RACHEL: Hi, everyone! This is Rachel Frentsos with the Annapolis Fine Homes office of Long & Foster. This is Moving Forward with Rachel. Today I am super excited to be here at Great Frogs, one of my favorite places in Annapolis, with Andrea O’Shea who’s one of the owners.
RACHEL: Thank you so much for having us! We really appreciate it.
RACHEL: Great Frogs is a vineyard in Annapolis and they have wine tastings and all kinds of fun events! I’ve been here many times. If you’ve never been here, you need to get here! Andrea, can you tell us a little about what inspired you to open Great Frogs?
ANDREA: My husband and I started Great Frogs with another couple. And, they owned the farm and they wanted to keep it a green space for people to enjoy. The farm was going to be sold and subdivided, so their plan was really just to plant something and have it stay an agricultural farm in the neighborhood. So, once the vines were planted, our next thought was, “What should we do next?”
That’s how Nate and I became involved, so we decided, “Let’s start a winery.” The winery was licensed at the end of 2010, so it’s been a gradual start because the vines take about four years before they start producing (wine) grapes. From there, then you have to produce everything. So, we started off at farmer’s markets around town, and we have slowly grown, and grown, and grown.
Last year we finished our new tasting room, so that’s been a nice addition. Right now, we’re in our tobacco barn. And, we also have some tastings in here.
How Great Frogs Got It’s Name
RACHEL: It’s beautiful in here. So, tell us, how did you come up with the name Great Frogs?
ANDREA: We wanted something that was a fun name. Something easy to remember. We didn’t want to take ourselves too seriously, because when you grow wine in a region that’s not known for it, you wonder, “Is it any good?” So, we thought, no, we can’t be too stuffy about it.
Our partner likes frogs, so we thought “Let’s do something with that.” And, we wanted the idea of having something great come from something small and unexpected.”
RACHEL: It is a great name! It’s definitely unique for sure! So, we have some wines here. Can you tell us a little bit about your most popular wines?
Reveille! Reveille! Reveille! All hands on deck!
ANDREA: We have in front of us some different ones. We just introduced this one this summer, “All Hands on Deck”. It’s kind of fun! It’s bourbon barrel aged, so this is an example of a bourbon barrel. This is an example of a bourbon barrel. It has an extra kick of brand to it! We thought it was kind of a fun thing to have for the area. It’s named “All Hands on Deck” because my husband’s father was in the Navy. Every morning he would wake them us saying, “Reveille! Reveille! Reveille! All hands on deck!” It’s for his dad and the Navy and all of the boaters in the area, so we thought it would be a fun thing
Then, we have our Meritage, that’s our classic bordeaux blend. Then, we have our Powatinika that’s named after a camp that used to be on the property. It was a national aquatic training center for life guards that was owned by the Red Cross. So, that was Camp Powatinika. They we have our Vintners White, which is our classic white blend.
RACHEL: I love how the names have meanings, too. It’s funny because I used to be a life guard, so that’s pretty cool!
You’re from the area, you live right here. What are some of your favorite things to do when you’re not on the vineyard?
ANDREA: Well, definitely eating!
RACHEL: What are some of your favorite restaurants?
ANDREA: Let’s see…? Lately we’ve been…? (laughing)
RACHEL: We all like to eat! I like to eat too! Do you order in?
ANDREA: We got pizzas from Vin 909 last week. And, we do like the patio at Gordon Biersch!
RACHEL: Well, I do really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to talk with us. Come, drink some wine, everybody! This place is amazing! Come say “hi!” to Andrea!
We’ll see you next month!