Especially considering the size of the state, Maryland has an impressively diverse topography and climate. It is this diversity that allows for the variety in grape production. From eastern Maryland, with its flat lands, sandy soil and subtropical climate; to the marshlands of the bay; to the mountain pine groves in the west this state has four distinct growing regions, all of which are known to produce world class artisan wine.
Most of Maryland’s vineyards are planted here—in the central region of the state. The Piedmont Plateau spans from the foothills west of Frederick to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Grape varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris grow particularly well here.
Wine Trails of the Piedmont Plateau
The Eastern Shore has a climate that is tempered by the Chesapeake Bay, and, thus, makes the sandy soil fertile ground for a wide variety of wine grapes. The Eastern Shore is further divided into the Upper, Mid, and Lower shore. Perhaps because of the beautiful beach front, quaint atmosphere, or long growing season for which the Bay is known, the Eastern shore is the fastest growing region in Maryland.
Wine Trails of the Eastern Shore
Southern Maryland is known for summers that are hot and humid both day and night. This does not typically lend itself to fertile growing conditions; luckily, however, farmers in this region have learned that some lesser known varietals such as Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Vidal, and Blaufrankisch flourish here. This is just one of the many factors that makes Maryland Wine Country so unique and exciting!
Wine Trails of the Southern Plain Region
The Western Mountains region includes Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties; it is marked by long, cold winters and, as the name suggests, mountainous terrain. The growing season is relatively short and, thus, demands a hardy grape. Despite the challenges, varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Chardonnay, Norton, and Chambourcin grow well here.