We originally hoped to visit Solomons Island Winery (click here to see their listing in our Food & Drink Business Directory, with location map, hours, etc.) when we spent several days in Lexington Park in mid-May of this year. Unfortunately their tasting room was closed, and had not been open for several months. Their website said they were in the midst of moving to a new tasting room. So, we waited to hear when they would re-open. The previous location was at the owners’ home in Lusby, near Ruddy Duck Brewery & Grill, which we visited in May (you can read about our visit to that restaurant/brewery by clicking here).
I had been messaging them via Facebook to stay current on what was happening with their new location. They sent word on Saturday, July 1st, that they had re-opened that day. The new location is on Solomons Island itself, on the pier along with The Pier Restaurant. The location, obviously enough, is on a large pier that juts out into the Patuxent River. We immediately made plans to drive south for a tasting the next day, Sunday the 2nd of July.
Tasting room location
The address is on Solomons Island Rd. South, also known as Maryland Rte. 2. The west side of the road has several free public parking lots. On the east side of Rte. 2, there are shops, restaurants, and bed-and-breakfasts (B&Bs) typical of many tourist-destination-waterside towns. If you’re looking to stay overnight on Solomons Island, the nearby B&Bs include the Back Creek Inn, the Blue Heron Inn Bed & Breakfast, and the Solomons Victorian Inn.
The tasting room is so new, we could practically smell the fresh paint on the walls.
Despite using our GPS, we managed to drive by the tasting room a couple times before we spotted the sign for the Solomons Island Tasting Room. It is located at the very beginning of the pier, at the end of a long boardwalk along the Patuxent River. Luckily, despite the weekend crowd, we were able to get a parking space not too far from the tasting room.
Solomons Island Winery tasting
The tasting room is so new, we could practically smell the fresh paint on the walls. At this point, it is very bare bones with little or no decorations. The one thing they do have, though, is lots of wine. They told us they source their juice/grapes from all over. Their tasting list counts 17 different varieties, including four dry, ten sweet, and five classified as dessert wines (two of which overlap with the sweet category). They are the first Southern Maryland winery we’ve visited that offers ice wine. The ice-wine grapes come from Canada. They told us their goal is to make 25,000 [corrected from 2,500 on September 2, 2017] cases of wine this year.
A standard tasting includes seven wines for $10, and you get to keep the souvenir glass with the winery logo. We made a list of those we liked. Our choices were based partly on the types of wines we like, and partly on what they recommended. Among those we tried were Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Black Raspberry Merlot, Riesling Ice Wine, Port, plus their Chocolate Marytage (Meritage) Sauce (it would go great over ice cream). As it became clear to them we were intently making notes and planned to buy several bottles, the ten-wine limit for the tasting went out the window, and we probably tasted all but four of their 17 wines (plus the chocolate sauce).
After we finished our tasting, we had settled on a list of the wines we liked. We bought:
- 2 bottles of Chardonnay
- 2 bottles of Merlot
- 1 bottle of Solomons Island Port
- 1 bottle of black raspberry merlot
Unfortunately, they don’t give a discount for a half case. They only offer discounts for full cases (12 bottles) or for military personnel. If you’re in that part of Maryland, they are definitely worth a visit. We’ve already talked about returning to purchase some of the chocolate sauce and port for Christmas gifts.♦