Green wine in Maryland
But that could change this year, key lawmakers in Annapolis say they are open to modifying the state's alcohol laws so consumers can receive shipments of wine in the mail. That idea pleases those in the burgeoning locavore movement, as it eases access to Maryland wines.
The owner of Maryland's award-winning Black Ankle vineyard explained that members of his wine club have to drive out to his Mt. Airy farm to pick up cases. For every one customer willing to make the trek, he estimates three or four can't be bothered. Finding his wines on the shelves of the corner liquor store is tough -- they only produce 3,000 bottles are year.
In Virginia, where direct shipping is allowed, one vineyard owner said 30 percent of her business is by mail.
The change also would open Maryland to rare wines from fancy Sonoma vineyards, but Black Ankle's owner Ed Boyce says: Bring on the competition.
This year a bill to legalize direct shipping will be introduced in the House by Del. Jolene Ivey, a Prince George's County Democrat who had some success last year making it easier for local vineyards to sell at farmers markets.
But the state's liquor lobby opposes the idea -- and they tend to get what they want in Maryland -- so consumers shouldn't clear space in their wine racks quite yet.