Despite an autumn chill in the air, organizers said they thought Harvest at Swan Harbor Farm was a success. The association sold more than 500 tickets in advance and hundreds more at the entrance.
"We're really happy," Jade Ostner of the Maryland Wineries Association said. "This is our first foray into Harford County. We have a lot of wineries in this area and we wanted to represent them."
Harford Vineyard of Forest Hill and Legends Vineyard of Churchville were among the 13 wineries that turned out for the event. Each festival-goer who had a wristband (proof of legal drinking age required) was given a stemless tasting glass upon entry and permitted seven samples.
In addition to wine tasting, the family friendly event included a costume contest; the winner among 25 entrants was dressed as a stink bug.
The Mayo Family Band and Chris Adams performed on stage, with the Chesapeake Bay serving as a backdrop and hay bales providing seats.
The Harvest festival also included an educational component, with a mobile classroom from the state of Maryland giving an inside look at the agriculture industry.
Wine making in Maryland began at the Havre de Grace estate, according to the farm's institutional history. Owner John Adlum made wine there in the 1700s, including a bottle of burgundy he sent to his friend Thomas Jefferson.
In fact, the Maryland Wineries Associated selected Swan Harbor for the event "because of the view and its ties to agriculture," Ostner said.
Said Ostner: "Harvest is not just a wine festival—it's a celebration of agriculture, which is the state's largest industry."