Wineries in Maryland eligible for $1 million in grants

WTOP: The Maryland Department of Commerce has $1 million in grants available for new and existing wineries in the state, and is now taking applications for the grants.

The funds are made available through the state’s Winery and Vineyard Economic Development Grant Program, and administered by the Commerce Department’s Office of Tourism.

Applicants don’t need to be large vineyards. Any winery consisting of at least one acre used solely to grow grapes qualifies.

Eligible expenses that grants will cover are wide ranging, including barrels and bins, canopy management machines, fermenters, fruit harvesters, irrigation equipment, presses, seeders and tanks. The full list of eligible expenses is online.

Grants can’t be used for some expenses, including labor, maintenance or utilities.

The application deadline is Sept. 15, with grants approved by Dec. 15.

There are more than 80 wineries in Maryland now, with four distinct wine growing regions, including the Eastern Shore, Southern Plain, Western Mountain and Piedmont Plateau, which is home to the majority of the state’s vineyards.

There are several Maryland Wine Trails in the state for self-guided tours of wineries.

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