eggy Raley-Ward, owner of Lewes-based Nassau Valley Vineyards, has received Southern Delaware Tourism’s 2012 Recognition Award.
After winning the award, Nassau Valley Vineyards has become one among the distinguished members of Southern Delaware Tourism’s elite honour roll. The winery became Delaware’s first commercial winery in 1993 and since then it has received a number of awards in global tourism competitions.
Raley-Ward said, ‘This is a great honour. I love Sussex County. My family has been here for almost 200 years. I left and was all over the world and I came back home to start a business because I believe in Sussex County. I guess there is a lot of truth to the adage that when you have sand in your shoes it doesn’t go away. I guess farming and manufacturing runs deep in my blood. And I’m very happy and proud to tell you we have just surpassed winning 100 medals in international competition. It was not an easy road to do what we are doing. Yes, I had to change Delaware laws to allow for wineries. It has been a long road to prove we can make world-class wine in Delaware.’
The winery is credited to be Delaware’s first and only farm winery, and is engaged in the production of wines ranging from sweet to dry and red to white. All the wines are sold from the same location. Nassau Valley Vineyards opened in 1993 for business, and since then has attracted visitors from all over the world. In recent years, it has become a tourism location for those aspiring to hold their weddings in a green environment.