In the upper left corner of Maryland is an all-too-well-kept secret called Deep Creek Cellars. In a land abounding with sweet wines, Deep Creek has a variety of dry, elegant vintages that rival the revered California wineries of Sonoma.
We first went to Deep Creek over a year ago, when we met up with our buddy, Greg, to go camping in Ohioplye, PA. Finding Deep Creek was a matter of googling and scheduling a driveway tasting because this was the early days of COVID and people were still acting sensibly. The owners, Paul and Nadine, came out and served us in their driveway as promised. The view was amazing and they provided excellent guidance on the tasting notes. Being a cooler fall day, the Ursa Major—a hearty red with a full mouth feel—really hit the spot. In fact, several months later, when Miracle and I married, Greg stopped by Deep Creek to pick up a few—like 10—bottles of wine. Needless to say, Deep Creek is a winner.
When we planned to come back through the region on our 49-state trip, we decided to contact Paul to see if he would be willing to let us park in his driveway overnight. When we showed up, Paul and Nadine had just closed the tasting room for the day and they offered us seats at their picnic table and some of their latest vintage Great Crossings white wine. First, the wine was spectacular. This year’s Great Crossings is even better than last year’s. Secondly, Paul and Nadine are incredibly interesting folks. Paul has a deep knowledge of wine and even wrote a book on the subject called From this Hill, My Hand, Cynthiana’s Wine. They treated us to a private tasting where we discovered our new favorite red—a lighter, more Italian style with lots of spice on the nose called Watershed. (The artwork on the bottle is Nadine’s handiwork, by the way.)
Then, that evening, after sunset that painted the entire evening with an amber glow, we settled down for dinner. “If I cut up some tomatoes would you eat them?” Paul asked. I’ve never been known to turn down fresh produce, so I said yes.
Fresh tomatoes is a modest description of what Paul served. These were some of the juiciest, most flavorful tomatoes wither Miracle or I has ever tasted. Green flesh tomatoes. Small golden tomatoes. Medallion cut cucumber drizzled with olive oil and handpicked basil. I’ve been to Italy and had fresh tomatoes served in the Piazza de Narvone. This was better.
The next morning Paul made breakfast for us, insisting it was no big deal. To us, it was huge. Usually we have coffee and bananas and hit the road. But once again he included his now-famous produce in a burrito and paired it with black coffee and it was perfection. We followed him into the nearby town of Friendship where he gave us some pointers on hiking, where to get fresh spring water, and where we could river bathe without violating too many local ordinances.