Wineries and Vineyards Experience Significant Growth in Maryland Due to State’s Tax Credits, Climate, and Prime Location

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State’s First Women, Black-Owned Winery Sets the Precedent for Others to Follow

BALTIMORE, Aug. 25, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The Maryland Marketing Partnership, created by Governor Larry Hogan in 2016 to help drive Maryland’s branding and marketing efforts to attract businesses, create jobs, and grow the state’s economy, today announced that Maryland wineries and vineyards have experienced rapid growth while becoming a revitalizing economic driver for communities statewide and the businesses that support them.

Today, there are more than 100 fully-operational wineries in Maryland compared to a decade ago when there were fewer than 30. The growth is due to the state’s natural resources, the distinct growing districts with microclimates that allow for a wide diversity of grape varieties to thrive, as well as Maryland’s supportive, business-friendly climate and strength in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Philosophy Winery is the first Black, 100% women-owned winery in the state of Maryland and is one of just a few in the Mid-Atlantic region. Launched in 2018 by Kimberly Tenice Johnson and Denise Roles Matthews, Philosophy produces high-quality, small-batch wines from grapes grown on farms in Maryland. Its tasing list currently consists of a 2020 Viognier, Non-Vintage Red Blend, 2021 Rosé and a 2019 Cabernet Franc. In the four years the winery has been making wine, three of the wines have won silver and bronze medals in Maryland’s Governor’s Cup Competition. Philosophy Winery’s current production site is located in Baltimore City. Wines can be purchased via home deliveries, farmers markets, festivals and an online shop. The team also hosts wine tastings at the production location twice a month, and plans to open its first brick-and-mortar location in the near future with a tasting room.

Johnson and Matthews attribute Philosophy’s success to the state’s native grape production and resources, including Grow & Fortify, the University of Maryland’s Agriculture Extension, and the Maryland Wineries Association. Each year, Johnson and Matthews select one young woman interested in the wine industry or Maryland agriculture and mentor her through the entire winemaking process to encourage the growth of more women-owned businesses in the region.

“When people think of quality wine, they think of California and the West Coast,” said Philosophy Winery’s Kimberly Tenice Johnson. “People don’t realize that Maryland has incredibly viable land and soil for producing fruit. It’s also a wonderful resource hub for wineries with lots of overall community support.”

One of Maryland’s primary resource hubs is the organization Grow & Fortify, which supports the Maryland Wineries Association. Since 2015, it has cultivated an environment where value-added agricultural producers, startups, operators, and growers, like Philosophy Winery, can innovate and thrive.

“We grow the organizations and businesses of breweries, distilleries, wineries and vineyards that fortify Maryland’s agricultural heritage, and have had the privilege of not only bringing a vast array of wonderful wineries to life, but also positively affecting the state economy and tourism industry as a whole,” said Kevin Atticks, founder of Grow & Fortify. “There’s so much economic opportunity with wine, but it’s also in a highly-regulated sector dealing with the local, county, state, and federal rules and regulations. We provide advocacy for these businesses by working directly with the regulators to develop a supportive environment for them to grow and succeed.”

Wineries in particular not only sell goods but also have been a key player in contributing substantially to Maryland’s tourism industry. According to Grow & Fortify’s 2017 Value-Added Agriculture in Maryland: An Economic Analysis report, Maryland wineries have attracted over 167 million visitors, generated over $2.65 billion in total economic impact, and supported over 22,000 jobs. For the sixth straight year, visitor spending in Maryland increased, with 60 percent of that spending focused on food and beverage along with lodging and transportation. The increase is mainly attributed to new restaurants and craft beverage destinations.

Another resource for wineries and vineyards is the Maryland Wineries and Vineyards Tax Credit program enacted in 2012 to support the growth of wineries and vineyards in the state. The credit is for qualified capital expenses related to a Maryland winery or vineyard made in connection with the establishment of new wineries or vineyards, or capital improvements made to existing wineries or vineyards in Maryland. The program promotes the location and creation of new industries and businesses in the state, while also encouraging the expansion of existing industries and assisting the revitalization of small businesses.

In the fiscal year 2021, 31 companies were awarded $464,200 in tax credits through the Maryland Wineries and Vineyards Tax Credit program. Companies are not required to report hiring associated with this tax credit, and therefore, the economic impact analysis is conservative, as it only examines the impacts associated with the credit amount itself.

“Over the past decade, Maryland has added more wineries, breweries, and distilleries than any other state in the Mid-Atlantic region,” said Tom Riford, executive director of the Maryland Marketing Partnership. “Wineries, in particular, have contributed substantially to the tourism industry in Maryland and come with a rich history. The earliest recorded instance of winemaking in Maryland was in 1648. Today we have nearly 1,000 acres of grapes growing in Maryland, and our local wineries have an impact of more than $2.6 billion on the state’s economy, supporting nearly 14,000 Maryland jobs.”

About Maryland Marketing Partnership

The Maryland Marketing Partnership, founded in statute as the Maryland Public-Private Partnership Marketing Corporation, develops branding strategy for the state, markets the state’s assets, and encourages the location and growth of new businesses in Maryland.

Media Contact

Ellina Buettner, Abel Communications for or Maryland Marketing Partnership, 410-419-5945, [email protected]


SOURCE Abel Communications for or Maryland Marketing Partnership

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