Thanksgiving Farm Winery

Today's visit to Thanksgiving Farm was a friendly and very personal experience. Driving up the long gravel drive, amid trees and vineyards, we found an idyllic setting for a small winery with a small tasting room and some unique wines.

We were greeted by the owners of the vineyard and seated in the small and comfortable tasting room. The tasting experience was accompanied by conversation and stories of the vineyard, quite like sitting in our hosts’ living room for a visit. From understanding how the property was purchased and planted, to a recounting of a trip to Bordeaux, to explanations of how the wines were made (particularly the Franc Blanc and the Rose), it was a relaxed and enjoyable tasting:

  • Franc Blanc, a 100% Cab Franc white wine. Some place between a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc, this was a nice dry white, with a touch of fruit.
  • 2009 Dry Rose. A bone dry Rose that I liked quite a bit—a strange admission from a red wine drinker who doesn’t know what I am supposed to “get” out of a Rose. The vintner was helpful in explaining how this wine was a result of concentrating juice for their wonderful Meritage.
  • 2008 Meritage. Still a bit young in the bottle, this will certainly age well (though I doubt I will be able to hold on to it very long). A medium-bodied dry red Bordeaux blend, emulating the best of the right bank.

Thanksgiving Farm is open on Sunday afternoons. For a quiet afternoon, a pleasant drive into the Anne Arundel country, and some nicely structured wine, it is certainly worthy of a visit.

Brown Wasps

Loren Eiseley’s “Brown Wasps” sticks in my mind as I begin this blog and try to understand the effect of soil and climate on the food we eat and the wine that we drink. In Eiseley’s case, there was a realization that with the passage of time we still yearn to return to the familiar and comfortable, even when the place has changed (brown wasps returning to an abandoned nest or Eiseley himself searching for a tree that is no longer there). Eiseley states: "But sometimes the place is lost in the years behind us. Or sometimes it is a thing of air, a kind of vaporous distortion above a heap of rubble. We cling to a time and place because without them man is lost, not only man but life." 

When I visit a vineyard or open a bottle of wine, the aroma and depth of place and time emerges and informs. It is the land and the harvest, the climate and year’s weather that defines and structures the vintage. Unlike Eiseley, I can return to that field and the earth from which the vines drew their life. And, with each sip I can experience the unique and vital terroir, and understand the life released with the pop of a cork.