Knob Hall Winery Receives Grant for More Acres of Grape Planting; Announces New Web Site

Knob Hall Winery Receives Grant for More Acres of Grape Planting; Announces New Web Site

(Clear Spring, MD)- Knob Hall Winery is growing larger. The vineyard operation received a Maryland Grape Growers Association grant for $4,800, which helped the winery and vineyard operation plant an additional two acres of grapes.
According to owner-operator Richard Seibert, "This grant allowed us to plant almost 2,600 grape vines on two acres. That's an additional two football field-sized areas that we are able to have under production." Some of the grapes Seibert has already planted at the vineyard include Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Traminette, and Chambourcin and Vidal Blanc grapes. "We have the very best grapes from around the world. The new grant is for a variety of Pinot Gris"
The winery received the grant from the Maryland Grape Growers Association, and Kevin Atticks is the executive director of the Maryland Wineries Association, "The Maryland Grape Growers Association grants are very helpful for helping Maryland's wineries and vineyards to move forward in a very competitive marketplace. Knob Hall Winery is helping Maryland expand its vineyard industry, and creating opportunities for visitors and residents alike."
In a national survey last year by the Washington, D.C.-based Travel Industry Association, Maryland ranked 17th among the top U.S. destinations for wine-related travel. Creating an experience for visitors is a key element of a successful winery, according to Atticks. "Being able to expand a vineyard, and to offer a mix of selling good wine and selling an experience is critical to creating a successful visitor destination. " Atticks said that the Maryland Grape Growers Association grants ultimately help both the agriculture industry, and tourism.
Knob Hall Winery in Clear Spring is planning to host weddings and tours. The winery is finalizing the architectural designs for several buildings, including a banquet hall that will be utilized for banquets and receptions.
The planned vineyard expansion will eventually grow Knob Hall to 60 acres under production, and move the Clear Spring, Maryland vineyard into a tie with Linganore Winecellars in Mount Airy, Md., as the largest vineyard in Maryland.
Knob Hall Winery has also announced a new web site: www.knobhallwinery.com. The web site is partially sponsored by the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. The site was designed by DH Web of Hagerstown. "Because of the new web site, we have already begun receiving inquiries for events at our winery, and we're moving forward to bring what we know will be a very successful agri-tourism operation to Washington County," said Seibert. Seibert plans on being able to host events as soon as the fall of 2009.
The Maryland Grape Growers Association (MGGA) announced over $75,000 in capital assistance funds for the purposes of vineyard expansion in the State of Maryland. Twenty-two applications were approved from new or existing growers in twelve counties across the state, including the grape grower grant award to Knob Hall Winery.
MGGA received grant funding from the Wine and Grape Promotion Fund for the purposes of educating, marketing, and expanding Maryland's wine and grape industry. The vineyard capital assistance funds are for growers to plant new or expand existing vineyards in 2008. Following establishment of the awarded vineyard, growers are reimbursed about $2.00 per vine. The intent of the funds is to expand commercial-sized vineyards, and the minimum required number of vines for an application to be considered was 650 vines or 1 acre of a single variety. A reimbursement cap was set in order to award a large and diverse number of applications statewide.
The vineyard capital assistance awards is expected to add over 37,500 new vines or nearly 50 acres during 2008. Currently, there are approximately 160 acres of non-winery commercial vineyards in addition to over 250 acres of winery-based vineyards in Maryland. The vineyard expansion program will supplement grape varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Vidal Blanc and other varieties in demand by the state's 26 wineries.
The purpose of the Vineyard Capital Assistance Program is to provide a financial incentive for the establishment of new, or expansion of existing commercial vineyards. The objective of the program is to increase the volume and quality of Maryland wine grapes in order to meet the demand for grapes by wineries in the state of Maryland. Funds may not be used to increase density in existing vineyards.
The program is administered by the Maryland Grape Growers Association in cooperation with the Maryland Wineries Association and the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service. For more information about the MGGA, see: www.marylandgrapes.org.
Knob Hall Winery is a member of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, for more information, see: www.marylandmemories.com.
For more information about the winery, contact:
Knob Hall Winery, 14108 St. Paul Road, Clear Spring, MD 21722
301-842-2777

This information was provided by the Hagerstown/Washington County Convention and Visitor's Bureau - www.marylandmemories.com