Eastern Shore: The New Wine Country

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Wine Country and Eastern Shore of Maryland are yet to be synonymous phrases.

That could change as new vineyards are established across the Shore from Berlin to Rising Sun—and both new and older vineyards collect prestigious awards along the way.

Of the more than 60 wineries in Maryland—with $30 million annually in sales according to recent studies— 14 of them are part of the developing Chesapeake Wine Trail on the Eastern Shore.

Six wine trails now lace Maryland’s countryside and the Chesapeake Wine Trail on the Eastern Shore is poised to play a significant part in the new Vintage Atlantic Wine Region, along with Delaware, Pennsylvania, and southern New Jersey.

At the September 18 launch party for the new wine region, held at Harvest Ridge Winery in Marydel, Delaware, winery owner Chuck Nunan expressed his enthusiasm saying, “This is a really an exciting time for wine growing on the Eastern Shore. 55 wineries and vineyards are coming together to create tourist destinations points. We’re at the place Napa Valley was in the 60’s, and each of these wineries directly benefits their local communities. One out of 18 jobs in this country is related to tourism.”

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Lotte Bowie and her husband Walter took an early interest in Chesapeake region wineries. Connecting with the wine industry through their Loblolly Productions, a design and marketing firm in Still Pond, Maryland, they have become instrumental with branding and marketing Eastern Shore wineries and vineyards. Their online information portal, www.shorevines.com, showcases the growth and potential of vineyards and wineries on the Eastern Shore and offers detailed articles and in-depth video interviews about how to start and manage a winery.

“There are five wineries within 20 minutes of Chestertown: Crow Vineyard and Winery in Kennedyville, Salisa Winery and Clovelly Vineyards in Chestertown, Cassinelli Winery and Vineyards in Church Hill and Tilmon’s Island Winery in Sudlersville. We want locals to know about this group also because it is becoming an important part of our local economic health,” Bowie says.

Doris Mason, Executive Director of Upper Shore Regional Council, sees the Wine Trail and Chesapeake Wine County concept as a vibrant economic force. The USRC, charged with fostering economic and social development of Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne’s counties, supports the shoreVines initiative

“Not only is there an economic impact through employment, but also there are other arteries that go with supporting vineyards and wineries—restaurants, bed and breakfasts, hotels, even conversations about upcoming distilleries and breweries—that all play into networking and developing a larger tourist industry,” Mason says.

Crow Vineyard and Winery in Kennedyville.

Crow Vineyard and Winery in Kennedyville.

And the wine? People are taking notice.

Wine enthusiasts and judges are giving a hearty thumbs-up and handing out top-flight awards to Shore wineries.

Bordeleau Vineyards, near Salisbury, just won the Shore’s 1st Governor’s Cup Best in Show for their 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Amarone and many other Eastern Shore wineries  have won accolades as well, including Crow Vineyard and Winery gold for their 2012 Vidal Blanc and Barbera Rosé, and Clovelly Vineyard’s silver for their 2013 Rosé and Vidal Blanc.

So much for the “Eastern Shore can’t make quality wine theory.”

“Our wines are phenomenal and the impact on the community is immense. It’s only just begun,” Chuck Nunan said at the Harvest Ridge ceremony for the Vintage Atlantic Wine Region.

In the following video, Lotte Bowie and Doris Mason talk about wineries and vineyards, the growth of the industry on the Eastern Shore, and the bright outlook for the Eastern Shore of Maryland as… Wine Country.

 

 

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Links:

Vintage Atlantic Wine Region

ShoreVines

Maryland Wine

Chesapeake Wine Country

Meet Easton’s Gluten Free Bakery Girl

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glutenfreebakerygirlTucked inside the very first stall of Easton Market Square on Washington Street you’ll find professional pastry chef, Tricia King. There, in a tidy little kitchen, she creates cookies, muffins, pies, cakes, specialty pastries and more, all with a special twist. They’re completely gluten-free.

“Gluten-free isn’t a fad, it is definitely here to stay” said King, owner of the business Gluten Free Bakery Girl. “My customers are people with celiac disease, but also people with gluten intolerance, or any type of inflammation – Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s disease, Lyme disease, or many other autoimmune disorders. Even parents of children with autism say that a gluten free diet without sugar or dairy makes a difference.”

