Visit a Parallel World at Faulkner Branch

left photo: the Speakeasy themed Tasting Room at Faulkner Branch Cidery & Distilling Company

Wine Country on Maryland's Eastern Shore is growing something other than wine. There's a parallel world cropping up as cider making becomes popular as an added value proposition for Orchard Fruit farmers. Kevin Atticks Founder, Executive Director of Grow & Fortify and the Maryland Wineries Association finds the movement complimentary to the growth of wine country on Maryland's Eastern Shore and recently welcomed a new member to the Chesapeake Wine Trail, Faulkner Branch Cidery & Distilling Company. Says Kevin, "The Eastern Shore has a strong heritage of fruit and tomato growing and it makes sense to promote new uses for those fruits in the form of fresh and fermented ciders."




Read more: Cider through the Looking Glass

Every Wine Country needs a Wine Tour Guide

Leslie Frelow is the Owner and Managing Director of Vino 301 Wine Tours. Since 2013 Leslie has been creating unique wine tour experiences throughout the state of Maryland championing the debut of local wineries and their wines. In the past Leslie has created and promoted some specialized wine events on the Eastern Shore but is now readying the debut of a whole series of themed Chesapeake Wine Region tours. In the earlier part of the year Leslie began the shaping of her tours by doing grass roots visits to shore wineries and by conducting beta tours. Says Leslie "I don't promote anyting that I haven't experienced. The one thing that strikes me about the Cheapeake Wine Region is the expanse of the area. It gives the visitor the experience of a deep journey into new frontiers and a very distinct grasp of one of the largest continuous areas of a open space lands on the mid-Atlantic."

Vino 301 will offers a series of tours staring May 14th with the first tour offering a visit to a new boutique winery just outside of Chestertown, The Vineyards at Dogwood, and a visit to Crow Vineyard, an authentic farm winery on the shore who has defined a whole new level of quality for artisan wines.

written by Lotte Bowie, shorevines; photos:
For more information:

Leslie Frelow - Local Wine Ambassador
Vino 301 Chesapeake Wine Region Tours
Vino 301 News



Doris Behnke: The gifted farmer who brings her wine into town in Chesapeake Wine Country

Doris Behnke, farmer and vineyard owner, together with her husband Eric have opened a Wine Tasting Room and Gift Shop in the town of North East instead of at their vineyard. A unique debut for our growing Chesapeake Wine Country.

Read more: The Gifted Vineyard

The Wine Coach™ Laurie Forster travels Chesapeake Wine Country
Celebrity author, comedic performer Laurie Forster, finds new fodder for her comedic wine coaching act while traveling Chesapeake Wine Country


On Laurie's first trip to Crow Vineyard and Winery last summer she wasn't sure that she would find a winery amidst corn fields and cows grazing along country roads. Laurie was on a trip to the vineyard to tape a demo for a new online show "Rebel Spirits". (sneak peak the sizzle reel here) She did find the winery and one that produces wines that merit a sommelier's attention. One summer later Laurie returned to Crow to perform.

Laurie combines wine education with stand up comedy, improv and games to create a killer act where your own laughter amps your enjoyment of a good wine selection. This TV personality, award-winning sommelier and comedian, or as Laurie calls herself, The Standup Sommelier® peels back the labels of a customized selection of wines for guests and interweaves wine business truths and humorous moments as a mom in suburban hell. Laurie lives on the Eastern Shore and has traveled far and wide from her home base on the shore to "demystify wine", whether it be to host her radio show on WBAL "The Sipping Point", to appear on national TV Shows like Dr. Oz (enjoy her Dr. Oz segment on wines for your health here) or for corporate entertainment. With more people coming to Chesapeake Wine Country as a premier wine and agro-tourism destination Laurie gets an opportunity to coach lovers of local wine. She has performed her act at Bordeleau Winery on the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland and recently performed further north on the wine trail at Crow Vineyard and Winery. The journey gave her an angle for some new material for her show "Something to Wine About" .... think mall mom in a rural oasis of fine wines surrounded by cows!

written by Lotte Bowie, shorevines
visit these websites for more info on
Crow Vineyard & Winery
Laurie, The Wine Coach...and check out the more serious side of Laurie below!

