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Advocating for under-appreciated wine regions in the Eastern United States

With regard to the wine, a majority of the fruit is sourced from around the world and only 20% is grown locally. Scarborough indicated that this is entirely by design. The idea is to concentrate only on varietals that can be grown reliably in Southern Maryland. This idea is to make wine only from good fruit, so Scarborough has contracted for a specific quality with his international sources and it is evident in the quality of the Running Hare wines.

There is a very large parking area at Running Hare. After exiting my car, I noted numerous food trucks and it is necessary to be carded and receive a wristband before entering the main event space. Just inside the gate there is a shaded area filled with picnic tables. Beyond that there are two primary structures. One serves beer and the other wine. They both offer tastings in addition to glass and bottle sales. Between the tasting structures, there are numerous tables in what looks like a sea of colorful umbrellas. This seating faces a small stage where a band played. According to owner Mike Scarborough, this is a typical Saturday at Running Hare.

According to Scarborough, the vision is for Running Hare to become the epicenter of regional agro tourism. It was toward this end that he purchased the 292-acre property in 2000. Planting was started in 2003 and today there are eight acres under vine. The first vintage was bottled in 2007 and a brewery was added in 2014. Current annual production stands at around 7500 cases of wine and 2400 barrels of beer, which is sold exclusively on the premises.

It is difficult to compare Running Hare Vineyards to other wineries. I am just unfamiliar with any other similar program. Nevertheless, they do appear to pull in a great deal of repeat business and patrons are drawn from as far away as DC and Baltimore. So it works. At the end of the day, Running Hare is attracting wine drinkers, educating them and entertaining them. In my estimation, this winery and tasting experience are something of an anchor for other local producers.

I can absolutely recommend stopping in. In fact, I think you need to experience this winery and find out what they have to offer. Running Hare Vineyard is a must-see winery in Southern Maryland. After you stop in, I am very interested in hearing your thoughts.

Cheers!

Owner(s): J. Michael Scarborough

Winemaker: Jerson Garcia

Looking out across the vineyard at the Tuscan-style villa.

The beer-tasting space.

Open to Public 

Fri-Sun 12 to 6

150 Adelina Road; Prince Frederick, MD 20678

410-414-8486

I tasted through the entire menu and the reserve wines. All of the wines made from sourced fruit were of the highest quality. I am, however, much more interested in what is being grown and produced from local grapes. There were three wines that met those criteria.

The Cabernet Franc and Chambourcin rosé was exceptional. It was done in a dry, Provençal style that was perfectly balanced. The honey and stone fruit notes ended in a dry, crisp finish making it my favorite of the Maryland wines. I also tasted a pair of blends. I felt that the Cayuga/Niagara Jackrabbit White was a nice summer sipping wine. Like all the whites, it was balanced and very well crafted. The Concord/Rougeon Jackrabbit Red was something of a surprise. The Rougeon stood up to the Concord and muted the grape jelly notes. It is a perfect “gateway” red for wine drinkers just learning to appreciate red wine. It was fruit forward and displayed few tannins, which also make it a nice summer sipping wine.

After turning off of Adelina Road near Prince Frederick, Maryland, the gravel drive seemed to wind through the woods for miles and that is only a slight exaggeration. After breaking out of the trees, I noted several acres of vineyards and on the distant hill there appeared a Tuscan-style villa. As I followed the parking signs around the vineyard, I thought there was a special event underway. Well, there was sort of…

Running Hare Vineyard Profile

     Written by Brian Jul 2, 2017

This winery was not really on my radar beyond simply being one of many Maryland wineries that I intended to visit. I will say that I am surprised that I did not hear more about this winery before stopping in. First of all, the business model at Running Hare Vineyard is different from most wineries I visit in the Mid Atlantic. More importantly, it is a genuinely spectacular venue that sports a real wine country vibe.

Looking out across the vineyard at the Tuscan-style villa.

A sea of umbrellas provide shade for patrons listening to live music.