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Robert Godfrey, part owner of the Handsome Cab, walks us through how to properly taste wine. Sean Heisey

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We are entering the grape harvesting time in our region and there certainly are plenty of local wineries that are busy in the vineyards getting wine ready for future enjoyment. I know many of you believe that you cannot obtain good quality wine in this region, but that is where you are wrong. We have many local producers using science and winemaking creativity to make some great wines.

Two such wineries I wish to highlight are Karamoor Estates in Ft. Washington, Pa. and Black Ankle Vineyards in Mt. Airy, Md.

Karamoor Estates

Karamoor is located on 250 acres just outside of Philadelphia in Ft. Washington, Pa. They make Bordeaux style wines right here in Pennsylvania and are doing a pretty darn good job at it.

Currently, you must order the wine from the company's website, but Karamoor provides free shipping. Discounts on Karamoor's wines are available throughout the year for emailing list. Advanced reservations are required for winery tours and tastings.

2014 Chardonnay

A great Chardonnay that smells of tropical fruit, butterscotch with a bit of pear. When you taste it the first taste that came to mind was pear and some vanilla. This is a fuller bodied Chardonnay with a long finish.

 Cost: $30

2013 Petit Verdot

When I poured this into my glass the first thing I noticed was its deep beautiful color. Usually this varietal is used in blending Bordeaux style wines. If you have not tried this varietal on its own, please try this one. It is great to drink on its own without food. It has aromas of blackberry and current and you can taste the fruit and velvet finish, but the finish doesn’t linger as long as some big reds.

 Cost: $55

2013 Meritage (35% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Franc, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot) 

I smelled and tasted plum as the dominate taste in this Bordeaux style wine often called Meritage in the US. This is a more fruit forward wine with a lighter body.

Cost: $35

2013 Cabernet Franc 

This is one of Karamoors’ biggest sellers and you can understand why. It is full bodied with flavors of cherry, toast, and herbs. It has one of those finishes that makes you feel all cozy on the inside. This is another one of the varietals that is usually blended, but is a great stand along wine.

Cost: $32

If you're interested in learning more about or ordering Karamoor Estates' wines, visit karamoorwines.com or call 215-641-0233.

Black Ankle Vineyards

Black Ankle Vineyards is one of my favorite places for visiting with my family. The vineyard's first harvest was in 2006, giving them 10 years of winemaking experience, and they make some delicious wines — among the best in the region. Located in Mt. Airy, Md., this is a great place to take a picnic and sit outside or inside. Get there early if you'd like a table.

2015 Reserve Chardonnay

This is a lighter and crisper Chardonnay that has notes of citrus and honeysuckle. They only have 40 cases left and you will need to call to order.

Cost:  $42

2013 Crumbling Rock Bordeaux Style Red Wine

This wine was one of my favorites. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. It is fruity with some spice and leather with a long finish. This is a great example of the types of red wines they produce along with Viento.

Cost: $52

Black Ankle works hard to produce a well-balanced wine in the blending process and they find after the completeness and balance, the flavors come.

To learn more about Black Ankle Vineyards' wines, visit blackankle.com or call 301-829-3338.

Local wines are getting better, and more restaurants are carrying local wines than ever before. While these two vineyards may not be just down the street, each is about an hour away and definitely worth a day trip. If you miss out on these selections, both vineyards' other white and red wines are also great choices for your taste buds, and are worth considering for your next wine time adventure.

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