One of our favorite things about the Eastern Shore is the incredible amount of small, locally owned businesses. We love sharing stories and news about these businesses with you, our readers. We get especially excited when these local business owners team up to benefit the entire community. Crow Vineyard & Winery is doing just that with their annual CrowFest event.
Scheduled to take place on Sunday, Septermber 10, 2017 from 11 AM to 5 PM, CrowFest is Crow Vineyard & Winery’s annual festival to celebrate the bounty of the Eastern Shore and the beginning of the harvesting of their grapes. Come spend the day enjoying the award winning Crow wines and the talents of additional Eastern Shore vendors. There will be live music provided by Phil Dutton and the Alligators and local food offerings from Haass’ Family Butcher Food Truck, Kilby Ice Cream MooTruck, Orchard Point Oyster Co., Chester River Aronia, Nolia Chocolates, Oksana’s Produce Farm, Red Acres Lettuce, and Lockbriar Farms. Additional vendors present will include Painted Sky Alpaca Farm, Barrel Smith Designs, Beachin’ Glass, Melting Down Creations, as well as multiple activities for kids, hayrides through the vineyard, grape stomping and more! VIPs will be treated to a cooking demonstration from a celebrity chef, to be announced, and seminars including a Winemakers’ Roundtable.
We chatted with co-owner, Judy Crow, about the vineyard and how this event came to be.
Crow Vineyard & Winery in Kennedyville, MD
Crow Vineyards’ mission is to sustain a 3rd generation, family-owned farm and promote the local agritourism business. Judy defined agritourism as “bringing individuals from other, often metropolitan areas, to the farm to experience something that is authentic.” Judy went on to explain that in their efforts to diversify their farm, they tried very hard to keep it as authentic as possible. All grapes used in the production of their wines within 100 mile radius of farm. Crow Vineyard & Winery started with just 3 acres of grapes in 2010 and they have grown to 12.5 acres now. In 5 years, their goal is to use 100% estate-grown grapes in the production of their wines.
CrowFest got its start three years ago because so many visitors to the farm would ask if they could come stomp grapes. At the time, the winery was too new to risk wasting grapes. “Every grape felt like a million dollars,” Judy told us. “Finally, we felt comfortable with production and the farm had shaped up, so we decided to have a festival where people could come stomp grapes and enjoy local music. We invited everyone that has ever been a partner to come join in on the fun.” Haass’ Family Butcher Shop, who butchers their meat, was invited to serve up sausage and other fresh meats, and a local blacksmith was invited to do a demonstration. “We wanted to give people that had supported us an opportunity to come out and reap the benefits.”
The Crow family will combine music, food, and education with fun events for kids during CrowFest. Judy really wanted to stress that while there will, obviously, be some drinking at the event, they really want to focus on the experience and learning. The Crow Family especially wants the public to come out and learn more about who they are. Judy told us that, “at large festivals, your identity gets lots, so we’re inviting the general public to come out and get to know us on a more personal level.”
When we asked Judy what they had planned over the next few years, she said, “we plan to dial in our staff and stress internal education over the next few years. We’re making an investment in ourselves so we can have confident, credible people pouring our wine.” Judy went on to explain that, “there is always room for improvement! Even though our TripAdvisor and Yelp reviews are great, we can always be better.” We applaud their high standards for their team!
General admission tickets to CrowFest include a complimentary wine glass, tasting of four wines paired with locally produced food, live music, and more! Their VIP package includes the previous perks as well as access to the celebrity chef demonstration (Judy told us it’d be someone good, too!) with wine pairing, the Winemakers’ roundtable, and a private winery tour with Judy & Roy Crow. Tickets can be purchased here. Hope to see you there!