The work ethic of farm families operating wineries on the Eastern Shore of Maryland has been a critical driving force behind the emergence of wine country on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. John Levenberg, international wine consultant who has worked with wineries on the Eastern Shore for over six years comments “What I’m most excited about and what I see as the real potential on the Eastern Shore is our ability to take effectively what is the farm – the energy and dynamics, and translate that into a bottle.”
During Downrigging Weekend, local wine lovers can taste what this phenomenon is all about. Sultana hosts its 3rd annual wine tasting pavilion showcasing artisan wines from three Eastern Shore Wineries that have strong agricultural roots. Each of these wineries will present information on their farm heritage, artisan wine-making and offer select wines for tastings. As well the pavilion will include a special exhibit on the emergence of wine country on Maryland’s Eastern Shore presented by shorevines Experience Chesapeake Wine Country, a program of The Upper Shore Regional Council of Maryland. The admission fee of $15 per day includes a commemorative wine glass and seven wine tastings from any combination of wineries. The Artisan Wine Tasting event happens October 29th noon to 5 pm and Sunday October 30th noon to 4 pm at the Chestertown marina store dockside to the tall ships.
Clovelly Vineyards will present wines made 100% from grapes planted on their riverside vineyard. Grape production started in 2009 and the vineyard and wine-making is just one part of a huge agricultural business run by the Gibbons-Neff family that includes Clovelly Nurseries and grain and Black Angus cattle production from Clovelly Farm. Several wines will be presented including the just released, Hambleton Creek, a unique blend of Sangiovese and Merlot grapes from their vineyard named after the peaceful creek bordering the property.
Crow Vineyard & Winery is an award winning winery that operates as an authentic, working farm. The Crow Family hosts a wine tasting room open year round and their business operations include a winery facility and on-site wine maker producing award-winning wines. The diversified farm operates a Farmstay B&B and cares for a herd of Grass-fed Angus Beef. Crow Vineyard & Winery in particular is helping to change perceptions and prove that quality local wines are being produced on the shore. Crow will be serving their 2013 Barbera Rosé, which won a gold medal and best in class at this year’s Maryland Governor’s Cup and their Red and White Vintner’s Select wines.
Triple Creek Winery, owned by the Spies family is located just off route 50 on the way to Easton and the beaches. The family has ties to several agricultural arenas; son Paul is an ag specialist for the Chester River Association, son Alex manages the adjacent hydroponic cucumber growing facility and Triple Creek wines benefit from son Corey’s skills as winemaker at one of the Eastern Shore’s first wineries – St. Michaels Winery. Triple Creek will feature three wines including their signature Chambourcin and Merlot dry red blend called “No Bull Red”.