What is gluten? It’s simply a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. People with celiac disease can’t digest it and become very ill, and people with gluten intolerance feel achy, tired and sore after eating it. King’s experience was that she’d feel lethargic for days after eating gluten. And in our industrial food system, gluten can be found in the most unlikely places – in sour cream and yogurt, for instance, black olives, and anything labeled “modified food starch.”

Confused? You’re not alone. But it’s becoming easier to access gluten-free products and more information is widely known about the disorders. Tricia King offers consulting services to people who have recently been identified as gluten intolerant. As a personal chef for over ten years, she has the skills and experience to help people modify their kitchens and diets to keep themselves well. She can help anyone pick safe foods, read food labels to identify hidden dangers, and feel good about a gluten-free lifestyle.

Soon her operation will be certified as gluten-free by the FDA – a lengthy process in which all of her handmade flour mixes will be laboratory tested to ensure that there are less than 20 parts per million of gluten. This certification will allow customers to be sure that every single item made in King’s kitchen is completely safe for gluten intolerant eaters.  King also makes paleo items, as well as sugar-free baked goods using coconut palm sugar.

With an expanding wholesale business, Gluten Free Bakery Girl products can now be found in Annapolis and beyond. Locally, you’ll find Tricia King at Easton Market Square from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm W-F, and 8:00 am – 4:00 pm on Saturday, her busiest day of the week. Call ahead 48 hours for special orders, from birthday cakes to breakfast pastries, cookie trays or specialties for holiday parties.

“If people have questions, they should come see me. I’m here for anybody with gluten intolerance” she said. For more information, call (801)792-3700, see her website here, or stop in and visit her at Easton Market Square at 137 N. Harrison St in Easton.

Announcing Talbot County Weekly Foodie Tours

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Hungry for a taste of the Eastern Shore’s finest dining establishments but don’t know where to start? Looking to entertain guests while they visit the Shore? Now you can join a walking food tour and experience Easton and St. Michael’s one taste and sip at a time.

EatingEaston and EatingSt. Michaels was created by local businessman and entrepreneur, Bill Bernard, who fell in love with the idea of blending culture, food, history, and adventure as a way to experience the wonders of the unique towns and communities of the beautiful Eastern Shore of Maryland.

“My wife, Kathy, and I discovered food tours while visiting San Diego a few years ago. Not only is it interesting to learn about history and folklore from locals, it’s a great way to sample some terrific cuisine while having a one-on-one with the various chefs. Our towns and communities are perfect venues for food tours drawing tourists and locals alike.”

Each three hour tour is led by experienced tour guides who are history and food buffs. A minimum of four restaurants along the way will welcome the group and provide a taste and a sip of their signature dishes and drinks. A local culinary specialty store will offer tastings as well.
Lace up your walking shoes and prepare to sample some of the the Eastern Shore’s “Best food on foot.”

For more information visit www.eatingeaston.com or call 410-635-4130

September 25 Brings Oyster Crawl to St. Michaels

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Fordham Brewing Company and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum are presenting the first St. Michaels Oyster Crawl on Thursday, September 25 for a limited number of participants. The 4-7 pm. event features a “History on the Half Shell” program at CBMM, followed by a walking tour of St. Michaels’ historic district for stout and oyster pairings at four waterfront restaurants.

The two organizations have been partnering together since 2012, when Fordham launched its Rosie Parks Oyster Stout brand, made in honor of the museum’s recently restored oystering skipjack, the Rosie Parks.

Beginning in September, the brewery will be offering the stout in 12-ounce bottles, packaged in six packs, with draft also available in select Maryland, Virginia and Delaware locations. Tours and tastings will also be offered at Fordham’s headquarters in Dover, De. A portion of the stout’s sales are being donated to the non-profit museum.

Fordham Brewing Company and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum are presenting a St. Michaels Oyster Crawl on Thursday, September 25 for a limited number of participants. The 4-7 pm. event features a “History on the Half Shell” program at CBMM, followed by a walking tour of St. Michaels’ historic district for stout and oyster pairings at four waterfront restaurants.

Fordham Brewing Company and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum are presenting a St. Michaels Oyster Crawl on Thursday, September 25 for a limited number of participants. The 4-7 pm. event features a “History on the Half Shell” program at CBMM, followed by a walking tour of St. Michaels’ historic district for stout and oyster pairings at four waterfront restaurants.

