A boat brought us to the Annapolis area one recent winter weekend. Well, a car actually brought us there but a boat was the reason. My significant other wanted to check out a used boat and he convinced me to tag along by strategically mentioning that we could stop at nearby wineries. On the way down from New Jersey, we only had time to stop at one winery due to an appointment at the boat dealer. I wanted to choose carefully – a place that wasn’t too far out of the way and that was a vineyard, not just a store front.
Crow Vineyard & Winery turned out to be a great choice. Although, as you can see from the photos, it was not a sunny day outside, there was plenty of warmth in the tasting room both from the cozy atmosphere and the friendly winery staff. We were instantly greeted by a woman who explained the tasting options (there are two). We made our choice but asked if we could substitute a taste of their sparkling wine instead of their sweet dessert wine, and I appreciated their flexibility when there was a yes without hesitation. We have often bought the wine we switched to (since we are typically switching from a wine we likely won’t like and therefore won’t buy to one we think we will like and might buy), so being flexible with the tasting can, quite literally, pay off.
As we tasted the wines, which were very enjoyable, we heard the story of the winery. We were informed that Crow Farm is a third generation working farm that previously was a dairy farm. The owners are a husband-and-wife team, Roy and Judy, and the third partner is their son, who manages the vineyard. Their winemaker previously made wine in New York State and California before heading to Maryland. They have been making wine at Crow for seven years and have a wide variety of mostly dry wines, including whites, rosés, reds, a sparkling, and a dessert wine.
The woman pouring the wine had her own story in relation to the winery. She moved to Delaware from Pittsburgh and started coming to Crow as a customer, and then decided to work there. I have heard that customer-to-staff-member story before and it always sounds like such a compliment to the winery – that the person had such good winery experiences as a customer and liked the wine (since presumably there is discounted wine involved, why work somewhere you don’t like the wine?) that the person wanted to become a part of the team.
When we explained we were headed for the Annapolis area, two winery staff members provided several suggestions for restaurants and a wine bar. Conversations with friendly, flexible, helpful people paired with good wine – the perfect combination on a gloomy winter’s day. Then we had to see a guy about a boat…