The Arbutus Farmers Market isn't just for fruits, vegetables, flowers and baked goods anymore.
On July 28, the market organized by the Arbutus Business and Professional Association that is open 2-6 p.m. Thursdays, welcomed a representative from Boordy Vineyards selling bottles of wine.
It's fitting that Boordy Vineyards will sell the first bottles of wine at the Arbutus market because, according to its website, it became Baltimore's first commercial winery in 1945.
"We've done pretty well," said Sue Bosley during a lull between early arrivals to the market and the expected influx of commuters from the early evening MARC train.
"People are surprised to see us, but pleasantly surprised," said the Arbutus resident, who manned the Boordy booth on the parking lot of the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department where the market is held.
She theorized the low turnout last week may have been due to the heat and the fact the market had been closed for two weeks due to the volunteer fire department's annual summer carnival.
"That may have thrown people off," she said, noting some market customers like to get into a weekly rhythm when it comes to buying fresh, locally grown products.
Arbutus resident Jeff Cather said he stopped by the market to buy iced tea. The July 28 market also featured two stands selling fresh produce with others selling olive oil, baked goods, crafts — and even maple syrup.
Cather said he wasn't a wine person, but was impressed enough after a sample taste to purchase a variety pack of four different wines.
"I like Boordy," he said. "I've been to their vineyards."
Chris Harcourt, another Arbutus resident, said she was happy to have Boordy come to her, instead of the other way around.
"It's a ways to go all the way up there. It's good I could taste it here," she said as she walked back to her car with her purchase.
The market's final hour proved a busy one for Bosley, as one woman bought two bottles and three couples each purchased a bottle.
Bosley estimated she sold about three-quarters of the five cases (60 bottles) she brought with her for Boordy's debut in Arbutus.
The benefits for the winery in Hydes, Maryland, are two-fold, she said.
"Make money. Of course, we want to make a profit," said Bosley, whose stand offered several different varieties at $11-13 a bottle, with sangria the most popular last week.
"And get the word out. Amazingly enough, a lot of people in Maryland have not heard of it," she said of Boordy's brand recognition, especially in markets closer toWashington, D.C.
A law signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley in May allows vintners to sell bottles of wine, but not individual servings, at farmers markets in Baltimore County and any other county that has passed the legislation as many as 12 times each year.
The wineries also receive 12 permits to attend wine-sales events statewide.