We asked Laurie to share what its like to travel through Chesapeake Wine Country on Maryland's Eastern Shore and to comment on the wines being made there.

1. How did you happen to live on Maryland's Eastern Shore?
My husband Michael is a classically trained chef who trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. We were living in NYC during my sommelier training and had our daughter Michaela there. We were looking to move somewhere with more space for our growing family when Michael was offered an executive chef position in Easton, MD. We love pairing food and wine together which is highlighted on our BLOG

2. What is your take on the wines being made here?
As an entrepreneur I love that the wine industry is in such beginning stages on the Eastern Shore. There is so much opportunity for new wineries as the agro-tourism aspects of wine making. I love that each winery has its own personality and focus which is what makes the Chesapeake Wine Trail so fun! I have quite a few favorites from the trail the Crow Barbera Rosé to the Bordeleau Pinot Gris and don't forget the St. Michaels' Chocolate Zin.

3. What would you want to happen to this region?
I'd love to see our wineries to get the support from the state and the residents to ensure these are sustainable businesses. All our wineries need to reinvest in their business and the quality of the wines. Virginia wine regions like Charlottesville and Loudoun County have been able to really spread the word attracting a significant amount of media and tourism. I hope that for our wine region as well.

4. A lot of the people behind the wine movement on the shore have an agricultural is this a plus?
In the end wine is an agricultural product so this is essential! The old saying goes, "Wine is made in the vineyard." Growing the best grapes for the place and harvesting them at the right stage of ripeness...this is the key to great wine!

Just off the beaten path to the beaches, another Winery with Agricultural roots opens up Chesapeake Wine Country

If you're traveling to the Maryland beaches via route 404 or marking time down route 50 take a pit stop to enjoy wine in an open air wine tasting barn.


Triple Creek Winery, located at an intersection of three creeks, is another winery brought to you by a generational farm family. The Spies began growing grapes a decade ago, producing and selling their wine under the Triple Creek brand. A visit to this winery (#10 on the trail see map) – and their open air tasting barn, is unassuming and welcoming in every way, starting with matriarch Margot, who uses her nursing skills to make everyone feel well cared for. Triple Creek wines benefit from son Corey's skills earned as assistant winemaker at one of the earliest wineries of the Eastern Shore’s first wineries - St. Michaels Winery/ and son Alex’’s ag expertise as a grower of specialty hydroponic English cucumbers on the property since 2013.

On Saturday, July 25 at 4 p.m. the Spies officially celebrated their grand opening at the family’s Triple Creek Winery near Cordova in Talbot County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Visit the intimate barn style tasting room and get a sip of their unique style of wine making.

11138 Three Bridge Branch Road, Cordova, MD 21625

For more info:

Janel Griffith's Winestock rocks as a Signature Chesapeake Wine Trail Event

Combine the flower children of Woodstock plus flowing wine and a dose of nouveau goth and you have a really cool wine festival called "Winestock". This signature event, now in its second year, pulled in record crowds this past Saturday October 4th; close to 1000 festival lovers hung out to enjoy music, wine, and a cool time warp to the Woodstock era despite colder weather and grey skies.

Read more: Janel Griffith's Winestock

John Irving Levenberg: The winemaker who loves working in the vineyards of Chesapeake Wine Country

John Irving Levenberg, Nueva Vista Consulting, listens to his clients and the microclimate they work with on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. His partnerships with hardworking vineyards are paying off - turning up the perception that quality wines are coming out of our region and that a reputable Chesapeake Wine Country has been born.

Read more: John Levenberg

Jennie Schmidt: The Foodie Farmer growing a Chesapeake Wine Country

There are 16 licensed wineries populating our eastern shores and more and more vineyards supplying them with regional grapes that work well in a Chesapeake Bay governed clime. With Maryland state and regional awards coming the way of our shore winemakers, a notorious wine country is growing. Who is behind the growth? Jennie Schmidt, dietician, farmer, Vineyard Management business owner and grower herself, she works with Mother Nature and delivers clean fruit that makes great shore wines.

Read more: Jennie Schmidt