The September 25 Oyster Crawl begins at 4 p.m., with participants joining CBMM’s Director of Education Kate Livie for a brief “History on the Half Shell” talk in the museum’s Van Lennep Auditorium. During the program, the museum will offer tastings of local, farm-raised Choptank Sweets, shucked and served by a Chesapeake waterman. To kick off the event, each participant will receive a commemorative tasting glass, as well as a 12-ounce bottle of Rosie Parks Oyster Stout.

From there, participants will take a brief walking tour along the St. Michaels harbor to sample oyster and stout pairings at the waterfront Crab Claw Restaurant, St. Michaels Crab & Steak House, Town Dock Food & Spirits and Foxy’s Harbor Grille.

Oysters will be prepared in a number of ways, including Oysters Rockefeller, Oysters Casino, and raw on the half shell, with participants offered stout samplings and five plated oysters at each location.

“The stout is designed to pair well with oysters,” said Fordham Brewing Company President Jim Lutz. “This year, we’re producing 100 barrels of the one-batch stout, which is brewed with Chesapeake Bay oysters and shells to give it a slight briny taste.”

The skipjack Rosie Parks was built in 1955 by legendary boat builder Bronza Parks for his brother, Captain Orville Parks, and was named for their mother. CBMM purchased the sailing workboat in 1975 from Captain Orville, after 20 years dredging oysters along the Chesapeake Bay. Rosie had a reputation as both the best maintained skipjack in the oyster dredging fleet and as a champion sailor at the annual skipjack races. She is now a floating exhibit and ambassador of the museum, with participation planned for this year’s skipjack races.

The cost for the St. Michaels Oyster Crawl is $65 per person, or $55 for CBMM members, with limited participation and registration needed by Monday, September 22. To register, call CBMM at 410-745-4941. The event is generously sponsored by the participating restaurants, as well as Kelly Distributors of Easton, Md. For more information, visit www.cbmm.org or www.fordhambrewing.com

Chorizos—Maryland Style!

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On Monday, August 4, local families will be able to sample the Eastern Shore take on the Chorizo, a spicy pork sausage originating in Iberia and popular in Latin America.  Easton’s Multicultural Resource Center is announcing that for the second year in a row, Chef Jordan Lloyd and Cottingham Farms are teaming up for an evening featuring healthful eating.  From 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. families will enjoy a cooking demonstration and recipes from the Bartlett Pear Inn’s Chef Jordan and each family will receive free sausage and fresh vegetables.  The Center is located at 109 N. Aurora Street in Easton.

Heritage pork for this healthful menu comes from Black Bottom Farms in Kent County where Kim Wagner raises pork, veal and poultry – all pastured, all of which are favorites at the farmer’s markets in both Easton and on Kent Island.  Wagner, with the generous support of Tom Buckmaster of Easton, was instrumental in the conception of a Family Night based on healthful eating.

Eastern Shore native and executive Chef and owner of the Easton’s Bartlett Pear Inn, Jordan Lloyd, was recently nominated for best chef by the Maryland Restaurant Association

Cleo Braver’s Cottingham Farms, also in Easton, is a grower of certified organic heirloom vegetables and herbs that are available in Bethesda and Easton, Easton Market Square, certain Whole Foods and other niche markets and is on the menu at Eastern Shore, Baltimore, Washington and Annapolis restaurants which feature fresh, local and sustainably produced ingredients.

The Chesapeake Multicultural Center, based in Easton, reaches out to the growing number of non-English speaking residents of the Mid-Shore to help them become successful and engaged members of the community. ChesMRC is the source of information for and about that diverse cultural, ethnic and racial population on the Mid-Shore

Morgan Murphy in Easton for “Off the Eaten Path”

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When Morgan Murphy heard about the gazpacho at the Bartlett Pear Inn and the cave-aged cheddar at Chapel’s Country Creamery, he knew he had to visit.

“I am constantly searching the South for the most inventive and creative fare—and hot damn, do the Bartlett Pear Inn and Chapel’s Country Creamery have it,” joked Murphy. The Southern Living food critic and TV personality was in town July 9th and 10th for his series.

Murphy is known for his hilarious stories and the amazing recipes he pries out of mom-and-pop restaurants. His books include the best-selling Off the Eaten Path series—and coming this fall: Bourbon & Bacon.

“When you cook as badly as I do, you’ve got to have a sense of humor,” cracks Murphy, who describes his four Southern food groups as, “bourbon, salt, bacon, and PIE.”

