Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Status of Direct Shipping in Maryland

Report finds no adverse impacts in 37 jurisdictions polled, debunks myths,
and provides fact-based path to passage of Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping
legislation in 2011

The Office of the Comptroller today released a 257-page report based on
extensive research culled from the 37 states plus the District of Columbia
that currently allow the shipment of wine directly to consumers.

The report was released ahead of the December 31st deadline mandated by
SB858 Maryland Winery Modernization Act of 2010.

“The report finds no evidence of increased underage access, no problems
collecting taxes and no increase in alcohol abuse in any of the
jurisdictions that allow direct shipping,” Kevin Atticks, executive
director of the Maryland Wineries Association said.

The report is in agreement with a 2003 Federal Trade Commission study that
also found that direct shipping increases consumer access to wine, while
providing adequate controls states desire.

“We know from our peers in other states, that the ability to ship wine to
customers grows winery revenues by 15-20%,” said Ed Boyce of Black Ankle
Vineyards in Mt. Airy.

The report finds no adverse impact to local retailers or wholesalers in
states where wineries are permitted to mail directly to consumers.

“Direct-to-consumer shipping would benefit Maryland's consumers by
allowing legal-age buyers to get the wines they want,” said Cary Greene,
chief operating officer and gneral counsel of WineAmerica, the national
association of American wineries. “WineAmerica applauds the Comptroller's
careful analysis and recognition that Maryland has the tools to regulate
this vital channel of interstate commerce in wine.”

“Discussions from this point forward can now be rooted in fact, rather
than conjecture,” said Atticks, who notes that the first time Maryland
wineries tried to change the law was in 1981—30 years ago. “We look forward
to gaining the ability to sell our wine directly to both our in- and
out-of-state customers with the passage of direct shipping legislation.”


Additional resources:

Comptroller's Shipping Report [3.9MB PDF]:

Information about direct shipping:

FTC report (2003): http://www.ftc.gov/os/2003/07/winereport2.pdf

Maryland Wineries Association: http://marylandwine.com/mwa/mwa/

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ben Clark

We know you're smiling on us, from your seat at the Captain's Table.

Patuxent Wine Trail goes Local!

It's a rolling festival! All of the wineries on the Patuxent Wine Trail will host special guests the weekend of Oct 23/24. If you have not visited your local wineries yet this is the perfect time to do it. Check out the website for details on who will be at which winery, and how best to travel the trail.
As for POLW, we're hosting Cafe des Artistes on Saturday and Thompson's Corner Café on Sunday.
They'll be here noon to four.

A side note: The park is currently under construction, so you'll see a lot of equipment, drainage fencing, and detours. No worries, though...be assured we are OPEN FOR YOU!

Friday, August 13, 2010

News from the winery manager

Wow, what a day.

It started at 6:30 am meeting Mark at the truck to let him in to get power set up for the bottling rig. Had a little excitement in that I set off the alarm and had to talk with operator 57 of our alarm company to forestall the visit from the police! Was interesting way to begin.

The crew all showed up and we got to work. A great group of friends and family helped, some from as far away as California and Seattle! We all shared Grace's breakfast Burritos and Mary's donuts and other pastries. Promptly at or about 9 am we got started on the bottling and all went very smoothly. It was hot, brutally hot and humid but things went well. Both red wines went through quickly and relatively painlessly.

We broke for lunch and when we started up again with the Barrel Fermented and Aged Chardonnay the problems began. The labels would not stick to the bottles. We tried everything; we slowed down, we sped up, we hand pressed the labels, nothing worked. In the end, after a number of phone calls to Pat and to the label folks we just decided to bottle without the label and fix that problem when we can. We now have 100+ cases of beautiful Chardonnay without labels - oh well, stand by for a call for a labeling party at the winery.

Much thanks to all who came out to help us, I hope it was fun for you and that you will come back and enjoy the wines many times in the future.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fall bottling day scheduled

We're bottling our Fall releases on Wednesday, August 11. We get started early in the morning and run the line all day, so be sure to stop by and see us in action.
Three new offerings will get bottled:
1634 - Our oak barrel fermented Chardonnay, and two dry reds: Quarterdeck and Captain's Table.

Check us out on Facebook!

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Tasting Room, Day 1

Thank you to all of the folks who paid us a visit on this, the first day of business at the winery! Hope to see you again really soon!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

2010 Spring Release preview

Members, family, and friends got together April 14 and 15 to help with bottling our first wines! Much of the 2009 vintage is now in bottle. It just has to rest for a few short weeks to get used to its new cozy glass quarters before we can starting pouring!
We're releasing six wines this Spring, and will release (at least) two more this fall.

Here's the Spring release lineup...

Vidal Blanc - dry white varietal

- mostly unoaked

McIntosh Run
- semi-sweet apple wine

Breton Bay Breeze
- semi-sweet white blend

Breton Bay Shoals
- semi-sweet red blend

Autumn Frost
- lusciously sweet dessert-style wine from Vidal Blanc grapes

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bottling Day RE-scheduled

Ok folks, forget the previous post mentioning bottling day. After coordinating with the label maker, the TTB for label approval, and the mobile bottler:

The NEW bottling date is APRIL 14!

We will bottle everything in one day, instead of two days as previously planned. The bottler will be on-site about 7 am. It will take a couple of hours to prep the line and get ready for production, so volunteers can start to show up before 9 am. It takes five people to run the line and we'll be running for about 11 hours with at least two shifts and extra people taking over during a shift so no one will have to stay on the line 5.5 hours straight.

Grand Opening scheduled for Friday, May 21!

Ribbon cutting ceremony with local, regional, state dignitaries and more! Stay tuned for details.

Keep in mind, the winery will be open for business starting Friday, May 7th. That's First Friday in Leonardtown. The tasting room will be open that day noon to 9 pm.

Business hours will be:
Wednesday through Sunday: Noon to 6 pm.
First Fridays: Noon to 9 pm.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bottling Day scheduled

We're bottling our very first vintage and confirmed the date: Friday and Saturday March 26 and 27. We've hired a mobile bottler who works for several local and regional wineries. He supplied the equipment, and we supply the wine, bottles, labels, and hands to run the line. It takes five people to run the bottling line. I'm not sure, but I think it breaks out as one bottler and four "quality control" checkers.
Come by and see the bottling in action, and get a sneak preview of our 2009 wines.

Friday, January 15, 2010

wine labels and wine festivals

A subcommittee of volunteers is meeting at the winery tomorrow, Saturday 16 Jan, to discuss wine labels. There has been a lot of discussion and thought and ideas going around. Now it's time to finalize our concepts and decide on a style and presentation that fits with the winery's principles, communicates our vision, and expresses who we are.

At the last board meeting Laschelle brought by the plans for the tasting room build-out. All present agreed it was a fine plan.
It was also decided that POLW would attend four of the six state-wide wine festivals this year! Check out the list at: http://www.marylandwine.com/mwa/events/festivals.shtml We won't make the first festival of the season because we're bottling our whites too close to the date. Freshly bottled wine goes through an awkward stage for about a month or so after being bottled where it does not taste so great. The general concensus was 'better safe than sorry', especially since it would have been our very first festival.

The winery's first festival appearance will be the Chesapeake Bay Wine Festival, June 5 and 6. Want to get in for free? Our volunteers get free entrance to the festival for working half a shift! Help us at our tent for three hours and the rest of the day is yours to explore the festival and all that maryland wineries have to offer.