Did you know that Maryland has a growing and well-respected winery industry? DrinkLocalWine, who champions locally made wines held their 5th annual conference in Baltimore in April, 2013 to focus specifically on the Maryland wine industry. Changes in wine shipping and purchases and zoning restrictions have helped the Maryland wine industry grow. Currently, there are 61 wineries licensed in the state from western Maryland to the Chesapeake. The state has a great climate for growing grapes. In fact, Maryland wineries share a similar climate and latitude of many famous European wine producing areas including Portugal, Spain, Southern Italy and Greece.
The first record of wine making in Maryland was in 1648 by Tenis Palel. The grapes and some of the growing techniques have changed and developed over the centuries with the “modern” era of Maryland wine making starting after World War II. The Boordy Vineyards, Maryland’s first officially bonded winery in Riderwood, opened in 1945 and still is in business today. Crow Vineyard, in Kennedyville, is the most recent winery, opening in 2012. Maryland wineries produce over 420 different types of wines which according to http://www.marylandwine.com, earned over $24 Million in 2011. Since the climate is great for grape growing, most of the wine grapes are grown in Maryland. The vineyards harvest 800 tons of grapes per year on over 400 acres of grapevines.
Each of Maryland’s wineries holds different events throughout the year. The Maryland Wine Festival is held every September at the Carroll County Farm Museum. There is wine tasting, wine judging, crafts, food and entertainment at this yearly event. For 2 weekends in June and 2 weekends in November, participating wineries hold a wine tasting event put on by Vino 301. The spring/summer event takes place June 15th and 16th and 22nd & 23rd from noon to 5pm. With the $40 price of admission you can get 6 wine tastings at the 16 participating wineries, light appetizers, 10% off of wine purchases, winery tours and a complimentary tote and wine glass. This is a great way to taste the varieties of wine that Maryland wineries offer. There is also a discount available for designated drivers.
There are so many wineries and types of wines that are grown in Maryland. Exploring the wide variety of Maryland wines is a great way to spend an afternoon.