I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love the positive vibe of a winery. There’s something usually so welcoming and approachable about the whole experience. From the usual remote location, to its endearing road signs to steer you in the right direction, makes the journey as wonderful as the destination.
This brings me to one of the most pleasurable tasting experiences I’ve had in quite some time. If you haven’t been to Dove Valley in Rising Sun, MD, I strongly recommend to make the journey. Even if you’re a few hours away, it’s highly work making the trip for.
And that leads to me. I only live about 30 minutes south and it’s taken me nearly seven years to finally make a visit. I’ve been living in the area for about that long. Why it’s taken me so long has no explanation. I’ve taken drives up to the Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York areas going up 95 North and always saw the signs for Dove. I always said to myself I need to go. Well it finally happened and maybe it was meant to happen on this day.
Additionally, I’ve rarely seen their wines at various nearby festivals, if at all, the more I think about it. Maybe the universe was telling me something. That I need to come to them. I’m grateful I did.
As I parked my car, the area seemed eerily quiet. In many instances I would take this as a sign to drive off and delay this visit once again. But the little voice inside me said no, get out of the car, and see what’s going on.
A nice lady came out and greeted me. She directed me to the tasting room where someone would be joining me momentarily.
Fortunately, there were a couple of dogs running around, so I felt at peace and was in no rush to get this tasting going.
Janel, who is such a wonderful person, came in a few minutes later and made me feel at home. One thing I’ve noticed about wines, when the person pouring it for you is approachable, caring, and sincere, the wine is almost always going to taste better. It’s just one of those amazing parts of life. My head and my heart is in a happy place and everything around me is the same. It’s so powerful.
Now there were wines I liked more than others, but some I was pleasantly surprised by. I did not find a single wine to be bad, that could also be the environment I was in, that I alluded to before. But this was so fun. And wine drinking is supposed to be one of those most fun and inspiring experiences.
I won’t write about them all but the Cabernet Franc, which is usually a favorite wherever I go, was very good, but my favorite was the Pinot Noir. It didn’t taste as light as usual Pinot’s but this one hit me and made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside. I have no other explanation for it. It really struck a chord with me.
The Merlot and Red Zin were also very good, that can complement just about any meal at any time of year. The Rose and Dove Valley Red, which is their own special blend which full-bodied and full of fruitiness, also were stand-outs. The latter is not something I would usually drink, but as the weather is still magnificent, I would drink this now or through most of the year. I found it tasty and actually dangerously easy to drink. 🙂
But the two I purchased were the aforementioned Pinot and my other favorite of the day, the Vignoles. To me, these two wines are the red and white equivalent of the other. That was the glorious feeling I got when I was sipping them and decided to purchase both. The latter also had a full body and fruity taste, similar to the Dove Valley Red, but this one just hit me more. Don’t get me wrong, I would’ve walked out with about a half-dozen bottles if I wasn’t careful.
Janel also provided a masterful cheese and crackers plate for me to sample along with the wines and to cleanse the palate when necessary. The tasting glass is so pleasing to the eye, that it will be a welcome addition to my collection.
The most important thing I want to mention is she was so accommodating and helpful in regards to any questions I might have had. This was not a rushed experience. She took her time and made sure my visit was a great one. It was more than that. It was a memorable one. So memorable, that this is one of the longest write-ups I’ve ever done!
I also wanted to mention that she didn’t charge me for the tasting or the Vignoles. She had no reason to do so. I was so flattered and insisted that she didn’t have to. It was above-and-beyond any winery visit I’ve had before. This is their family business, I felt bad not paying, but she insisted. This is class personified. I wish I could use every superlative in the word for this one, but that would go on endlessly.
I splurged on the Pinot Noir. The bottle was $25 and that is extremely rare for me to do. I usually like my wines under $20, usually under $10-$15 if at all possible. This is the whole point of Wine Is Fun. We’re here to celebrate that great wine is fun to drink, to talk about, and be very affordable. In this instance, I still feel that $25 for this bottle was a bargain. And to have the tasting and Vignoles as part of the package, I felt like I was stealing.
This only means I will be back soon and many times over. Speaking of which, they have many fun events coming up, including live bands, and events such as Paint & Wet Your Palette, which is akin to many of the wine and paint nights that have become commonplace. I have yet to do one myself. I hope I get the opportunity.
They also have a Murder Mystery next month, which I always thought was the coolest thing when reading about them or seeing it depicted on television. To have it be so close is an event I don’t think I can miss.
And their big event coming up in October is Winestock, in which they will team up with several other wineries in the area for a day of wining, eating, and live music. If the wording is correct this is a hippie fest that is right up my alley, that I hope not to miss. All the events can be found here. And since you want to come here, here are the directions!
Here is a list of there you can find their wines in Maryland.
I could go on till eternity, but I’ll save some for a future post. Enjoy the photos. I think you will see the encapsulate how the brilliance of this place.
I was only here for under an hour but the visit will resonate me for a lifetime. This is how wine is done. There’s not enough gratitude to express how extravagant and spectacular this experience was.
Dove Valley thank you so much!