It’s always nice to see the state supporting our family farms with matching grants! That means more good things are on the way from Maryland wineries!
Five Maryland wineries were awarded grants this week from the Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO). Their combined funding totaled more than $75,101.
Black Ankle Vineyards in Frederick County was awarded $20,000 to build a 5,000 square foot barrel aging and case storage building. Costa Ventosa in Worcester County was awarded $8,364 to purchase wine processing equipment.
Fiore Winery in Harford County was awarded $15,000 to purchase new distillation equipment. Terrapin Station Winery in Cecil County was awarded $13,450 to purchase production equipment, and Fridays Creek Winery in Calvert County was awarded $18,287.
Frank Cleary, Sr., owner of Fridays Creek Winery says “The MARBIDCO grant to Fridays Creek Winery will help with our plans to increase our production and quality of fine Maryland wines.” Each grant recipient provided a 100% cash match for their award and the investment Maryland has made in its agricultural businesses not only nurtures the emerging wine industry but also promotes rural entrepreneurship.
Kathryn Danko-Lord, owner of Costa Ventosa Winery says “We feel really lucky to receive this grant. It will enable us to increase our production of wine at Costa Ventosa – the only winery/tasting room in Worcester County – and will allow us to share our love of agriculture and our fun-spirit with more visitors”
The Maryland Wineries Association—representing all licensed wineries in the state—was awarded $40,000 to create, promote and manage four events in 2011 featuring Maryland specialty crops. “We’re anxious to continue building the connection between local specialty crops and local wine,” says MWA Executive Director Kevin Atticks. We are grateful for this grant from the Maryland Department of Agriculture.”
There are currently 42 licensed wineries in Maryland. These wineries—along with independent commercial vineyards—grow over 700 acres of grapes. Maryland wineries sold about 1.4 million bottles of wine in 2009, and their wines are available at over 900 retailers and 300 restaurants.