“The Bartlett Pear Inn delivers an haute cuisine experience with a delicious energy. They even make their own ice cream. It must be something in the water because not five miles away at Chapel’s Country Creamery, Holly Foster impresses with an auspicious array of hand-churned cheeses.”

Murphy at the Bartlett Pear

Murphy at the Bartlett Pear

How did he choose Bartlett Pear Inn and Chapel’s Country Creamery? Murphy says he picks all his restaurants based on three criteria: the food, the service, and the ambiance, “But shoot, the ambiance and the service can be broken if the food is good enough,” says Murphy, “Who doesn’t love a great BBQ shack that looks like it might fall in on you?”

The Southern food writer says he gets his restaurant tips mainly through fans to his website, morganmurphy.co or directly on Twitter @_morganmurphy. “I love to get tips from readers. They’re the ones who know the best spots,” says Murphy. And Murphy always follows up in person, often driving his huge 1956 Cadillac, “I research restaurants the old-fashioned way: I go there. Google just can’t take the place of actually being there.”

Murphy’s work has been read by millions, and he has been featured on many popular television programs, including the TODAY Show and Fox & Friends. He’s become a regular on QVC, and this summer, he’s making his Travel Channel debut as a judge on “American Grilled.”

“They’re just lucky I didn’t accidentally burn down the set,” Murphy said with a laugh.

How did the Bama boy and Navy reserve officer become one of the most popular food critics? “I just write about the food people really like to eat. Who cares about whether the coriander was milled by Polynesian virgins during a lunar eclipse? Does that dish taste good?”

You can order signed copies of his book directly from www.morganmurphy.co

For restaurant inquiries contact:

Bartlett Pear Inn
28 S Harrison St
Easton, MD 21601
(410) 770-3300
www.bartlettpearinn.com

Chapel’s Country Creamery
10380 Chapel Rd
Easton, MD 21601
(410) 820-6647
www.chapelscreamery.com

Article Credit: Murphy Media, Inc.

Miles River Motion Ages Vinegar Aboard Skipjack Rosie Parks

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In cooperation with the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Olivins Fine Olive Oils and Vinegars of St. Michaels, MD is producing a new balsamic vinegar with a Chesapeake connection.

On July 10, a small barrel of specially blended balsamic vinegar was placed in the hull of the 1955 skipjack, Rosie Parks, where it will remain for the next five months. During that time, the aging process of the vinegar will be accelerated by the gentle motion of the boat, which generally remains dockside along the Miles River at CBMM.

Olivins Fine Olive Oils and Vinegars of St. Michaels, MD is producing a new balsamic vinegar that is being aged aboard the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s skipjack, Rosie Parks. In early July, the specially blended balsamic vinegar was placed in the hull of the 1955 skipjack, where it will remain for the next five months. During that time, the aging process of the vinegar will be accelerated by the gentle motion of the boat, which generally remains dockside along the Miles River at CBMM. Six-ounce bottles of the Rosie Parks balsamic vinegar will be available for sale by Thanksgiving, with a portion of the proceeds donated to the museum.

Olivins Fine Olive Oils and Vinegars of St. Michaels, MD is producing a new balsamic vinegar that is being aged aboard the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s skipjack, Rosie Parks. In early July, the specially blended balsamic vinegar was placed in the hull of the 1955 skipjack, where it will remain for the next five months. During that time, the aging process of the vinegar will be accelerated by the gentle motion of the boat, which generally remains dockside along the Miles River at CBMM. Six-ounce bottles of the Rosie Parks balsamic vinegar will be available for sale by Thanksgiving, with a portion of the proceeds donated to the museum.

“Aging barrels aboard boats started out in history as a necessity, as most trade occurred over waterways,” explains CBMM’s Chief Curator, Pete Lesher. “A boat’s movement can speed up the process of aging, whether it’s spirits, vinegar, or another liquid. We’re very excited to taste the results of these efforts.”

The wooden barrel is made of toasted oak, which will flavor the vinegar. “Even the temperature changes aboard Rosie Parks will influence the taste of this special blend,” said Olivins Owner/Operator Bill Acosta. “The barrel expands and contracts as the temperatures rise and fall, infusing the vinegar with undertones of toasted oak.”

“The Rosie Parks has such rich history on the Chesapeake,” continued Acosta. “We not only wanted to create a special balsamic vinegar that gives people a real sense of place— with an exceptional taste—but also to support the museum in a meaningful way.”

