In Maryland, Blue Crabs, Natty Boh, and World-Class Wine

Posted by | Posted in White's Wines | Posted on 04-16-2013

Black Ankle Vineyards.

As regular readers know, I write a free, twice monthly wine column that’s distributed to newspapers across the country.

These columns are hosted by Palate Press: The Online Wine Magazine. If you don’t see my column in your local newspaper, please send an email to your paper’s editor and CC me (David – at –

My latest column, which looks at an obscure, emerging wine region here in the United States (Hint: Maryland!) went out this morning.

Blue Crabs, Natty Boh, and World-Class Wine

“Wine is just too fancy for Maryland,” explained Rob Deford, the owner of Boordy Vineyards in Baltimore County, as he discussed the local wine industry’s challenges. “We eat crabs here; we drink beer.”

The audience at this year’s Drink Local Wine conference chuckled in agreement. Blue crabs and Natty Boh are iconic in the Old Line State, but few think of premium wines.

Rob Deford and a handful of other vintners are trying to change that, working to raise the profile of the local wine industry — and increase wine’s popularity among consumers — by raising the quality of Maryland’s wines.

They’re quickly gaining traction.

While the state had just 11 wineries in 2001, it’s now home to 62. And an increasing number of vintners are moving away from the fruit wines and non-European grape varieties that have long plagued the East Coast to produce wines that can compete on the world stage.

Check out the rest of the piece on Palate Press: The Online Wine Magazine

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