WESTMINSTER, Md. (WJZ) — The Maryland Wine Festival is returning this weekend to the Carroll County Farm Museum for its 37th annual celebration after last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic.

“One of the things that makes Maryland wines stand out as opposed to wines from other regions is we‘ve got 5 distinct growing regions in Maryland, the eastern shore, southern Maryland, western Maryland, central Maryland .. so we’ve got an incredible diversity of soil and climate,” said Kevin Atticks, Executive Director of Maryland Wineries Association.

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Owners of Serpent Ridge Vineyard in Carroll County, Karen Smith and Hal Roche, said their red grapes are almost ready to be harvested to go into wine production and eventually bottled up to be enjoyed.

“We are wine enthusiasts, that’s why we decided to make a career of it,” said Karen Smith, co-owner Serpent Ridge Vineyard.

They’re just one of many who’ve taken advantage of the state’s rich soil, ideal for grape-growing.

“I think people really enjoy the aspect of agritourism and visiting vineyards and learning more about grape growing and winemaking,” said Smith. “We benefit the state by bringing in a lot of visitors, it promotes other local businesses and restaurants and hotels.”

The wine industry in Maryland has seen incredible growth, the Maryland Wineries Association said just 20 years ago there were only ten wineries. Today, there are over 100 wineries across the state.

“What’s driving the growth is just the overall interest in growing and buying local, so folks travel the world and love wine and think well we can do that here,” said Atticks.

This year, the Maryland Wine Festival will showcase 35 wineries across the state.

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“Every year is a new vintage, so we’ve got two vintages of wines to showcase and 35 wineries from around the state will be attending to pour dry wines, sweet wines, red wines, white wines, bubbly wines, all types of wines,” said Atticks.

The event will also feature local vendors and live music.

“It turns into a major tourism economic impact and that’s really one of the drivers of what makes Maryland wine so important to the state,” said Atticks.

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur eager to pour a fresh glass or just dabbling into your first sip, there’s something for everyone.

“You won’t know that unless you try it, you have to sample it,” said Roche.

Tickets for the two-day Maryland Wine Festival are on sale online, you can also purchase them at the gate.

For more details, click here.

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