Fans of the Bethesda Central Farm Market will have a chance to taste
some local wine with all that local produce this Sunday, Sept. 13, from 9
am to 1 pm, when Black Ankle Vineyards will be pouring
and selling their new Leaf Stone Syrah. According to market organizer
Mitch Berliner, it is the first time a winery has been allowed to
participate in a farm market in Maryland.
That may seem strange, considering a vineyard is nothing if not a
farm. But of course, we‚€™re talking alcoholic beverage here, so the
laws and politics are different.
Berliner said he wanted wineries to participate in his market because
wine should be part of the ‚€œeat local‚€ movement. He picked a good
winery to feature ‚€“ Black Ankle just won the Maryland Governor‚€™s Cup
for the second year in a row with its 2007 Crumbling Rock, a
Bordeaux-styled blend. Not bad for a winery that just opened its doors
in 2007. The 2006 Crumbling Rock won the Governor‚€™s Cup last year.
The 2007 Leaf Stone Syrah is no wallflower ‚€“ it took ‚€œBest of
Category‚€ as best syrah in the recent Atlantic Seaboard WIne
Competition, and created quite a buzz among the judges, including me.
(‚€œLeaf Stone‚€ is another way of saying ‚€œCrumbling Rock,‚€ and is
emblematic of the soil at the Black Ankle vineyards, near Mt. Airy.)
As I wrote about Black Ankle a year ago in The Washington Post: ‚€œThis is not your father‚€™s Maryland wine.‚€
Don‚€™t miss this chance to taste the wine, because you won‚€™t see
Ed Boyce and Sarah O‚€™Herron, the husband-and-wife team behind the
winery, at the farm market on a regular basis. Maryland law only allows a
winery three special permits per county per year, and this is using up
one of Black Ankle‚€™s, Boyce said.
Berliner hopes to change that when the Maryland legislature convenes
in January. It could be an exciting year for Maryland wine lovers, with
hopes high that the legislature will also ease restrictions on having
wine shipped directly to consumers‚€™ homes.
For now, though, taste the Leaf Stone Syrah on Sunday. If it catches
your fancy, there will also be a Farm Market dinner on Monday, Sept. 14,
at Redwood restaurant in Bethesda Row, featuring Black Ankle wines.
Cost is $75 per person.