Kent County farm thrives with change in business model

08/01/2023| Amanda Winters

Kent County farm thrives with change in business model

08/01/2023 | Amanda Winters

In a small community on Maryland’s Eastern Shore lies a third-generation family farm that has shifted its focus from growing crops to wine making.

Crow Vineyard & Winery , located in Kennedyville in Kent County, was established in the early 1900’s as a family-run farm house. Over the next century, the farm produced dairy, wheat, corn, and soy; but by 2008, it was clear business operations needed to change to remain sustainable.

With that, the farm began offering a bed and breakfast option for visitors. The “Farmstay B&B” provided grass-fed Angus beef for sale, and a few years later added several dinner events to continue showcasing its agricultural contributions while planning the business’ next steps.

Brandon Hoy (vineyard manager) works in the vineyard

Brandon Hoy (vineyard manager) works in the vineyard

That brings us to 2012—just over a decade ago—when Judy and Roy Crow began turning their operations toward wine making. In just 10 years, the Crows have successfully expanded their vineyard operations to produce wine made strictly from grapes grown on the farm.

The company credits its ideal location between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, as well as its proximity to two local rivers, for its unique growing conditions. Its access to water, wind, and well-draining soil on the Eastern Shore contributes to the variety of wines it makes each year, where no two years are exactly the same.

“Maryland wines are unique and reflect the ability of a young industry to make some good quality wines,” said owner Judy Crow. “It’s an expression of who we are, and what we can do right here in Kennedyville.”

The company’s diversification hasn’t gone unnoticed. Late last year, PBS’ A Taste of History showcased Crow’s assets with a 30-minute episode on Maryland wine .

“While winemaking is one of the newest ventures on this third-generation farm, the team at Crow Vineyard is quickly becoming globally recognized for their award-winning blends,” said international chef Walter Staib in the PBS feature.

The farm’s revised business model also caught the eye of Governor Wes Moore, who visited earlier this summer .

Governor Wes Moore shakes hands with Crow Vineyard & Winery leadership

Governor Wes Moore shakes hands with Crow Vineyard & Winery leadership

“Maryland’s agricultural community is essential to our state’s economic success. Today’s tours highlight the importance of ensuring that daily operations also consider long-term conservation practices so we can ensure sustainability and promote the Maryland farming industry for generations to come,” said Gov. Moore in an announcement .

Even with its success, Crow Vineyard & WInery continues to grow its presence in Maryland. The company recently renovated its hay barn tasting room, where it offers several farm-made products and Crow wine for sale.

“Crow Vineyard & Winery has embraced diversification and partnerships. By collaborating with local inns, B&Bs, restaurants, markets, etc., Crow’s wines and beef can be found in many places in the region,” said Jamie Williams, CEcD, director of Kent County Economic and Tourism Development. “With its natural light, the new tasting room is a showcase of broad offerings with dinners, tastings, events, meetings, and shopping, in one place. The knowledgeable owners and staff make it a truly unique experience.”

To learn more about the company, visit .

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