FROM GRAPES TO GLASS, IT’S HARVEST TIME FOR MARYLAND WINE
The 2021 Maryland wine harvest is underway and all signs point to a promising vintage.
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(ANNAPOLIS, MD) – Maryland’s wine grape harvest has begun. Vineyard employees throughout the state are working tirelessly to carry on an annual tradition dating back to the mid-17th Century. As ripe grapes are pulled in preparation to be pressed, reports from winemakers indicate that the 2021 harvest will yield a fantastic vintage for Maryland wine.
2021 proved to be a considerably good growing season for vinifera and hybrid grapes cultivated in Maryland’s five local growing regions. Despite some wet days and the impact of rain from Hurricane Ida, the climate remained favorable to cultivating locally grown grapes that will produce great-tasting wines.
This year marks the forty-fifth consecutive harvest for the team at Linganore Winecellars in Mt. Airy, MD. Included in the 17 varieties of grapes they are harvesting are Chardonnay grapes that grew on a recommissioned block. Originally planted in 1973 the block was decommissioned in 1980. The winery’s vineyard management team chose to introduce the new Chardonnay vines to the location in 2018 and hand-picked nearly two tons of grapes during this year’s harvest.
Despite bringing all of the fruit down from the vines, a successful harvest doesn’t mean that the work is done.
“After a long summer in the vineyard harvest means we get to trade the year’s hard work with the winemaker,” said Eric Aellen, Vice President and Vineyard Manager at Linganore Winecellars.
While harvest is an annual tradition at Maryland’s vineyards, each season’s crop tends to include new grape varieties. The introduction of new grapes gives wineries the opportunity to produce wines that aren’t yet well-known for being made in the state. Wineries aren’t just looking for new varietals, they’re also generally seeking more locally grown grapes.
“A recent survey of our vineyards shows there’s incredible demand for quality local grapes,” says Kevin Atticks, executive director of the Maryland Wineries Association. “We benefit from a high level of viticultural expertise in Maryland, ensuring the diversity of varieties and quality of our fruit in all corners of the state.”
The team at Boordy Vineyards harvested a block of Chardonnay Musqué clone grapes to bottle as a varietal wine for the first time. Like Linganore Winecellars, Boordy Vineyards is a multi-generational family business and harvest perfect time for consumers to be reminded of the agrarian roots of the wine industry.
“Harvest is always an exciting time, regardless of whether you represent the third generation or the first,” says Boordy Vineyards’ Phineas Deford. “However, it’s pretty special to be involved in a family business, on a family farm, no matter what time of year it is.”
A curated selection of Maryland-grown wine, including selections from Boordy Vineyards and Linganore Winecellars, will be available to sample and buy in the Explorer Village at the 37th Maryland Wine Festival. This two-day wine festival is hosted by the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster, Maryland. Passes for Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, September 19 are on sale now. For more information about Maryland’s growing wine industry and events, visit marylandwine.com.
About the Maryland Wineries Association. The Maryland Wineries Association (MWA), formed in 1984, is the non-profit trade association that represents 80 member wineries in Maryland. MWA’s mission is to develop and expand the grape and wine industry in Maryland through education and promotion.