Down a gravel dirt road and past a scattering of farm structures and tall, shady trees, we arrived at the tasting room building for Thanksgiving Farm Winery. Located in Maryland’s Anne Arundel County, my mom and I recently visited to learn more about their wines and the farm’s history.
Thanksgiving Farm Winery’s history is almost as long as America’s itself, as the property was acquired by a Revolutionary War family. In 1893, the family built a large grand home on the property – the feature image on the winery’s bottles today. In the mid-1950’s, the property was divided into two – a farm down the road occupying the perimeter, and the rest being sold to a prominent Annapolis architect who named it Thanksgiving Farm, in gratitude that his family had found such a wonderful place to live. In 1996, Thanksgiving Farm was purchased by Doug and Maureen Heimbuch, who reside on the property and have established the winery that exists today.
When my mom and I arrived at Thanksgiving Farm Winery, we made our way into the intimate tasting room, and sat down to start our tasting. While Camille gave our tasting, both Doug and Maureen, the winery owners, came in to shake hands and introduce themselves to everyone who tasted with us that day. The winery was full of life since it was the first clear and sunny day after multiple days of rain, and Maureen and Doug were on hand pouring guests tastings as well.
In the tasting room, we decided to do the flight of wines, which included six dry wines and a dessert wine for $10. We started with a white, the Franc Blanc, and then – in true summertime spirit – sampled their refreshing chilled Dry Rosé. Moving onto the reds – typically my favorites, we tried a Farmhouse Red and three Meritages, all from different years. The first Meritage was from 2011, the second from 2010 which Camille explained was an exceptional growing season, and the last from 2013. Despite being the same type of wine, it was interesting to spot the different flavors that touched your palate with each wine’s year. Lastly, we sipped on the winery’s Petit Verdot dessert wine. Not wanting to use brandy in production as is used in many dessert wines, Doug partnered with a company that produces 190% proof grape spirits to create their dessert wine that is 19% alcohol.
If you are interested in the how climate and weather impacts production, the winery offers pamphlets explaining how conditions each year, compared to Bordeaux and Napa, impact the character of each Vintage.
What really stood out to me at the winery – besides the wines themselves – was the outstanding service. Despite it being a busy day at the winery, Doug and Maureen were exceptionally friendly to their guests and made an effort to say hello to everyone, even if briefly. After our tasting, my mom and I went to sit on the porch to enjoy a glass of the 2010 Reserve Meritage bottle I had bought, and were checked on by Doug if we needed any water or pretzels.
The property at the winery is really stunning; I felt dropped into a quiet country retreat despite being only 20 miles from Washington, D.C. and 10 miles from Annapolis, Maryland. Tastings at the winery are done in the tasting room, barrel room, and outside, and the winery has tables and the owner’s own porch to relax on while you take in the scenery.
One thing is for certain – if you’re interested in the Maryland Wine Trail, Thanksgiving Farm Winery is the place to go.
Have you been to any Maryland wineries? What’s your favorite wine?
- Location: Thanksgiving Farm Winery, 195 Harwood Road, Harwood, Maryland, 20776
- Website: thanksgivingfarm.com
- Hours: The winery is open from 1-5PM Saturday and Sunday, April through mid-December
Thank you to Doug and Maureen of Thanksgiving Farm Winery for their graciousness and my wine tasting. All opinions, as always, are my own.