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The Examiner - Sept. 14, 2009

Baltimore region home winemakers kick-off fall harvest
September 14, 10:25 AMBaltimore Wine Travel ExaminerTerry Sullivan

annual pig roast kicks-off fall grape harvestThe Baltimore Ravens are not the only group to kick-off a fall season. Thousands of home winemakers are also poised to kick-off their season with grapes from the fall harvest. S & S Winegrapes and Equipment Company on Severn Street in Baltimore helped celebrate the return of the winemaking season with an open house pig roast for their winemaking customers. S & S Winegrapes provides grapes, mostly from California, shipped via rail to their warehouse in Baltimore. For the next two months, customers will pull up to the warehouse in a variety of vehicles and collect grapes to crush, ferment and age at home.

Benny and Brian Sudano 3rd generation of S & S WinegrapesS & S Winegrapes have been in business in Baltimore longer than professional football. Founded in the mid-1930’s on the heels of the repeal of Prohibition, Sabastiano Sudano started the company. Like many other Americans, he reasoned that back in Italy wine was considered a way of life, so why not make our own wine. Sabastino was already in the produce business and knew he could have grapes shipped from California. Today the family business is run by the third generation Benny and Brian Sudano. They receive seventeen tractor-trailer loads of thirty-six varietal grapes. This accounts for 323 tons of fruit that they supply for 3,000 customers. In addition to the Baltimore region, their clients range from Virginia to Pennsylvania.

The pig roast also included beef and sausage and is a popular event held in mid-September. Many of the home winemakers brought bottles of their wine for attendees to taste. Although the weather was dreary, the participants were festive exhibiting the camaraderie associated with winemakers worldwide. Everyone was excited about the wine they planned to make this year. When asked what do you do with so much wine, Benny replied, “Give it away as gifts.” People really enjoy wine as a gift especially when the gift giver made it.

As one travels to wineries to taste wines, why not travel to Baltimore and purchase grapes to make wine. In addition to grapes, S & S Winegrapes also sells winemaking equipment. A five-gallon carboy will yield about two and a half cases of wine.

http://www.examiner.com/x-11860-Baltimore-Wine-Travel-Examiner~y2009m9d14-Baltimore-region-home-winemakers-kickoff-fall-harvest

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Hours of Operation:
SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER ONLY
Thursday - Friday:    7am - 7pm
Saturday - Sunday:  7am - 2pm