Friday, February 22, 2013

Get Ready for DLW 2013 - Coming Soon to Maryland Wine Country

The fifth annual Drink Local Wine conference will be held this April13, 2013 in Baltimore Maryland, focusing on that state's growing wine industry. DLW 2013 will include seminars showcasing Maryland and regional wine as well as the Maryland Twitter Taste-off, featuring two dozen of the state’s best wineries. The Maryland Winery Association is the primary sponsor for the conference and according to Kevin Atticks, the Maryland Wine Association’s executive director, “We're growing a world of wine styles and varieties throughout Maryland, and we're excited to share them through Drink Local Wine”.  And yes, they are growing; the number of wineries now stand at 61- almost 50 percent more than in 2010. And the grape varieties planted are extremely diverse, from European vinifera, to the French-hybrids, to native labrusca. In fact Mr. Atticks informs us that there are more than 90 grape varieties grown in the state. According to our WineCompass database vinifera is the most popular with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and Merlot leading the field. Vidal Blanc, Chambourcin, and Seyval Blanc are the most popular hybrids with a few instance of Concord and Niagara representing labrusca grapes. There's even some Blaufrankisch, Norton, Riesling, and Italian varieties such as Barbera, Sangiovese, and Montepulciano.

The Free State consists of four main grape growing regions - the Piedmont Plateau, Eastern Shore, Southern Plain, & Western Mountains. Each region is diverse and hosts a different assortment of grapes - from the more cold hardy variety in the Western Mountains to those that flourish with the strong diurnal fluctuations in the Eastern Shore. The Piedmont Plateau and Southern Plain seem to be the most populous regions and host several wine trails for visitors.  The Piedmont Plateau encompasses a large area from the base of the Catoctin Mountains to the west to the head of the Chesapeake Bay. The rolling hills are reminiscent of horse country within Virginia's new Middleburg AVA. The Southern Plain is hot and humid and this is where the Mediterranean varieties excel particularly where the sandy soils can limit yields.

We've visited many of the wineries in these regions through WineCompass, MyJoogTV, and even VirginiaWineTV. And on each visit have been impressed with the wines as well as the dedication and enthusiasm of the winemakers. In the coming weeks we plan to showcase Maryland's wine trails and wines - starting with an old video of Ed Boyce co-owner of Black Ankle Vineyards - discussing why many of us consider him the premier winemaker in the state. Hope to see you in Baltimore on the 13th.

MyJoogTV Episode 3: Uncle Dave Huber at Black Ankle Vineyards from MyJoogTV on Vimeo.

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