When thinking about vacation plans, most people don’t think of Maryland. The state is not an obvious tourist destination, but there are a lot of things to see and do in this beautiful area. Maryland stretches from the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay to the Allegheny Highlands. The state is home to the Naval Academy in Annapolis and the National Aquarium located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The state boasts one of the best medical research hospitals in the world, John Hopkins in Baltimore and is home to the Peabody Music Conservatory. The Lady Terrapins basketball team from the University of Maryland are a consistent presence at the Final Four.
One Maryland offering that doesn’t get as much attention as it should is wine. Maryland produces some of the best American wines and is known for its grape soil. Maryland is fortunate to have terroir. This is the special mix of weather, soil, and other environmental elements that come together to produce great wines. The Maryland wine industry is growing and each of Maryland’s four wine regions is beginning to be noticed throughout the world.
Piedmont Plateau is home to some of the oldest wineries in Maryland. This area grows a variety of grapes, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Gris.
The Western Mountain region of Maryland enjoys a cooler climate which is perfect for cold-hearted varieties of grapes such as Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Vida, Petit Verdot, Seyval, and Norton/Cynthiana.
The Eastern Shore of Maryland is probably the best-known area for tourist attractions, but it is also a major wine-producing area. The Eastern Shore makes up about a third of the state, but only houses about eight percent of the population. The two biggest industries on the Eastern Shore are tourism and farming. The climate and soil also make this area the fastest growing wine-producing region on the East coast. The area’s sandy soil, cool nights and warm days come together to produce award winning wines.
The Southern Plain region of Maryland is home to several wineries growing grapes that traditionally do well in warmer, drier climates similar to southern Italy. The grapes grown in the Southern Plain include Sangiovese, Barbera, Chardonnay, Symphony, Vidal, Montepulciano, and Blaufrankisch.
Maryland offers something for everyone on the family. From the beaches of Ocean City to the National Aquarium to the many wine regions, Maryland is a great place to visit and spend time.