DeJon Vineyard in Long Green Valley is the little winery that could. The former cattle farm may not be as well known as its neighbor Boordy Vineyards, but Baltimore County's first winery to open in 23 years is already making a name for itself. Its wines have taken medals in the 2010 and 2011 Maryland Winemasters' Choice Awards. Owners John Wilkerson, a retired software exec, and his wife Denise McCloskey, a full-time ER nurse, started growing grapes in 2008. "We thought, 'Why don't we make wine if we have all these grapes,'" Wilkerson says. And so they did in a refurbished hay barn. The couple opened a tasting room in June and offer daily samplings of seven wines for $5, which includes a wine glass. They also have Wednesday and Saturday events in season and host weddings and other celebrations in the bucolic setting that is part of protected wetlands. It's a welcome stop (dejonvineyard.com) on the Piedmont Wine Trail.
A new winery sprouts in Baltimore County
Issue date: September, 2011