Governor Larry Hogan today announced Board of Public Works approval of grants totaling $85,000 in state funding to the Maryland Grape Growers Association and the Maryland Wineries Association for the promotion of Maryland’s growing wine industry. The grant awards, which were recommended by the Maryland Wine and Grape Promotion Council, will be used for marketing, research, advertising, retail/festival promotions, activities that promote the growing of wine grapes, and educational seminars.
From the Maryland Department of Agriculture,
“The wine and grape growing industries are a key component of Maryland’s economy,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “Through the Maryland Wine and Grape Promotion Fund, we are helping to support our rapidly growing wine industry, growing our rural economies and creating a sustainable and profitable agriculture industry.”
These are the first Maryland Wine and Grape Promotion Fund grants to be awarded since 2008. The passage of 2015 HB 827 altered the distribution of alcoholic beverages tax revenue so that the revenue generated from the tax on wine produced at Class 4 wineries licensed in the State must be distributed to the Maryland Wine and Grape Promotion. The Fund is projected to receive up to $160,000 annually.
Between 2006 and 2008, the Maryland Wine and Grape Promotion Fund awarded a total of $250,000 in grants. The Board of Public Works eliminated funding for the fund in fiscal year 2009 budget due to the State’s budget shortfall.
The Governor’s Advisory Commission on Maryland Wine and Grape Growing and the Maryland Wine and Grape Promotion Council were established in 2005 to promote the production of Maryland wine and wine grapes in the State. The Council is responsible, upon advice from the Commission, with recommending to the Board of Public Works how to allocate grants from the Maryland Wine and Grape Promotion Fund.
The Board of Public Works is made up of Governor Larry Hogan, State Comptroller Peter Franchot, and State Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp.
Read the full press release for more information.