Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Maryland Governor O'Malley Awards Governor's Cup To Boordy's

In Annapolis, Maryland, in early September, Governor Martin O’Malley awarded Robert Deford, owner and manager of Boordy Vineyards and winner of Maryland’s 2007 wine competition, with the Governor’s Cup for their 2006 Vidal Blanc. During his remarks, Governor O’Malley discussed the importance of the wine industry for the State’s economy, vowed his strong commitment to supporting the growing industry, and promoted Maryland’s annual wine festival, held September 15-16, 2007 in Carroll County.

“I am proud to be part of this year’s celebration and proud to present the Governor’s Cup to Boordy Vineyards, winner of this year’s wine competition,” said Governor O’Malley. “Maryland’s wine is a first-rate product and thousands flock to our state to attend our annual wine festival, to try our wines, our food and our crafts,” said Governor O’Malley. “I am committed to doing my part to promote Maryland’s wine industry so that it thrives for the next generation of Maryland vintners, winemakers, and grape growers.”

“There has been tremendous growth for grape growing and wine making - important parts of Maryland agriculture,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Buddy Hance. “Today we are celebrating the Best of the Best of Maryland’s fine wine.”

The Governor’s Cup has been awarded since 1991 when William Donald Schaefer endorsed the annual recognition for Maryland wines. The competition is sponsored by the Maryland Wineries Association and is judged by a panel of experts. The wine receiving the highest overall score wins the Governor’s Cup.

“The Boordy Vineyards Vidal Blanc represents all that is great about Maryland wine – a beautiful wine made from Maryland-grown grapes,” said Kevin Atticks, Executive Director of the Maryland Winery Association.

To date, there are 26 wineries licensed in Maryland, and each year more continue to open. Last year alone, annual sales of Maryland wine was approximately $10.6 million with approximately 968,000 bottles sold. Maryland’s wineries grow most of the grapes in the state, comprising 120 acres of vineyards. Maryland grape growers harvest an average of 800 tons a year, and there are more than 450 acres of grapevines planted in Maryland.

“The Governor's comments speak to the support of the State of Maryland in our effort to expand vineyard acreage, and keep land preserved in agriculture for generations to come,” said Atticks. “It is important to highlight the high-quality Maryland grapes that go into our award-winning wines,” said Kevin Atticks.

The Maryland Wine Festival is in its 23rd year of celebration and is held at the Carroll County Farm in Westminster, Maryland. Festival goers can sample various Maryland wines, attend Wine Education Seminars, enjoy on-stage entertainment, and tour the Carroll County Farm Museum, artisan exhibits and demonstrations.

Boordy Vineyards, the oldest winery in the state, has been owned by the R.B. Deford family and is located on their historic 240 acre farm in the Long Green Valley of northeastern Baltimore County. Robert Deford, an enologist, manages and owns Boordy with his wife, Julie.