Cheers! Cheers to spring and cheers to sunshine and lets cheers to it all with wine. To do so, you needn’t travel far, as you can find charming and delicious wineries right here in Anne Arundel County. So let’s all raise a glass and explore a few of our local libations.
Great Frogs Winery is located in the heart of Annapolis on Harness Creek Road. Image courtesy of Great Frogs Winery.
The first winery on our local tour is Great Frogs. Located on Harness Creek Road in the heart of Annapolis, Great Frogs Winery is an unexpected gem amidst the ever-growing Annapolis area. A visit to Great Frogs Winery will allow you to escape the daily hustle and bustle into a rustic and cozy setting of rolling vineyards, a restored barn, tasting rooms and a picnic area, all providing the perfect setting for a lovely afternoon. Beyond just the setting, the wine and the wine growing process are also everything they should be, as they are diligently tended to with passion and care. The friendly folks at Great Frogs work very hard to ensure the grapes, growing from the sandy soil near the Chesapeake, are grown and harvested in a way that allows the production of the best wine possible.
Don't worry- the wine isn't going to the dogs- but your four legged friend is welcome at Great Frogs. Image courtesy of Great Frogs Winery.
Andrea and Nathanael O'Shea are the owners, wine makers and general managers of the farm at Great Frogs. When asked about their wines, they said, “Wine is something we love to make and love to share. We put our heart, soul, and mind into every bottle we produce, knowing our enthusiasm for making handcrafted wines sets us apart. Our wines are not only award winning, but they can stand on their own to showcase the rich heritage of the region. We are proud to bring something refreshingly different to the table."
“Wine is something we love to make and love to share. We put our heart, soul, and mind into every bottle we produce..." Image courtesy of Great Frogs Winery.
Discover this for yourself by scheduling a tasting to sample the premium wines at Great Frogs. Tastings are accompanied by a small snack plate of cheese, crackers, charcuterie, and fruit. Great Frogs will be reopening to the public on May 1st, with Saturdays to start, and will expand their days from there as restrictions and COVID safety allows. In the meantime, they have been offering home tasting kits for local delivery as well as shipping to 39 states. A membership to their wine club offers many perks and is certainly worth looking into.
The Vineyards at Dodon in Davidsonville, MD. Image courtesy of The Vineyards at Dodon.
The next stop on our wine tour is The Vineyards at Dodon located in rural Davidsonville. It is a 555 acre working farm, the largest in Anne Arundel County. Run by the Pittman family, the farm has been a home and workplace for the family since 1752, spanning nine generations. It has a fascinating and rich history that includes names such as Charles Carroll and George Washington, and uses from wine to tobacco to thoroughbreds and it was once even a seminary. The beauty right after bud-break makes April the perfect setting for beautiful outdoor picnics and reservations to do so are now available.
Budbreak on a vine at the Vineyards at Dodon. Image courtesy of The Vineyards at Dodon.
There are many picnic seating options to fit your needs. If you are bringing your children along, or want your own little respite retreat, you may enjoy the Hillside Picnic Tables. Here you may enjoy a view of the South Vineyard in a shaded grove with entertaining views of the farm’s sheep, all contributing to the authentic farm setting and experience. If you are looking for closer proximity to things a little less off the grid, you may enjoy the Pavilion with the outdoor bar, as you look over stunning views of the vineyard and meadows. Both picnic areas offer tables and a variety of seating.
The beauty right after bud-break makes April the perfect setting for beautiful outdoor picnics and reservations to do so are now available. Image courtesy of The Vineyards at Dodon.
Dodon also has a wine club and members have access to the exclusive area of the Winery Deck and Lawn. Here you may enjoy a fine wine while also catching the sunset over magnificent views of the property. The grapes at Dodon are tended to with love, patience, and care. When discussing their wine making process, Dodon describes the following, “Wines that tell a story of place and time are more challenging. The goals are always the same - balance, harmony, depth, and longevity, with the fresh acidity that is required for the dining table. Producing wine with these characteristics requires rigorous attention to every detail, relentless intellectual curiosity, persistent questioning, and undying patience.”
Picturesque and perfect for a Spring picnic, book online to reserve space at Dodon. Image courtesy of The Vineyards at Dodon.
At this time, The Vineyards at Dodon are not hosting tours, tastings or indoor activities but they are very much looking forward to the return of these events in the near future. In the meantime, you can still get the Dodon tasting experience and learn all about the wine and their winery through one of their virtual tastings. Wine may be delivered locally, purchased curbside, and is also available to be shipped direct to 37 States. In addition, you will find wine from The Vineyards at Dodon in many of your favorite shops around town, as they have partnered with a vast variety of local restaurants and stores.
Thanksgiving Farm Winery has a limited capacity due to Covid so please call for reservations. Image courtesy of Thanksgiving Farm Winery.
Last, but not least, we will venture into the vineyards at Thanksgiving Farm Winery located a bit further south in Harwood. Here, between the watersheds of the Patuxent and West Rivers, Doug and Maureen Heimbuch are the proprietors, grape growers, and wine makers. Thanksgiving Farm is another great family-owned and operated vineyard here in Anne Arundel County. They produce their own Thanksgiving Farm brand of wines from grapes grown at their vineyard in the fall harvest.
In the spring, Thanksgiving Farm produces their Towee brand wines from grapes from the southern hemisphere. Image courtesy of Thanksgiving Farm Winery.
In the spring, Thanksgiving Farm produces their Towee brand wines from grapes from the southern hemisphere. Thanksgiving Farms specializes in the production of dry wines of the European-style produced in small batches. The property is charming and features a historic restored farmhouse from 1893. When it comes to their farm and the environment, Thanksgiving Farm Winery is very cognizant of the farming process. Their rows of trellises follow contours of the land to minimize soil erosion. The grapes are sun ripened and hand-picked with great focus on harvesting only the best, resulting in making the best wine. At this time, the winery building is open to two people at a time with masks required. Inside you will find the wine processing facility, barrel aging room, and wine tasting room. Here you may purchase wine to take outside and enjoy at some of their personal seating options in the unique setting at Thanksgiving Farms. Wine may also be purchased at many fine wine stores in the area.
Purchase your wine to take outside and enjoy in their outdoor seating area by the vineyard. Image courtesy of Thanksgiving Farm Winery.
Explore and Enjoy
I encourage you to explore these wonderful wineries in person and to visit their websites and social media to learn even more about their unique offerings. Especially now, with outdoor activities on the top of everyone’s list, visits to these local wineries really would make for a pleasurable and unique experience. In addition, each winery offers a rich history, hand-picked harvests, focus on environment and preservation, and a clean grape to glass experience. They are excited to share their process and wine with you and hope you come by for a visit this spring! Once again, cheers!!
Great Frogs Winery: 3218 Harness Creek Rd, Annapolis, MD 21403
The Vineyards at Dodon: 391 Dodon Rd, Davidsonville, MD 21035
Thanksgiving Farms Winery: 195 Harwood Rd, Harwood, MD 20776