Maryland Wine Passport weekends include special tastings, tours and discounts

Tasting at Crow Vineyard and WineryTasting at Crow Vineyard and WineryEnjoy special deals, tastings and experiences at more than 40 wineries along Maryland's wine trails during the Maryland Wine Passport Experience, Feb. 20-21, 2016, and Feb. 27-28. The self-guided adventure allows visitors to customize their experience and stop at the wineries they choose between noon and 5 p.m. The passport is $25 per person and is good at all of the participating wineries for both weekends.

The passport ticket provides complimentary tastings, behind-the-scenes experiences, a commemorative wine glass and a 10 percent discount on bottles at each participating winery. Some hotels, restaurants and retailers are offering deals to passport holders.

The passport experience and wineries including the following offerings:

Capital Wine Trail – New this year, the Capital Wine Trail winds from downtown Silver Spring outside D.C. to the foothills of Sugarloaf Mountain. Enjoy peach sparkling mimosa at Great Shoals Winery and vintage or exclusive tastings at other stops. Tour a winery and chat with a wine maker at The Urban Winery in Silver Spring.

Putuxent Wine Trail – With wineries in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Prince George's and St. Mary's counties, this wine trail is bordered by the Patuxent and Potomac rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Enjoy water vistas, rolling farmland and hospitality in Southern Maryland at the seven featured wineries plus restaurants and attractions. Make your own wine label while enjoying wine-based cocktails at Solomons Island Winery or taRed Heifer Winery in the snowRed Heifer Winery in the snowke a wine tasting class at Perigeaux Vineyards and Winery. Try fudge and cheese with Cove Point wines and cheese and wine at Friday's Creek and Running Hare Vineyard.

Chesapeake Wine Trail – A trip to the numerous Eastern Shore wineries and restaurants could easily take a few days, with nine participating wineries. Try local cheese and farm-raised beef at Crow Farm and Vineyard, chocolate and wine at Bordeleau Vineyards & Winery, and local food and wine at other stops. Taste wine spirit right out off the still at Cassinelli Winery and Vineyards or from the tanks at Layton's Chance.

Frederick Wine Trail - Discover the vineyards and wines at wineries clustered around Mt. Airy. Taste wine from the barrel at Elk Run Vineyard and sample newly released wine at Linganore Winecellars.

Carroll Wine Trail – Home of the state's oldest wine festival and two wineries on the tour. Taste special sparkling wines at Cygnus Wine Cellars and enjoy chocolate and wine at Serpent Ridge Vineyard. Combine this with stops at Linganore Winecellars and Elk Run Vineyard along the Frederick Wine Trail.

Antietam Highlands Wine Trail – Known for its Civil War battlefields and sites, five national parks, 10 state parks and more than 30 museums, this area also includes five wineries. Get early tastes of special reds at Red Heifer Winery and Big Cork Winery, behind the scenes look at where sparkling ciders are bottled at Distillery Lane Ciderworks and even a free slider with your tasting at Knob Hall Winery.

Piedmont Wine Trail – Warm up with homemade butternut squash at Fiore Winery then sample dark chocolate at Harford Vineyard and Winery in northeastern Maryland. Royal Rabbit is serving exclusive tastings while visitors to Dejon Vineyard taste right from the barrel. Learn about the bottling process at Boordy Vineyards.

Sample itineraries for help planning a route or trip are available on the Maryland Wine Trail website where you will find details about the participating wineries.

If you don't want to drive from winery to winery, Vino 301 provides transportation starting at $50.

In case of snow, March 5-6 is the designated snow date weekend. Tickets are available to purchase here.

Read more about the Patuxent Trail wineries here.

Posted by Crickett Gibbons