The Forrest Hall Farm Family is a proud member of the Southern Maryland Wine Growers Cooperative. This is the first agricultural cooperative of its kind in Maryland. It currently boasts 18 grower members who supply St. Mary's County's first commercial winery, Port of Leonardtown Winery, with raw product to make its award-winning wines.
The vineyard at Forrest Hall grows hybrid grapes - Chambourcin and Cayuga White and a small amount of the vineferia varities of Cab Franc and Vidal Blanc on about 6 acres.
As co-op members, the Forrest Hall Family also helps to manage and operate the winery and is actively involved in the production and sales of the finished project.
Off site festival events create opportunities to talk with consumers and the general public about how this new wine grape growing and wine-making industry are good for Southern Maryland agriculture sustainability.
Did you know . . .
- Grape vines take up very little space and are therefore suitable for our small-acreage farms in Southern Maryland
- Very little land is disturned when planting grape vines reducing the risk of soil erosion which impacts on the quality of our waterways
- Grape vines require very little commercial fertilizers and chemicals reducing the risk of run off which impacts our waterways
- Grape vines last a very long time before needing to be replaced if they are well cared for
- Once established, grape vines put down very deep roots and require little extra watering during dry times
- High quality wine grape production will generate a per acre revenue equal to or greater than tobacco production which is the bench mark for many Southern Maryland farmers
- There is high demand for high quality wine grapes throughout the Maryland Wine Industry. Every year, the Secretary of Agriculture in Maryland declares a shortage of wine grapes in the state.