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Governor's Cup 2014

Bordeleau Vineyard & Winery became the first Eastern Shore Winery to win Best in Show for their Cabernet Sauvignon Amarone 2008.

See the full results here

Chesapeake Wine Country making its Mark

The big question about Chesapeake Wine Country these days centers on economic growth, the broader branding of the region and the reputable wines to be had.

Read the full report from shorevines here

The Gifted Farmer

Doris Behnke, farmer and vineyard owner, together with her husband Eric have opened a Wine Tasting Room and Gift Shop in the town of North East instead of at their vineyard. A unique debut for our growing Chesapeake Wine Country.

Read the full report from shorevines here

  1. Guvernor's Cup 2014
  2. Chesapeake Wine Country making its Mark
  3. The Gifted Farmer

Research & Development: Bringing Up Maryland Wines One Vine at a Time

by Joe L. L. Yates | 8.25.2012

On the Eastern Shore of Maryland, nestled down in Queen Anne’s County, at the Wye Research and Extension Center, part of the Ag Extension of UMD, imported, hybridized, and cloned vines are grown while Maryland grape growers continue exploring the best options for the climate.
Some readers may not realize but Maryland does not have the same history of grape growing and winemaking as Bordeaux. Of course, that also means that Maryland, as with all New World winemakers, is not restricted by the same, sometimes stifling, conventions of European winemaking.

    At the Wye Institute’s Test Vineyard, Dr. Joe Fiola explores a panoply of vines – testing for cold-hardiness, disease resistance, output, and, of course, the quality of the wine they make. Working in the field for over 20 years since his time at Rutgers University, Dr. Fiola has managed to turn a number of heads with some varieties others wouldn’t have given another look by regularly winning competitions with his experimental and exotic wines. This, in addition to showing quality from more traditional varieties grown in the Eastern Shore climate, such as Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc.
    “Good management,” said Fiola, “Can, to an extent, overcome bad soil and bad climate but it is best to have a variety that is well adapted to the local conditions.” ‘Bad’ here meaning ‘not Bordeaux‘ since the industry and consumer’s familiarity are both based around the traditional European associations.
    With now upwards of 50 wineries in Maryland and six just up on the Upper Eastern Shore, clearly some people are managing to demonstrate the quality and worthiness of the state’s terroir and varieties.
    Recently, Dr. Fiola hosted a University of Maryland Extension/Maryland Grape Grower’s Association event at the Wye Institute’s Test Vineyard, walking current and would-be grape growers through the tendencies of more untried or lesser-known varieties as exhibited in the climate over the past several years. At the same tour, Fiola gave a short interview concerning his current views on which Maryland varietals hold the most promise. Of course, even better than learning of the differences of heritage and habit of the vines, afterwards the vineyard walkers attended a tasting hosted by Dr. Fiola– all of wines he had made from grapes grown at the Wye R&D vineyard. Among the varieties sampled were the Russian hybrid Kozma, the Italian Negro Amaro, and one variety thus far only known to the UMD Extension, Linae.
Linae presents an interesting look into the world of modern wine; it’s a new vine, they’re not sure what it is, or where it came from and in addition to that, it regularly produces an enjoyable, aromatic white Maryland wine. So, they decided to name it after scientist Carolus Linnaeus, who began the convention of Genus species naming, and, as Dr. Fiola said, “Because good wines need pretty names.”
One vintner at the event had this reflection “[Once you] get someone to the winery and give them wine they enjoy, they’ll buy it whether or not they recognize it.”
This series of "shoreVines & Wines are Growing" articles brought to you by shoreVines , an initative sponsored by the Upper Shore Regional Council and designed by Loblolly Productions.


Joe Yates is a Washington College alumnus, and current associate at Loblolly Productions.

shoreVines and Wines are growing...

On the Upper Eastern Shore our shoreVines pioneers are building a "chesapeake wine country"...
a combination of “family farms” looking to diversify and a significant group of new “entrepreneur” growers has fueled a "pioneer" movement in the planting of vineyards and the establishment of Wineries on the Upper Eastern Shore of Maryland.

With the current demand for grapes, good potential profitability per acre, and the “romanticized aura” of wine growing, the trend is expected to develop into economic opportunity and sustainable agri-businesses.