Slack Winery is the newest of the Patuxent Trail wineries and the most southern, located about 20 minutes south of the Pax River Navy base. The lovely twist on this winery is that it is a Bed and Breakfast situated on a colonial plantation, Woodlawn Farm, right on the banks of the Potomac River. Typical of Maryland and Virginia plantations, you’ll find wide grassy lawns, which are the perfect setting for laying out your picnic blankets alongside the water under the shade trees. They are also wonderful for the winery’s special events. While I was in the area for class, the Chesapeake Orchestra performed one Friday evening (one of the nicer, unseasonably comfortable evenings). Although I did not attend, a few of my teammates had gone and filled me in on how enjoyable it had been.
Rather than your typical large tasting room complete with barrel room and other facilities, Slack Winery has a lovely little tasting cottage located just in front of the 18th century manor house. As you can see from the pictures, the tasting cottage does not disappoint even if you were expecting something grander like the villas of Running Hare or Potomac Point. For $10 tasting fee, which is waived if you buy a bottle of their wine, you are able to sample seven wines. If you arrive and find no one in the cottage, learn from my experience. Go inside the house! As a Bed and Breakfast, both the tasting cottage and manor house are manned by the Inn Keepers (mainly the owners and a handful of others).
Yellow Legs – Petit Manseng (VA)
- Pale straw color, with a light vanilla nose from the oak it is aged in. Lightly sweet like a dry Riesling and very clean. A feint hint of oak very nicely balanced by the acidity brought forth in notes of lemon and apple.
Slack Tide Blanc – Viognier, Traminette (MD)
- Deep golden color with a light floral nose and bright grapefruit. Almost effervescent in character despite no bubbles. Crisp and zesty with lemon and grapefruit made it perfect for a hot summer day. It went amazing with Cheetos as I plowed away at my HW, can only imagine what other yummy food it will pair with.
Lush Blush – White Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon (MD)
- One of my team mates favorites. Light berry nose matched the berry full nose. As most blushes, it was lightly sweet. The clean strawberry and grassy notes presented a gentle and pleasant wine.
Maestro Symphony – Petit Manseng (VA)
- A vintage older than the Yellow Legs, this is the first wine made by Slack Winery’s wine maker. Aged longer, you’ll find more oak notes on the palate, though still not over powering. It is also has a more mellow acidity. The nose is almost nectar like, with lush stone fruit. A clean mineral and straw flavor help balance the sweetness of the stone fruit notes.
Red Drum Red – Sangiovese, Petit Verdot, Barberra
- You know I love my Petit Verdot and Chiantis. As two of the varietals give away, this red is made in the Tuscan style. I loved the beautiful ruby color of the wine. The nose was full of jammy dark fruits, particularly cherry. I believe I noticed a hint of violets as well. The flavor was juicy and bright and full of berries.
- One word: smooooooth. The clean mineral nose with notes of pepper lead way to a wine full of dark fruit flavors and a hint of smokiness. If it hadn’t been out of my budget, I would have brought a bottle home with me!
Danny Boy Danny – Petit Manseng
- This is Slack Winery’s dessert style wine. You should see the label! It is sweet, but not syrupy. You’ll find a palate full of vanilla and dried apricots lush on your tongue. That plus the label makes you really want to buy it!