidal Blanc – This reminded me of liquid fruit salad in a glass. A good summer offering but not really to my taste. Fran loved it, though.

Custom made SangriaSo, today was Sangria Saturday. I picked up a bottle of Blue Hen Blue to mix up for this. The deal was that you can pick any bottle of Harvest Ridge wine, and they will mix it with your choice of fruit and ice it and blend it for you. The girls took care of personalizing the Sangria while I wandered outside for a cheeseburger. I don’t think I’m the hardest person to please but I would say that it was a damn perfect pairing.

Thanks to Kira, the rest of the staff at Harvest Ridge and Backyard Louie’s for a great afternoon. You reaffirm the reason that I keep doing this. Cheers!

Harvest Ridge Winery is brand, spanking new and it’s built for groups and events. Get over there and break it in.

Links:

Harvest Ridge Winery
Delaware Wineries Association on Facebook
Backyard Louie’s BBQ

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One Response to Harvest Ridge Winery, Marydel, DE – July 12th, 2014

  1. Kim Luton says:

    Doug – Great blog! So glad you enjoyed our wines on your visit. I am Harvest Ridge’s newest staff member as their Event Planner.

    Did Kira speak with you about our “major” event coming up the end of September? We are hosting a grape stomping festival to celebrate the grape harvest. All our proceeds from the festival will go to AI DuPont Children’s Oncology Department to “Stomp” out children’s cancer. The date of the event is Saturday, September 27th from noon until 5 pm. We would love for you to join us again if life permits!

    Also, a lot of us here at the winery ‘share’ articles about our winery on our personal FB pages, so we will be sure to share your blog if you set it up so your articles can be shared there.

    Cheers!

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