February is now officially Delaware Wine Month, thanks to the Delaware House of Representatives and the Senate, which recently passed House Concurrent Resolution No. 3, which recognizes Delaware’s growing farm wineries and the positive economic contributions they are making in Delaware. The resolution’s prime sponsors were Representative Jeff Spiegelman and Senator Brian Bushweller.
“We are so fortunate to have Delaware’s legislators behind the efforts of our farm wineries,” said Chuck Nunan, owner of Harvest Ridge Winery and President of the Delaware Wineries Association (DWA). “For those who have not been to our four wineries, we encourage you to come out, enjoy the fruits of our labor, and support Delaware-grown products.”
The wine industry in Delaware began in 1991, with the passage of House bill No. 211, permitting farm winery licenses and the holders of the licenses the ability to manufacture wine. Since that time, Delaware has become home to four wineries including Fenwick Wine Cellars, Harvest Ridge Winery, Nassau Valley Vineyards and Pizzadili Vineyard and Winery. These wineries have produced award-winning wines that have gained recognition both regionally and nationally.
The wine industry in Delaware has become part of the state’s major tourism attractions. Each year since 2009, the Delaware Wine and Beer Festival, has grown in attendance and recognition. Wineries within the state are also part of the “Delaware Beer, Wine and Spirits Trail” and the “Good Libations Tour, which attracts thousands of residents and visitors to their wineries each year.
Harvest Ridge Winery and Fenwick Wine Cellars are founding members of the DWA, and have been the driving force behind positives steps forward for their industry in recent years. The nonprofit DWA promotes the consumption and production of hand-crafted wine and distilled spirits within Delaware, and has participated in numerous statewide events, including the Delaware State Fair.
In addition, the wineries in Delaware are included in the newly developed “Vintage Atlantic Wine Region”, which provides a unification of wineries within Delaware, the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the Brandywine Valley area of Pennsylvania and South Jersey.