Finally, a comprehensive online resource to find wine and grape grower associations, organized by state. The connections you need to buy local grapes. Access it here.
As I first reported at examiner.com, the exceedingly popular, perhaps slightly worn catch-phrase “think globally, act locally” urges all of us to take action in our own communities. It was first used in relation to the general health of our planet, but has since been applied as a lens through which to view a variety of environmental, educational, and business issues.
Just like choosing local, independently owned businesses to do your holiday shopping each year, buying local grapes and wine accelerates economic development in your state. Quite simply, local vineyards provide jobs. When more money is spent supporting them, new jobs are created. As an added benefit, it’s been shown that when you buy from local businesses, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses. A wine-driven economic cascade effect is a powerful (and delicious) lever to help ensure continued growth and prosperity in your community.
We’re proud to label our red and white wines 100 percent Maryland. When my husband Robert and I started making wine in 2010, Robert used the Maryland Grape Growers Association (MGGA) to identify a vineyard we could work with to purchase Maryland grapes. MGGA encourages home winemakers of any scale to utilize its buying local grapes guide to connect with local growers. He found Dr. Bob, whom we’ve used ever since. He’s not only a great grower, he’s a yearly source of entertainment and inspiration. Who could ever forget the bees, or harvesting grapes to the sweet melody of the soundtrack from Jurrasic Park?
When I interviewed him for a profile I’m developing, Tim Stephens from Chateau Bon Chien said it more elegantly than I ever could.
I’ve made wine from grapes brought in from California, from Chile, and from Argentina. Nice wines, all of them. But Maryland grapes are special to me. Not just because I get to walk the vineyards throughout the year and watch the grapes develop. Not just because I select each cluster at harvest, filling the lugs one at a time just after sunrise under chill blue autumn skies. Not just because I’m helping to protect Maryland’s open space and family farms. It’s all of these things. Very contemplative, almost meditative sometimes. It’s an experience you can’t get when your grapes come off the back of a truck.
I’m providing you with this resource so you can find your own Dr. Bob. You’re welcome for the memories.
Maryland is like most states in the union. Our wine industry is growing by leaps and bounds, with new vineyards and wineries being established every day. When you review our Local Grapes Guide, you’re going to be surprised that almost every single one of our 50 united states supports grape growing and winemaking at some level. States like California have major, well-established industries and associations. States like Delaware are just getting started. Other than perhaps the invention of the drink itself, has there ever been a better and more exciting time to enjoy wine, and be a winemaker?