• The Maryland Wine Industry: Where It Stands

    The Chalk Report

    Sunday, April 5th

    By Andrew Chalk

    THE MARYLAND WINE INDUSTRY: WHERE IT STANDS

    INTRODUCTION

    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.

    HISTORY

    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.

    Continue reading The Maryland Wine Industry: Where It Stands

  • Crow Curbside Pick Up & Deliveries

    To our loyal and future guests, Crow Vineyard & Winery is still open and operating at this time.

     

    Thankfully, as a farm-winery we are considered essential businesses and allowed to remain open, and truthfully, we still have a lot of pruning to do with the vines heading towards bud-break and wines needing to be bottled. We are a working family farm with a small, tight-knit staff and we are encouraging our staff to take health and safety precautions, should they feel any measure of sickness, they should stay home. We would like to see that same measure being taken throughout our community to prevent spreading of the virus.

     

    Cleanliness is a large factor in this, we are sanitizing surfaces and product packages regularly, stocking bathrooms and our Tasting Room areas with the necessary items needed to follow protocol on handwashing and sanitizing and wearing gloves throughout packaging, payment and handling.

     

    Though the Tasting Room is not open, we are now doing curbside pick-up and delivery!

     

    What we are offering now:

    • Open Monday – Sunday | 12pm – 5pm
    • If you already know what you would like to order you can contact us via phone or email and we will package it up for you
    • Products we can offer:
      • Wine – 10% Off
      • Grass-fed Angus Beef – 10% Off
      • Farm-fresh Eggs (if available)
      • Local Langenfelder Pork
      • Local Eve’s Cheese
      • Crow Coffee
      • Brothers’ Hemp Salve & Oil
      • Gift Cards

    If visiting the farm is still not a viable option for you, we can make deliveries to the following area:

    • Chestertown
    • Millington
    • Galena
    • Chesapeake City
    • Rock Hall
    • Centreville
    • Queenstown
    • Kent Island

    Just call or email us your order of Crow products (wine, beef, cheese, etc.), have a minimum of $75.00 for your order, and we will schedule an appropriate delivery time!

    (Discounts do not apply to home deliveries).

    View Crow Products Here

    Call: 302-304-0551

    Email: info@crowvineyard.com

     

    We look forward to serving you in any way we can!

     

    Sincerely,

    The Crow Family and Staff

  • Celebrate MD Wine Crow Style

    Every year Crow Vineyard & Winery celebrates Maryland Wine Month with special events. Featured every Friday for the month are complimentary tastings of 3 of their award-winning wines served with local products, cheese, meats and various savories at their Vineyard & Winery Tasting Room located at Crow Farm Kennedyville, MD. Crow winds up the celebratory Maryland Wine Month with a Farm to Table Happy Hour from 4 pm to 6 pm at Crow Wine Cellars (shown in photo above) located at the Queenstown Premium Outlets. Event Info

  • Bringing in the Harvest

    Bringing In the Harvest

    By Marie Morganelli

    Standing at the conveyor belt, I’m trying to keep my balance. It’s a brisk 55 degrees inside the winery. Gloves on, sweatshirt tied around my waist at the ready, I stare intently at the endless supply of grapes coming down the line. I do my best to grab every stem, leaf, bit of debris, and even a confused stinkbug or two, so that only the ripe merlot grapes make it into the vat.

    I’m so intensely focused – I must win! I must not let anything by! The integrity of the wine depends on me! – I sometimes forget that others surround me, each of us intently focused on the same task.

    Someone finally breaks the silence: “I feel like we’re Lucy and Ethel with the chocolates!” We all get the reference. The winery staff smiles politely, never saying out loud what I can only guess they were thinking: that they inevitably hear that from someone every single time.

    Until I experienced sorting grapes for myself, I never would have thought that standing at a table picking out leaves and bugs for hours at a time would be fun. Now that I have spent the better part of a week helping to bring in the harvest, I can honestly say this was some of the most fun I’ve ever had.

    Getting started

    I knew I had made the right decision to volunteer the moment I turned onto the long gravel driveway leading to the winery. Hanging a right past the Crow Vineyard & Winery sign, the corn fields gave way to a compact farm, complete with grain silos, a cattle barn, a smart-looking farmhouse (that doubles as a B&B) and a farm dog named Myrtle waiting to make my acquaintance.

    Co-owner Judy Crow was there to greet me as well, with a smile and an offer of coffee and breakfast. I declined both, and she led me to a bucket of clippers, told me to pick out my preferred pair, and showed me how to clean them.

    I, and the small handful of other volunteers who had gathered, hopped onto a waiting Gator. Judy transported us to our first harvest station while Myrtle gamely trotted along behind us. We quickly got to work. It was time to harvest the merlot grapes and there were many rows ready to come in off the vine.

    In the Vineyard

    Harvesting grapes is pretty straightforward. The vines were heavy with grapes, so we simply clipped off the bunches and gently tossed them into the waiting bins, known as lugs.

