Shore Wine: Vintage Atlantic Wine Region Comes to the Delmarva

“Our primary objective is to provide cross-pollination among the many wineries in our four state region,” stated Scott Donnini, of Auburn Road Vineyards, and one of the board members with Vintage Atlantic Wine Region. The relatively new organization held an informational meeting at Crow Vineyard recently. The group exists to promote its 40+ winery members throughout Eastern Maryland, South-Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware and Southern New Jersey, with a variety of promotional undertakings. Chuck Nunan, Harvest Ridge Winery, another board member, noted that cross-pollination is meant to increase awareness among winery business members and the consuming public.

Chuck Nunan (left); Scott Donnini (right)

Chuck Nunan (left); Scott Donnini (right)

As one of its first activities, Vintage has prepared a map and guide, (found on their website and with hard copies available at member wineries), which lists not only wineries, but also breweries, distilleries, restaurants, B&B’s and other sites of interest within the 90-mile radius area. Also highlighted are the eight wine trails within the region. “The idea of a map came to me while visiting the wineries in the Finger Lakes Region in New York State. I relied upon that map frequently while traveling there, and it became quite dogeared,” said Donnini.

Regional promotion helps all of us, noted Judy Crow, Crow Vineyard & Winery, and also a Vintage board member. “This is an industry built on high levels of cooperation among wineries, not the fierce competitiveness you see in other industries. Most of our customers enjoy visiting wineries, and we frequently send them to other wineries; those wineries do the same for us. Some of our visitors even know the exact driving distances from one vineyard to another.” By promoting other wineries, members find, they are in fact, helping themselves. Indeed, many member wineries were in attendance at this meeting: Clovelly Vineyards, Chateau Bu-De Vineyard & Winery, Chestnut Run Farm, Auburn Road Vineyards and Harvest Ridge Winery.

Highlighting the importance of Vintage’s efforts, and offering cooperative support, was noted by others in attendance; Heather Ersts (a native of Church Hill) and Leslie Troy, both from the Maryland Department of Commerce, Tourism Development, and Bernadette Bowman, Director, Kent County MD Office of Tourism Development. “The activities of Vintage dovetail perfectly with what we do,” noted Ersts.

Maryland wines are starting to capture wider recognition. Just recently, for example, Crow Vineyard & Winery captured six medals with winning entries in the San Francisco International Wine Competition (July 1, 2016, http://www.sfwinecomp.com/). Crow’s wines stood above 4600 entries, with its 2015 Rose earning a Gold medal (within one point of Double Gold). That same wine also earned the Maryland Comptroller’s Cup 2016, Best In Category award. “The grapes of our region are producing quite compelling wines, on both a national and international scale,” noted Catrina North, vintner for Crow Vineyard & Winery.