Chuck Nunan began making wine in his basement in 1995 with rave reviews. In 2010, during a trip to Charleston, South Carolina for his son’s wedding, Chuck visited a winery there and was inspired to take his love of wine and winemaking and turn it into something bigger. He and his wife, Chris, had purchased land in 2005 for a family farm in Marydel, Delaware, which he decided to turn into Harvest Ridge Winery.
As a family farm winery, family comes first. The Nunan family is headed by Chuck and Chris. Their first (very successful) joint venture began in 1974 when they got married. Their three sons, Chip, Christopher, and Craig are all nearby and work in the family businesses. All three boys are married and there are currently six grandchildren (with more on the way).
The theme of “family” is evident even in the Harvest Ridge logo. The roots of the Harvest Ridge tree are prominent, in part to reflect the deep roots and lineage of the Nunan family.
The name “Harvest Ridge” was the original name of the farm and was retained for the winery. The first vines were planted in 2011 – Chardonnay, Viognier, Malbec, and Merlot.
Harvest Ridge Winery’s property spans the border of two states – Delaware and Maryland. It is on the historical Mason-Dixon Line. In fact, one of the most unique features of the property is the existence of one of the Mason-Dixon’s original witness stone and crown markers – number 47 – located on the property.
Located just outside historic Georgetown, Delaware, 16 Mile Brewing Company is one of Sussex County’s best kept secrets. Tucked away, just off the main highway, 16 Mile is a newer landmark along the mostly agricultural landscape. But just beyond the walls lies one of the fastest growing craft breweries in lower Delaware.
16 Mile owners, Brett McCrea and Chad Campbell believed that Sussex County offered them something unique – a safe place to raise their young families and an area perfect for a new business that celebrates old traditions, while creating new ones. 16 Mile Brewing Company was the ultimate joint venture – a way to capitalize on Chad and Brett’s unique skills and backgrounds AND their passion for great beer.
The 16 Mile Brewing Company name harkens back to the late 1700’s when Georgetown was still known as Pettijohn’s old field, a rather isolated town, centrally located in Sussex County. The area was “16 miles from anywhere” in the county and was the best place for farmers, merchants, and politicians to meet to conduct official business.
Staying true to the area’s history, 16 Mile chose names for their brews that carry a historical significance including Old Court Ale, Blues’ Golden Ale, Inlet IPA, and Harvest Ale. Stop in to try a sample of these, and many more, and see for yourself why 16 Mile is quickly making a name for themselves throughout the Mid-Atlantic area.
Family-owned and operated by The Wehner family, Chatham Vineyards overlooks Church Creek, on the eastern shore of Virginia. Several historic buildings line the property including a Federal-period brick house built in 1818. Chatham Farm has been a working farm for over four centuries.
Chatham produces over 3000 cases of wine annually including multiple varieties of chardonnay, merlot and cabernet. The grapes are hand-picked and sorted before pressing to ensure the highest quality of the juice. Their Steel Chardonnay varietal was recognized by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. In addition, the vineyard was recognized as one of the “100 Best of Virginia” by Virginia Living Magazine.
Ever aware of the importance of promoting their local surroundings, Chatham has featured wine pairings with purveyors of local, Church Creek oysters and partnered with neighboring business, Southeast Expeditions, on eco-friendly kayaking tours. They host many events throughout the year but you can also find them at wine festivals throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
Judging by the breathtaking views of this expansive vineyard, the short drive to Virginia’s eastern shore is a trip worth taking! See for yourself at www.chathamvineyards.com.
Fin City’s story involves humble beginnings, assembling and constructing a brewery in a West Ocean City garage. “We designed it from the ground up and received loads of help from Doug Griffith, owner of Delmarva Brewing Craft, based in Millsboro, Delaware and Bryan Brushmiller and his entire crew at Burley Oak Brewery, in Berlin,” said Ryan Intrieri, Hooper’s General Manager.
The five 150-gallon kettles had been set up in Hooper’s for the past year, but they were just not able to start making beer until recently.
“After approximately a year and half of extensive paper work and developing the brewery, they were finally ready for prime time.
The Fin City Brewing Company, opened in April 2012 and serves what they call “obscenely fresh hand crafted ales in a friendly, lively atmosphere”. They brew on-site exclusively at Hooper’s Crab House in West Ocean City, MD at the foot of the route 50 bridge.
Brewmaster Vince Wright brews up Sneaky Wheat, Fin Light and Pale Ale as well as a seasonal pumpkin ale.
Fin Light is a “full-bodied light beer.” Sneaky Wheat is comparable to Blue Moon, has a citrus taste to it and served with a blood orange slice. Pale Ale is light and smooth with no aftertaste. Growlers and pints available. What better beverage to serve up with steamed crabs! Check out Hooper’s in West Ocean City to try their newest creations!
Throughout the year we will be profiling the characters behind the wines and ales you buy. Their stories provide great insight into the bright future of Delmarva’s wine and beer industry.
Costa Ventosa is a casual, fun winery located on 10 acres of vineyards and farmland in Whaleyville, MD, just 10 minutes from Ocean City and Berlin. In Italian, “Costa Ventosa” means “Windy Coast.” Take a tour of the wine production area, gaze out over the 4-acre vineyard, or sit on the front porch with a glass of wine and meet the owners Kathy and Jack Lord. She’s the winemaker and he’s the dirt guy or vineyard keeper. Whatever their tasks, they are one dynamic duo!
Costa Ventosa will be celebrating their 2nd birthday this summer with a party on Saturday, July 14th at 2pm.
They offer winery tours, a gift shop and free wine tastings. “Wine Down” every Friday between 6-8pm with live music, complimentary finger food and discounted wines by the glass.
The Maryland Winemasters’ Choice Awards, held each year to find the best wines in Maryland, were recently handed out. Costa Ventosa did supremely well!
Best in Class White:
Puckum Pinot Grigio 2011
Best Sweet: Riddle Farm Riesling 2011
Gold Medal Awards:
Riddle Farm Riesling 2011
Diana’s Delight 2011
Puckum Pinot Grigio 2011
Bronze Medal Awards:
Tuckahoe Merlot 2010
Open Friday-Sunday noon-6pm.
Costa Ventosa is also a stop on the Chesapeake Wine Trail
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