Friday, August 1, 2008

Maryland on cusp of 34th winery

There should officially be 34 wineries in Maryland by the time the 25th anniversary of the Maryland Wine Festival takes place at the Carroll County Farm Museum takes place in Westminster on the weekend of Sept. 21-22. Legends Vineyard, as you read in a post earlier this week, is still waiting for its papers while tying up a number of loose ends.

“They’re going to be in Harford County, not far from Fiori Winery,” Kevin Atticks, executive director of the
Maryland Wine Association, said recently, “and we have two others who are opening up in Harford County in the next couple of months. So that’s going to be exciting. Mt.Felix, they received their winery license and hoping to debut at the Maryland Wine Festival, where we’re going to have a premier tent. It will be kind of a VIP tent that people can buy into. That gets you to some of the newer wineries who wouldn’t be able to go in full force to the festival.

“We’ll be able to set up a 30 by 30 tent and sent up 10 pouring stations and all that. So they’ll be here pouring.
Black Ankle is coming to pour, whereas they didn’t think they had enough to come to the main festival. Mt. Felix will be there, a couple of other ones. A guy who’s making nothing but mead is going to be there, and it’s really cool stuff.. They’re Polish immigrants, making their family’s historic recipes. It’s kind of a pretty cool story. Orchid Cellars. They are out in Thurmont.”

Atticks said one of the drawing cards of Mt. Felix will be what greets the visitor when they get there: a historic manor building the 1800s that overlooks the top of Chesapeake Bay at the Susquehanna River. “It’s a waterfront vineyard, and really a beautiful site, and they grow four or five grape varieties including Thompson seedless, which they are making into a dry wine, which is typically the green table grape that you buy at the grocery store. They’ve got a beautiful chambourcin and a couple other wines.

“Legends . . .is a fairly young couple deciding it’s time to do something fun. They’ve gotten some great expert help, gotten got some local wineries helping them out. They’re not doing it alone. You like you see some folks try, so it’s been great watching them zoom ahead and getting their labels done and all that good stuff.”