Monday, March 23, 2009

Tour de Tanks show 50-plus % attendance hike

Leroy 'Buck' Mortorff talks about the importance of using virgin oak barrels for Chardonnay wine during a tour Sunday at Four Springs Winery in Seven Valleys that was part of UnCork York Wine Trail's 2009 Tour de Tanks. (Daily Record/Sunday News - Paul Kuehnel)

Participating wineries are reporting more than a 50 percent increase in attendance for Tour de Tanks this year as compared to last. In addition, the Uncork York! trail has reaped the benefit of some generous coverage by the local media, including several regional TV stations and newspapers. The latest to publish something about the event was the York Daily Record, which ran a front-page story this weekend on Four Springs Winery in Seven Valleys, Pa.

According to the piece by Greg Gross, more than 5,500 people have taken part in the first three weekends of the tour, an increase of more than 50 percent compared with the same time last year "This is the biggest year yet," co-owner Lloyd "Junior" Mortorff Jr. was quoted as saying on Saturday. To read the article, click on this link.

Study: Amost 300,000 visited Md. wineries

In the wake of the disappointing news last week that the bid to allow direct wine shipping in Maryland had been denied once again, the Maryland Wine Association on Monday made public the results of an economic impact study.

The report is a product of the Jacob France Institute of the University of Baltimore (JFI), and analyzes the economic importance—and the potential for barriers to growth—of Maryland wineries.

“This type of analysis is critical to understanding the relative importance of Maryland’s wine industry to the state’s rural economy,” Ray Brasfield, owner of
Cygnus Wine Cellars and president of the Maryland Wineries Association.

This analysis was based on data provided by the Maryland Wineries Association, from a survey of all Maryland wineries, as well as data from the State of Maryland Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Bureau.

The economic impact estimates were generated using the IMPLAN model. The key findings of this analysis are as follows:

* Maryland wineries generate $40.4 million in economic activity in the State of Maryland, support 348 jobs earning $10.9 million in salaries, and generate $3.3 million in State and local tax revenues.

* Maryland wineries had direct revenues from winemaking and associated activities of $12.7 million. Based on the survey results, Maryland wineries employed an estimated 195 employees (including seasonal labor). The IMPLAN model estimates that Maryland wineries have regular (non-seasonal) employment of 37 full and part time workers.

* An estimated 293,390 persons visited Maryland wineries or wine festivals and 63,861 (22%) of these visitors are from out of state. All visitors to Maryland wineries and wine festivals spend an estimated $20 million in Maryland, and out-of-State tourists attending Maryland wine festivals or visiting Maryland wineries account for 38 percent or $7.5 million of visitor spending; and

* The sale of Maryland wines generates $7.4 million in distributor, retail, and restaurant business activity.

The full study can be downloaded online: