Paving The Way For Delaware Wineries

By Jim Lee
Dover Post, Del.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Meet the Delaware woman who didn’t “WHINE” when people said her idea to produce wine was a long shot. Persistence and Perseverance have paid off for this entrepreneur who is determined to GROW her business.

Dover Post, Del.

Tell Peg Raley that something can’t be done and she’ll likely prove you wrong.

Raley faced the same obstacles as countless entrepreneurs before her when she decided to start a business, but she also faced a unique hurdle that many people saw as insurmountable.

“Most people don’t have to change the law in order to exist,” she said.

Raley’s plan was to open the first winery in Delaware, but state law at the time did not allow for the manufacture and sale of wine. Getting that changed, many people told her, would be impossible. That made Raley more determined than ever.

“Don’t say it can’t be done if you haven’t tried,” she said. “When they told me it couldn’t be done, that prompted me to go, ‘watch me.'”

Raley knew grapes would do well in Delaware’s soil. And she knew something about wine because she wrote for Les Amis du Vin International and The Friends of Wine magazine. She also knew agriculture from her younger days on her father’s farm, a place where originally she could not wait to get away from.

“I ran screaming from it because I wanted nothing to do with farming,” she said.

But on a visit home her father took her outside to show her a few rows of grapes that he had planted. He told her they should start a winery.

“I thought he was nuts,” she said. “But the more I thought about it, the concept was sound.”

Delaware soil drains well, a requirement for healthy plants. And the climate was conducive to growing grapes. Plus, the wine trades in neighboring states were beginning to grow.

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