    Clip, toss, clip, toss. Sometimes I stood, other times I kneeled, depending on where the grapes were hanging along the vine. One smart volunteer brought a small portable folding stool to move with him as he cleared section after section.

    We worked in companionable silence as we filled the lugs, leaving just enough room at the top so they could be stacked without crushing the grapes.

    Working together

    Of the two days that I spent picking grapes, day one was much quieter. One person wore headphones as she worked, but most of us did not. I loved the sound of nothing at all. Sometimes I would hear the wind pick up and rustle through the leaves. Once, a flock of geese flew by. As if on cue, we all stopped clipping, stood in unison, looked up, and watched the geese fly over our heads.

    By day two, with mostly the same group of people, our silence gave way to easy conversation. Several of us had a connection with Italy, due to our heritage (the winemaker), citizenship (me), or having lived there for many years for work (a fellow volunteer). In breaks of conversations about Italy and wine, winemaker Mike, a trained opera singer, would serenade us with snippets from Italian operas.

    Getting my hands dirty

    After leaving a career where my days were filled with computer screens and emails, the opportunity to literally get my hands dirty while doing meaningful work meant a lot. My hands wound up covered with grape juice after both harvesting grapes and sorting them. The rest of me didn’t get that dirty, though if it had, I wouldn’t have minded the mess. I enjoy a good dirty job, and always have.

    Perhaps it’s this connection with the land that the concept of terroir is all about more so than the land itself. The vineyard manager, Brandon, has the responsibility of learning the viticulture, but anyone can – and should – learn the value of simply putting their hands in the dirt and working the land. I am convinced that knowing how you are directly connected to your food and drink that you helped create makes it taste even better.

    All in the family

    Crow Vineyard and Winery is a family affair. Owned and operated by Roy and Judy Crow and son Brandon, they also have a small yet dedicated staff. Over the course of the four days that I spent there, I asked pretty much everyone how long they had worked there. With the exception of one woman who had just started the week before, the staff has been there for years. That’s a sign that what I saw on the outside – that Judy treats everyone like family, while also being a shrewd businesswoman – is what keeps things running behind the scenes, too.

    Wrapping up

    We finished sorting the last of the Malbec quicker than expected. We credited the hearty grapes for that, making our work faster by being easier to sort. I was the last volunteer still on the line, and offered to help if there was anything else that I could do. “Are you sure?” asked Judy, somewhat incredulously. “All we have left to do is clean.”

    “You’ll get wet and probably covered with grape juice,” Brandon warned.

    “No problem,” I said. “Happy to help.”

    Brandon handed me a hose and I got to work. I spent several hours helping team members scrubbing, rinsing, and stacking the seemingly endless supply of lugs that will get stored away until next year’s harvest.

    I’ll be ready to get my hands dirty then, too.

    Marie Morganelli writes about travel, personal finance, higher education, and lots of other things. You can read more of her work at http://www.precisewords.org.

  • Crow Wins Gold at 2019 Maryland Governor’s Cup

    Top Maryland Wines Named At 2019 Maryland Governor’s Cup

     by 

    TOP MARYLAND WINES NAMED AT 2019 MARYLAND GOVERNOR’S CUP

    Big Cork Vineyards wins Maryland Governor’s Cup, Loew Vineyards wins Jack Aellen Cup

    (BALTIMORE, MD) – The Maryland Governor’s Cup will take up a year-long residency at Big Cork Vineyards in Rohrersville. The 2019 Maryland Governor’s Cup competition featured 140 entries from nearly 30 Maryland wineries. This annual competition features Maryland-made wines, produced with grapes and fruits grown in the state. Maryland vineyards currently grow nearly 1000 acres of grapes in throughout each of the state’s regions.

    Crow Vineyard & Winery wins a Gold Medal and Best In Show for their 2016 Vintner’s Select White Blend

    To view a complete list of the winners, Click Here.

     

  • Crow Wins Gold at 2019 Maryland Comptroller’s Cup

    2019 Comptroller’s Cup Results Are In

    The 2019 Comptroller’s Cup Competition was hosted in Towson, MD on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. Each year, wineries from throughout Maryland submit wines for review by a panel of judges. Local radio and television host, Al Spoler of WYPR’s Cellar Notes directs the competition.

    Crow Vineyard & Winery wins a Gold Medal for their Crow Club Select Wine

    To view a complete list of the winners, Click Here.

     

  • Crow featured on BaM Co-Create – Wedding Inspiration

    Written by: Marlayna Demond | Published on April 15th, 2019

    Modern Boho Love // Styled Shoot

    How sweet and intimate is the wedding inspiration from this local styled shoot at the Eastern Shore!? Everything from this patterned mural to the macrame table runner tied together perfectly. Can’t you just imagine plucking the wildflowers locally to create a bouquet like this? And we’re loving the little peacock feather flairs!

    View the shots from this styled shoot at Crow Vineyard Here

    Continue reading Crow featured on BaM Co-Create – Wedding Inspiration

  • Maryland Wines: The Good News about Local Vineyards

      MAR 6, 2019