Once the aging process is complete, Olivins will remove the barrel from aboard the skipjack and package the small batch balsamic vinegar in six-ounce bottles. The limited bottles will be sold as “Rosie Parks Balsamic Vinegar,” with a portion of every sale donated to CBMM.

The Rosie Parks, built in 1955 by legendary boat builder Bronza Parks for his brother, Captain Orville Parks, was named for their mother. CBMM purchased the Rosie Parks in 1975 from Captain Orville. Only 20 years old at the time, Rosie had a reputation as both the best maintained skipjack in the oyster dredging fleet and as a champion sailor at the annual skipjack races at Deal Island and Chesapeake Appreciation Days at Sandy Point. Now fully restored after a three-year overhaul, the Rosie Parks now serves as an ambassador for the museum, and the dwindling skipjack fleet, with the museum planning to race her in the Deal Island and Choptank River skipjack races later this year.

For more information, visit www.cbmm.org or www.olivinsstmichaels.com.

Discover “Cultures of Crabbing” at CBMM July 26

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From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 26, Cultures of Crabbing brings the Chesapeake’s crabbing traditions and industry to life at the waterfront Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, MD. During the program, visitors will see crab-picking and harvesting demonstrations, with information shared on crab biology, packing house operations, and the growing Hispanic population’s importance to the local crab industry.

The event is free for CBMM members or with general, two-day museum admission. The program is part of CBMM’s summer-long Chesapeake People program, which gives visitors the experience of meeting local, maritime tradition-bearers and skill demonstrators every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 410-745-2916 or visit www.cbmm.org.

Crab-pickers Mary Helen Holmes (left), Sharon Young (right), and Minerva Nava (standing) demonstrating their techniques for Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum visitors. Cultures of Crabbing comes to CBMM on Saturday, July 26 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with crab-picking and harvesting demonstrations, as well as information shared on crab biology, packing house operations, and the growing Hispanic population’s importance to the local crab industry.

Crab-pickers Mary Helen Holmes (left), Sharon Young (right), and Minerva Nava (standing) demonstrating their techniques for Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum visitors. Cultures of Crabbing comes to CBMM on Saturday, July 26 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with crab-picking and harvesting demonstrations, as well as information shared on crab biology, packing house operations, and the growing Hispanic population’s importance to the local crab industry.

Famous Food Pyramid Obsolete?

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snacks-foodMeredith Melnick and Sabrina Siddiqui, both of Huffington Post, offer an interesting look as US dietary guidelines. In a world dominated by processed food and sugary drinks alternative eating choices are a hard sell.


“For decades, the U.S. government had a simple message on diet: To avoid chronic illnesses like diabetes, obesity and heart disease, Americans should cut back on saturated fat, cholesterol, sugar and sodium. Yet today, we’re sicker than ever,” they write.

To continue reading go here.

Weekly Food Tours Coming to Easton June 13th

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Hungry for a taste of the Eastern Shore’s finest dining establishments but don’t know where to start? Looking to entertain guests while they visit the Shore?

Now you can join a walking food tour and experience Easton and St. Michael’s one taste and sip at a time. EatingEaston and Eating St. Michaels was created by local businessman and entrepreneur, Bill Bernard, who fell in love with the idea of blending culture, food, history, and adventure as a way to experience the wonders of the unique towns and communities of the beautiful Eastern Shore of Maryland.

“My wife, Kathy, and I discovered food tours while traveling to San Diego, New York, and Rehoboth. Not only is it interesting to hear history and folklore from locals, it’s a great way to sample restaurant offerings and then book a reservation. Our towns and communities are perfect venues for food tours drawing tourists and locals alike.”

Each three hour tour is led by experienced tour guides who are history and food buffs. Five restaurants along the way will welcome the group and provide a taste and a sip of their signature cuisines and drinks. A local culinary specialty store will offer tastings as well.

Partnering with friend and fellow foodie, Paul Cullen, and his group at Eating Rehoboth, Bernard will launch weekly tours beginning June 13th in Easton. “St. Michaels will kick off at the end of June and our plan is to expand to Oxford and Cambridge by Fall. Lace up your walking shoes and be prepared to sample the Eastern Shore’s best food on foot.”

For more information visit www.eatingeaston.com or call 410-635-4130.