“Farm-Grown” Wines at Crow
Our focus at Crow has been to expand our vineyard operations to the point where all our wines are made from grapes grown in the vineyard on our farm. We are happy to announce that we have reached this goal: our wines are truly “farm-grown” and we are in constant control of the wine’s journey from the grapes to your glass.
In fact, you can walk out the door of the winery and, within a few steps, you’re walking alongside our vines. Moreover, the area you sit in while enjoying our wines is immediately adjacent to the vineyard grapes that made it.
When Crow says “Farm-Grown,” it means more than the fact that all of the grapes that go into our wines are grown here on our farm. It refers to Crow’s unique status as a wine producer growing and producing wines on a property that has been operating as a working farm since the early 1900’s. Everything we’ve learned as farmers goes into the proper management of our soils, our vineyard, our machinery, and our crops.
In addition to being “Farm-Grown,” all of Crow’s wines are entirely processed from grape to bottle on site with our bottling equipment and processing tanks.
Is “Farm-Grown” the same thing as an “Estate” wine?
The answer at Crow is: in all but one technical way, yes.
When you see the word “Estate” on a wine label, the producer is providing an important clue about how the wine was made. Unlike wine label designations that have no legal meaning, such as “Old Vine” or “Reserve,” the Federal Government has specific legal requirements for using the term “Estate.”
These requirements include that:
(1) The winery is located in an established American Viticultural Area (“AVA”) recognized by the US Government Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (“TTB”);
(2) The wine is made only from grapes grown in a vineyard that is owned or controlled by the winery; and
(3) The wine stayed on the premises during the entire production process, including fermentation, bottling and aging.
In other words, Crow wines are “estate wines” in every way except one technicality: Crow is not in an established AVA recognized by the US Government TTB.
The process of establishing a region as an AVA requires a long and technical evaluation of the environmental influences on a region. In fact, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland (where Crow is located), there are no established AVA’s to date.
This is one of the ways Crow’s lengthy farming history on this land gives us a leg up: we understand the environmental nuances of our farm from over a century of farming here. Even so, this is a new region for winemaking, and Crow is a pioneer in growing and producing wines from grapes grown here. We are discovering new and exciting flavors and nuances in old varietals. The best way to discover them yourselves is to stop by for a tasting.
We hope you have enjoyed learning a bit about Wine Farming at Crow and what makes it unique. Stay tuned for more “Celebrating 10 years of Wine Farming” articles from us.
Submitted by: Courtney Prinski, Business Manager Crow Vineyard & Winery