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Dove Valley Vineyards and Winery
by
K. L. Sullivan

Summary: Located in Cecil County, Maryland, Dove Valley Vineyards and Winery is close to the Pennsylvania line in the town of Rising Sun. Founder and winemaker Harry Hepbron planted the first grapes in 1998 and opened the tasting room in November 2007. Today eight wines from 2004 and 2005 vintages are available. Dove Valley is a total family operation. Watch for events at the winery as the weather becomes warmer. Open houses and walking tours are just some of the events anticipated.

Dove Valley WineryOn the day of our visit, the temperatures were below seasonal and the wind was blustery. As we enjoyed tasting wine and talking with other visitors, occasional gusts of wind sent snow showers past a large picture window. The sight was delightful as long as we were inside the warm, friendly tasting room.

We enjoyed meeting Harry Hepbron and his daughter, Janel Griffith. Harry is a former Cecil County commissioner and is on a quest to preserve the land for his children and grandchildren. Harry has farmed his entire life and decided to establish the winery as a family legacy and to show that grapes can be grown in Cecil County as a viable option to traditional farming. Dove Valley is the first licensed winery in Cecil County. Harry’s goal is to create an agricultural destination winery site for generations to come. A bed and breakfast is just one of the ideas for the future.

Dove Valley Vineyards and Tasting RoomDove Valley Winery tasting roomThe tasting room is a recently built log building. Inside pine lines the walls horizontally and the ceiling reaching up in an apex glistens with the glow of light pine. Behind the tasting bar is a large LCD panel of a slide show about the winery. Currently the winery produces over 1300 cases of wine. All of the wine is estate wine from the nine acres of grapes presently growing. Grape varieties include Zinfandel, Bianca, Vignoles, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Pinot Noir. Dove Valley sells some of its harvest to other wineries.

LuMu CandiesChocolate fountainThis was a special weekend with Valentine’s Day only a few days away. In the center of the room was a table displaying boxes of chocolate candies. These candies by LuMu Candies, LLC were available in special boxes and were very tempting. Against a back wall was a chocolate fountain, with chocolate flowing and strawberries or grapes to dip. Many of the visitors were strolling from the tasting counter to the chocolate table and experimenting with the wines and chocolates.

Dove Valley winesWe tasted several wines at the tasting counter. All had been aged for several years. The wines currently served in the tasting room are from the 2004 and 2005 vintages. Merlot had a red cherry fruit nose, with a light red fruit flavor. It was dry fruit forward with an acid balance. A strawberry nose was observed with the Pinot Noir as well as fruit and acid on the taste. Dove Valley Red was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot resulting in a red fruity nose and taste.

 

Dove Valley Winery tasting roomOn the far end of the room, antiques decorate the area. It is pleasant to walk throughout the tasting room and observe the antiques. The tasting room has several areas to relax in with your favorite Dove Valley wine. Lace-covered tables offer space for conversation. As the weather becomes warmer, walking tours of the vineyards and open houses will be featured at the winery. Enjoy the tasting room ambience when you visit Dove Valley and don’t miss an opportunity to talk with Harry and Janel.

 

 

Dove Valley Vineyards and Winery
645 Harrington Road
Rising Sun, MD 21911

For more information

GPS N 39° 40.429' W 076° 02.272'


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