Award-Winning Shore Winery Looking To Grow

BERLIN — Great Shoals Winery, a private company started last year by former Worcester Prep teacher Matt Cimino, is looking to expand with more retailers and events in Worcester County.

“We will be doing special events in Berlin,” said Shoals’ Marketing and Sales Coordinator Deborah Everett.

Cimino added that Shoals was also hoping to branch out into Snow Hill as well.

The move into Worcester County isn’t the only place the winery is headed. Though based in Mount Vernon on the Wicomico River, the winery has quickly begun expanding and now is featured at more than 48 retailers in the state, as well as Virginia, with a connection to Delaware in the works.

Great Shoals has only produced three different wines in its short existence — a cider-Style Spencerville Red Hard Apple, sparkling apple and a Pomme Grenade — and each have received positive reviews.

“We only had three wines this year, and all three won awards,” Cimino said, referring to the bronze, silver and gold trophies in the 2011 Maryland Governor’s Cup as well as silver in the 2011 Maryland Winemaster’s Choice Competition.

With new wines on the horizon, including a pear Bosc and Barttlet and a peach, Cimino hopes the award-winning pattern will continue.

“We’re the only winery [in Maryland] dedicated to sparkling wine production,” he said. “It’s for when people are looking for something a little different.”

If the current course holds, Everett is optimistic about the future.
“I think he’ll have his own vineyard,” she said of Cimino.

That’s a prediction Cimino appreciates, especially since he acknowledged that he took a risk when he opened Shoals.

After working as a science teacher at Worcester Prep, Cimino eventually moved into the forensic science field. Troubled by the struggling economy, his firm downsized and Cimino found himself out of work.

According to Cimino, who has long been interested in wines, it was a good time to open a winery in the state. One year later, Cimino is glad he got into the business and looking to continue growing.

“I’d like for our products to become recognized,” he said.

In Worcester, that recognition is likely to come from featuring the wines in more retailers, as well as having the winery involved in community events.

Everett said tastings will soon be held and the winery will continue to be featured, “at all the wine festivals.”