Agritourism Business Planted on Maryland’s Coast

 

 

Berlin’s Windmill Creek Vineyard & Winery Enters Fourth Season

The beautiful historic home at Windmill Creek is the heart and soul of the Mariner family’s legacy. Serving as both inspiration for the vineyard and as the winery’s tasting room, it’s filled with photos and artifacts from six generations who have called Windmill Creek home.

The 164-acre property – farmed continuously by the family for almost 100 years – was Barry’s childhood home. After meeting Jeannie while both were stationed in the Philippines serving in the military, the couple eventually returned to Maryland’s Coast after retiring the farm.

Motivated by their daughter Brittany’s viticulture studies while attending college in North Carolina, Jeannie and Barry decided to harness the family’s century-long wine making hobby (watermelon wine was a favorite!) by converting 12 acres of the 164-acre property into a vineyard.

They connected and contracted with an experienced winemaker who helped develop and run their program. Brittany also worked in several vineyards in different roles to learn first-hand the roots of the winemaking business.

After renovating the farmhouse and planting 2,500 vines, Windmill Creek became Worcester County’s second winery when it opened in 2017. It is now a full-time family business with Barry and Jeannie overseeing the logistics, tasting room, and events and Brittany running the winemaking operation.

The winery currently produces almost 30,000 bottles of red and white varietals annually. Petite Syrah and Petite Verdot. At last count, the Mariners were also filling orders and shipping their wines to 30 states.

Future plans call for adding Chambourcin grapes next to the Grüner Veltliner vines they planted in 2021 and expanding visitor amenities and event areas.

Today, this family business and popular event destination attracts up to 1,000 visitors weekly to the tasting room and special events. From April to October, the winery hosts weekly concerts featuring area musicians and a farmer’s market. It's also available for private rentals. Visit Windmill Creek Vineyard & Winery online for more information.

For information on agritourism on Maryland’s Coast or to learn how you can plant roots for your business, contact Michele Burke at (410) 632-3112 or email here.