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Rocklands Farm Winery & Market
by
Kathy Sullivan

Rocklands Farm Winery and MarketSummary: Rocklands Farm Winery & Market located in Montgomery County, Maryland is just outside the nation’s capital. The farm is designated as an “Agricultural Reserve of Montgomery County.” The mission of Rocklands Farm Winery & Market is summarized in three words, “Feed, Nourish, Engage." Rocklands Farm had a CSA since 2010.

Visitors drive into a rural area of Montgomery County, to farm within the Agricultural Reserve of Montgomery County Maryland. The trip takes one on a short one-lane bridge just prior to reaching Rocklands Farm Winery & Market. Visitors to the winery and market will see a section of vineyards on the far side of the parking area, not far from the turn-of-the-century bank barn. More vineyards are located on a slight hill rising behind the barn and estate two-story colonial home with white shutters. The structure is the home of the owners. On a walking tour of the property one will see cattle grazing in the pasture, chickens pecking the ground and hogs noisily communicating. Another area is designated for gardening.

Rocklands Farm Winery and MarketRocklands Farm Winery & Market is the brainstorm of the owners and several college friends. Greg and Janis Glenn are the property owners. Their son Greg is the founder, CEO and farm manager. Shawn Eubank and Greg co-founded Rocklands farm market. When the Glenns purchased the property, it was in the back of their minds that one day they would add a vineyard and winery to the property. A major idea behind the market is that people can experience seeing the animals and the vineyards. Today adults and children are encouraged to visit the farm and experience farm life. Animals including cattle, hogs, sheep, goats and chickens are pasture raised. Many cuts of meat are sold in the market.

Rocklands Farm Winery and MarketVineyards

Currently the vineyards are planted with several varieties including: Concord, Chardonel, Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Gruner Veltliner, Semillion, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Future plans include adding Tannat.

The best site for planting vineyards on the property was planted in 2014 with five acres. The vineyards are planted in rows seven feet apart, and grapevines spaced four feet apart along the row. White grape varieties are planted six feet apart. Pruning of vineyards begins in February.

Rocklands Farm Winery and MarketWines

Currently Rocklands produces 2,000 cases of wine and the plans include increasing production. TJ Fleming is the winemaker and vineyardist. Doug Fabbioli from Virginia is a consultant.

Rocklands Farm Winery & Market prides itself on creating an experience of a working farm. According to TJ it all comes down to food including meat, wine and vegetables.

Rocklands Market

The market is located on the ground floor of the bank barn. The stonewalls add to the atmosphere of the wine tasting and the market place. Since our visit to Rocklands was during February, the market did not have vegetables available; however, different types of meats were available for purchase. Also raw honey, apple butter spread, scented soaps and handmade note cards were available for purchase.

Wine Tasting

We were invited to spend some time in the vineyard helping to pre-prune the Chardonnay vines. We joined a church group that TJ invited to the vineyard. TJ commented on John 15 and the relationship to the vine and pruning. After we helped pre-prune one and a half rows, we joined the group in the winery for lunch and a barrel sample of the 2015 Cabernet Franc. The winery had several stainless steel tanks and oak barrels.

Rocklands Farm Winery and MarketThe Cabernet Franc 2015 was produced with estate grown fruit. The wine was a dark, opaque purple to black color. The wine offered blackberry and leather notes with hints of red cherries. The wine had a medium to full-body with medium to bold tannins. The finish of leather and oak influences yielded to fruit.

We then proceeded onto the tasting room to taste a few other wines. The tasting room had two square tasting areas. Tables and benches were set up along two of the stone walls for people to enjoy a bottle of Rocklands Farm wine. Pre-packaged beef jerky, goat cheese, salami, and crackers are available for purchase. The tasting room, with stonewalls and wood beams has a rustic, comfortablet feel.

Rocklands Farm Winery and MarketAnna’s Rosé had 14.2% alcohol. The wine was a blend of Chambourcin, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot. This wine was named for the owners’ daughter-in-law. The wine was on skins for 24 hours. The result was a wine with an orange color and a pink hue. The aroma was of red berry fruits. The taste was slightly sweet and reminded one of a fruit salad. The finish was crisp and fruity. The White Oak 2014 was a blend of Seyval Blanc and Vidal Blanc. The barrel fermented wine was a light yellow color. The aroma was of stone fruits and caramel. The taste was smooth with yellow stone fruit notes. The crisp finish offered fruit notes yielding to caramel and mineral. Springhouse Chardonel, a blend of Chardonel and Seyval Blanc, had 15.5% alcohol and was produced with fruit from one mile down the road. The wine was a light straw color. The wine offered notes of summer fruit and is food friendly. The wine had a long finish with mild heat.

The Farmhouse 2014 was a blend of Chambourcin and Zinfandel. The translucent ruby colored wine had a pink hue. Cherry notes were on the aroma and the taste had cherry with leather notes. The wine was medium-bodied with medium tannins. The finish was crisp with oak yielding to cherry influences. The Silo Sundown Dessert wine was produced with Concord grapes. The wine with 18% alcohol was fortified with brandy. The wine spent five months in French-American oak and five months in stainless steel. The wine was a dark purple color and had notes of the Concord grape. The wine was light-bodied and had a long finish.

When visiting Rockland Farm Market and Winery for a wine tasting ask about the Sommelier Experience. For each of five wines participants are asked to:
• associate (memory, picture, place)
• Categorize: fruity/floral/vegetal/spicy/animal/toasted
• Guess the aroma
• Actual aroma

Plan to visit Rockland Farms Market & Winery anytime. Even on a Saturday in February a good number of people were finding their way to the tasting room and market to enjoy wine and camaraderie. Watch for the upcoming CSA program also known as Community Supported Agriculture.

Rocklands Farm Winery & Market
14525 Montevideo Rd.
Poolesville, Maryland, 20837

GPS: N38º 54.181’ W76º 37.236’

 

 

Article written February, 2016



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