Climate and Soil

Anne Arundel County has its strengths and weaknesses for growing wine grapes. Like many of the world’s great wine regions – Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Piedmont – the primary challenges are associated with rain and humidity that contribute to excessive vigor and mildew. Properly managed, though, these challenges become an opportunity for our wine to express the unique characteristics of our soils. Management starts with careful selection of a site for the vineyard – one with well-drained, open slopes; abundant sun and unhindered air circulation; and soils nearly devoid of nitrogen from years of tobacco farming. It continues with conscientious canopy and vineyard floor management – leaf pulling to allow morning sun to dry the dew from developing clusters, allowing grass to grow longer during wet periods to increase transpiration, and adding organic matter that buffers the vines from both excess water and drought.

The fruit thrives in Dodon’s deep sandy soil, producing aromatic wines that also have an unexpected minerality that adds zest to the final product. The wines express Dodon’s terroir, an intricate interaction of soil, climate, and people that reflect a sense of place. Living soils that are rich in bacteria produce countless molecules important to complex aromas. Variation in soil characteristics across the vineyard add multiple flavors to each harvest. Hydrated soils allow the vines to take up these flavor compounds and transport them to the fruit. Each year, differences in the timing and amount of rainfall lend distinctive flavors to the vintage. The vineyard team reads the vines, ensuring they have just the right amount of nutrients and water to permit optimal ripening.

Emphasizing the importance of the Dodon site, we only produce wine from grapes grown in our own vineyards. Learn more about Dodon terroir here.