For the past two decades, Maryland has lived in Virginia’s shadow
when it comes to wine. Lacking state support, Maryland’s wine industry
stagnated at a dozen wineries, while Virginia’s exploded in volume and
quality. The Old Dominion became known for excitement, Maryland for
That is changing. Maryland’s wine industry has quietly tripled in size this decade, to 35 wineries. Two of those, Black Ankle and Sugarloaf Vineyards,
are changing the way wine is made in Maryland by using international
techniques (read, Bordeaux) such has high-density planting. Instead of
using the East Coast’s notoriously humid climate as an excuse for poor
winemaking, these wineries decided to work with those challenges, and
they are producing intensely flavorful wines with deep color and impressive complexity.
You can read my account of Maryland’s New Wine Wave in the August issue of Washingtonian magazine, on newstands now, or on my Web site, dmwineline.com.