On the first Friday of each month, the Port of Leonardtown Winery (click here to see their Food & Drink Business Directory listing, which includes their address, URL, driving directions, etc.) has a tasting with hours extended until 9 PM (at this time, their usual hours are noon until 6 PM Wednesday through Sunday), along with live music, which we attended on April 7, 2017. We had been to Leonardtown before, most recently to dine at La Rive Breton (see A taste of Europe in Leonardtown — a review), but had not made it to this winery yet.
We were using Google Maps on my phone to guide us there, and although it did get us there, we didn’t realize it at first. The map shows a location that looks to be on Point Lookout Rd. (Rte. 5) — both on my phone and on the desktop version. But the GPS guidance had us take a right on Newtowne Neck Rd. (Rte. 236, which in some places on the Google Map is called Compton Rd.), and soon we saw a large sign on our left that said Port of Leonardtown Park, but we didn’t see any mention of a winery (and it did look like a park).
We turned around and drove back out to Point Lookout Rd., turned right, and saw the winery on our right, but no entrance! We made a U-turn, went back to where we had just been, and carefully looked at the sign this time, and in much smaller print, the winery is mentioned. Oh well, at least we got there.
There were perhaps a dozen vehicles in the parking lot, and we were lucky enough to find a parking space quite near the entrance to the winery and tasting room. Their outdoor patio was tented and had large propane heaters, as there was a chill in the air. Music could be heard as we made our way to the door. We then entered the tasting room, which has a check-out stand to the left of the entrance, and then a couple of bars (with no seats). We were greeted at the first bar by Emily (full-time school teacher, part-time tasting room staffer), who was to be our guide to the evening’s tasting.
Along the wall behind us: wine racks full of their wares, a refrigerator with chilled bottles and soft drinks, and displays of souvenir T-shirts. They also sell cheese, crackers, and summer sausage to nibble on while you sip your wine, and of course, you’re welcome to bring your own food. In the far corner of the room, near the check-out station, is a display of brochures and flyers, highlighting local things to see and do.
Winery bottles to taste
Emily provided us with a tasting menu and ran through our options. What did we choose? As usual, everything! Here’s what we had, in order:
- 5th Anniversary White
- 2014 Vidal Blanc
- 2015 Tributary White
- 2013 Barbera (red)
- 2014 Barbera Reserve (just released)
- 2015 Captain’s Table (red blend)
- Red Lot 15
- 2015 Chaptico Rosé (what I’m sipping as I type this)
- Tangerine Tango (semi-sweet white)
- 2015 Breton Bay Breeze (sweet white)
- 2013 The Port of Leonardtown (their version of port)
We bought bottles of 2015 Chaptico Rosé, 2013 The Port of Leonardtown, and 2014 Barbera Reserve. We also joined their Captain’s Wine Club, which features their dry wines (making it our third wine club). Their Commander’s Club features their sweet wines. The nice thing about their clubs is that there’s no fee to join. You just have to guarantee for a year that you’ll buy three bottles per quarter, for which you get:
- 15% discount on any wine purchased.
- Invitation to members only events — special receptions, barrel tastings, introductory wine offers.
- Access to wine club inventory not available to the public.
We look forward to our next trip to Leonardtown to pick-up our Captain’s Club wines. Below you’ll see a photo-gallery to share some more views of the Port of Leonardtown Winery with you. ♦