The Chalk Report
Sunday, April 5th
By Andrew Chalk
THE MARYLAND WINE INDUSTRY: WHERE IT STANDS
The thing that grabs your attention when you look at the Maryland wine industry is that it is in a state of volatile flux. Simultaneously growing and pivoting, it renders any description at risk of being overtaken by the facts. In just the last decade, the number of wineries increased 250%, grape acreage more than 70%, the grape blend shifted decisively towards vinifera from hybrids, and Maryland wines began speaking for themselves by regularly winning medals at national wine competitions.
Most portraits of the industry lay it on heavily with the history. However, in this case, it is superfluous since Rebecca McCarthy’s Maryland Wine: A Full-Bodied History has already done this with depth and style that renders any other attempt liable to pale into triteness and inadequacy. The only thing to add to her 2012 edition is that it is nearly a decade old and lots has happened since its timeline stopped.
SIZE OF THE INDUSTRY
TTB (the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) data show over 125 bonded wineries in Maryland in 2017 vs. 40 in 2007. Table 1 shows that the bearing and non-bearing acreage under vine increases from 299 in 2002 to 1100 in 2019.