Maryland Wine Industry Grows 18.6% in FY06

The Comptroller of Maryland's revised “Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Annual Report” for Fiscal Year 2006 (FY06) reports an 18.6% growth in Maryland wine sales over Fiscal Year 2005 (FY05).

“This shows the amazing strength of the Maryland wine industry and its benefits to the rural economy,” said Carol Wilson, president of the Maryland Wineries Association and proprietor of Elk Run Vineyards in Mt. Airy . “We're seeing more customers at our wineries and festivals, and that is helping to drive sales in retail stores,” Wilson said. Elk Run Vineyards wines are distributed through Reliable-Churchill. Wines from six Maryland wineries are currently being distributed by Maryland wholesalers; the remaining wineries' products are distributed under the Class 6 Limited Wine wholesale license.

Approximately 968,333 bottles were sold in FY06 at an average price of $11, totaling over $10.5 million in sales. Wineries reported great increases in sales through Maryland retail stores in FY06, especially those in close proximity to wine festivals, farmer's markets, and special events. “More people are asking for Maryland wine, and supportive retail stores and restaurants are getting into the business of selling local wine,” said Ray Brasfield of Cygnus Wine Cellars.

The original FY06 annual report was revised to show accurate sales figures from Maryland wineries. For more information about the revision, contact Denise Davis the Comptroller's Office's Alcohol, Tobacco and Tax Bureau at 410-260-7327. Historical statistics—and general industry information—can be found online at

An economic impact study released in late January shows that the American wine and grape industry has quite an effect on local economies. The total annual impact of the wine, grape, and grape products industries on the American economy is $162 billion, based on a report by Napa Valley 's MKF Research LLC.

Researcher Barbara Insell, who managed the project, highlighted the incredible “value-added” nature of the wine industry in particular, with the $11.4 billion in sales at the winery generating an additional $2.7 billion for wine distributors and $9.8 billion for restaurants and retail wine stores, and with “wine country tourism” attracting 27.3 million tourists spending over $3 billion in the rural wine regions. 

Dr. Kevin Atticks is the executive director of the Maryland Wineries Association.

The Maryland Wineries Association (MWA) represents Maryland 's 26 award-winning wineries, which produce over 270 distinctive wines. Maryland wines are consistently awarded honors from competitions throughout the world and are served in the region's finest restaurants and retailers. The wineries are open for public tours, tastings and special event throughout the year. Visit for more information, e-mail , or phone 800-237-WINE.


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