Last week, we had the opportunity to visit Cove Point Winery (click here to see their listing in our Food & Drink Business Directory), in Lusby, Calvert County. The winery is just east of Rte. 4, right next to hole 5 at the Chesapeake Hills Golf Course, Calvert County’s largest public golf course. They are about 1.3 miles from the Chesapeake Bay, and very close to Calvert Cliffs State Park.
As you drive toward the winery, you start seeing road signs with a grape symbol, indicating you’re on the right track. Thankfully, our GPS got us within a few feet of the entrance, as the winery’s sign on Cove Point Road isn’t exactly obvious. To reach the tasting room, you drive down a slight incline along a narrow, tree-lined driveway that opens into a parking area in front of what appears to be a small building. The front part of the building houses the tasting room. Off to the left and slightly set back is a house. There is a small vineyard as well, back behind the tasting room, though we really couldn’t see it (the vineyard can clearly be seen if you zoom into the satellite view on Google Maps).
The weather was unusually uncomfy for mid-May, as the temperature was in the low 90’s, and it was fairly humid. We were glad to find the tasting room well air-conditioned. It occupies a narrow space at the front of the building, with a bar and no seating, with wine bottles and souvenirs displayed along the walls. When asked, we were told the wine was made “back there” with a wave of the hand toward the rear of the building.
Cove Point Winery offerings
They make a lot of different wines here. As I write this, their online store lists 4 whites, 7 reds, 5 dessert wines, and at least 14 fruit-flavored wines (things such as peach, black cherry, sangria, blueberry, and so forth). They have a great offer for tastings, too. You can taste any four wines for free, or ten wines for $4 and you get to keep the glass. Note, that is not a typo in the previous sentence: four pours for free. They are about one ounce pours, so it’s not exactly like you’re going to overindulge. It did make me wonder, though, how often can you come in for freebies, but I didn’t ask.
Given the size of the operation, compared to how many wines they make, we asked where they get their juice. The answer was that they make every attempt to source their grape juice from Maryland, though occasionally they have to go out-of-state.
Tasting the wines
This was by far the smallest tasting room of all the wineries we have visited. The only thing smaller might be no tasting room at all, which is where the folks at Janemark Winery & Vineyard are at the moment. They are working on converting an old tobacco barn into a tasting room.
We decided to share a ten-pour between us, so we could try as much as reasonably possible. In order, we tasted:
- Pinot Grigio
- Cove Point Red
- Carbernet Sauvignon
- Blueberry Chocolate Hibiscus Port
Standing at the bar, we worked our way through all 10 pours. The chocolate flavor in the Port is really quite something — it’s almost like sipping on a candy bar. We didn’t care much for the Sangria, but everything else was good to very good.
The chocolate flavor in the Port is really quite something — it’s almost like sipping on a candy bar.
After our tasting, we each got a glass of the Chardonnay and adjourned to the tasting room’s front porch. There, they have tables and chairs, where we could enjoy our wine and eat a light lunch we brought with us. Like all the other wineries we have visited, Cove Point Winery lets visitors bring food with them. The only exception I’ve seen is when a winery holds a special event and they sell food on-site. The wineries also allow you to bring soft drinks. They all, of course, ban anyone from bringing their own alcoholic beverages.
We returned to the tasting room after lunch and got 12 bottles of wine. They offer a 7% discount if you buy six bottles, and 15% off for a dozen. As you can see from the photo above, we came away with Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Blueberry Chocolate Hibiscus Port, Pinot Grigio, and Malbec. I’m sure we’ll enjoy them all. If you are in southern Calvert County, do yourself a favor and stop-in for a tasting at Cove Point Winery. ♦