Nassau Vineyards in the midst of annual harvest

Winery near Lewes is celebrating its 30th anniversary as first grape grower in Delaware
September 15, 2023

It’s now time for Nassau Valley Vineyards winemaker Mike Reese to get busy as the grape harvest starts to wind down. Reese joined Nassau in 2008.

The vineyards, celebrating its 30th anniversary, grows several varieties of grapes, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, and Chardonnay. The grapes will be supplemented with other regional fruit to create up to 15 wines. The winery has won more than 200 awards.

It was international wine writer and jazz singer Peggy Raley-Ward who talked her late father, Bob Raley, into turning part of the family farm near Lewes into a winery. However, at the time, Delaware law did not allow farm wineries. That didn't deter Peggy, who drafted legislation, lobbied General Assembly members and got a law enacted in 1991.

In October 1993, she and her father started the wine operation.

Over the years, Nassau Valley Vineyards has grown into a destination location, with a wine shop, wine tastings, an art galley, a Sunday farmers market from mid-May to mid-October, and several rental options for events venues specializing in weddings.


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