As Maryland winemakers spend January bottling their wine and pruning their vines, they are reflecting on one of the most successful years the industry has ever seen. In 2002, Maryland's 12 wineries introduced a new image campaign, saw wine sales and visitors to wineries increase, received impressive medals and awards at national and international competitions, and delighted in one of the best grape harvests the state has seen in years.
Sales figures for 2002 are expected to break records, according to Rob Deford, president of the Association of Maryland Wineries. Following the launch of the Association's first-ever cooperative promotion campaign, many Maryland wineries reported 4th quarter sales up as much as 25% over the same period last year.
�Our projection is that Maryland wine sales in 2002 reached $5 million,� said Deford. �That�s an 11% percent increase over the $4.5 million in Maryland wine sales in 2001.�
Maryland wineries also reported significant increases in the number of stores that began carrying Maryland wine, with some wineries reporting a 40% increase in the number of stores carrying wine since September. The number of visitors to the wineries also increased in 2002 by as much as 200% at some wineries.
The Association of Maryland Wineries attributes this dramatic increase to greater awareness of the Maryland wine created by the association�s cooperative "Ask for Maryland
Wine" campaign launched in July. The campaign focuses on getting existing wine drinkers
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to recognize Maryland wine and reinforces each winery�s individual marketing effort.
Maryland wineries took home awards from many prestigious local, national, and international wine competitions in 2002. The annual Maryland Governor�s Cup Wine Competition was held in August. Six Gold, 35 Silver, and 37 Bronze Medals were awarded. Elk Run Vineyards' Lord Baltimore Port 1999 took the top honors by winning the 2002 Governor�s Cup, reserved for the best wine made entirely with grapes grown in Maryland.
Nationally, Maryland wines were recognized in a number of important publications. Elk Run's Vineyard's 2001 Liberty Tavern Chardonnay and 2001 Maryland Chardonnay Cold Friday Vineyard were recognized in the October issue of Wine Spectator. In the November issue, Elk Run's Lord Baltimore Port was the highest scoring wine in the south, and Boordy Vineyard's 2000 Chardonnay Maryland Barrel Select received the highest score for a Maryland Chardonnay. Fiore Winery won Silver Medals for its 1999 Caronte at the Riverside International, San Diego, and Finger Lakes wine competitions.
The 2002 drought was devastating for most of the state's agriculture, but not for Maryland wineries. The quality of the grapes was exceptional. Because of the dry, sunny weather during the growing season, the vines maintained excellent health, and the grapes were allowed to ripen longer on the vine. The 2002 grape harvest was one of the sweetest and most flavorful in years.
The Association of Maryland Wineries includes 12 award-winning wineries that produce

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more than 140 different wines. Maryland wines consistently win prestigious national wine competitions, are served at the region�s finest restaurants, and are available at quality retailers throughout the state. AMW members are all open to the public for tours and tastings; schedules vary. For information on Maryland wine, visit or phone 800-237-WINE.