May 5, 2019
Wineries in Maryland have been around since Colonial times. The Colonial governors started growing grapes for winemaking in the 1600s, with European varietals being planted along the St. Mary’s River in southern Maryland. The indigenous American grapes were unsuitable to use as they made fairly bitter wines. It took years to find European grapes that would thrive and produce good wines in the mid-Atlantic, a struggle that continues to this day.
As the locals tried, often in vain, to keep pinot grigio alive through our winters and to get cabernet sauvignon to ripen fully, Marylanders tended to plant hybrids, grapes crossbred to be more suited to our fickle climate. Chambourcin, a red grape, and vidal blanc are the hybrids that now dominate the plantings in Maryland. Wines from these grapes are abundant, as are non-grape fruit wines and sweet dessert versions made with berries and the hybrid grapes… To read more, click here!