Cumberland Times-News

Local News

February 8, 2013

Canal Place signs winery

Boutique will be first in Allegany

CUMBERLAND — Charis Winery Inc., which will be Allegany County’s first winery, signed a lease Thursday with Canal Place to open an operation there by summer, according to winery owner Charles Park.

“It will be a boutique winery. You will be able to see the whole process being done from the pressing of the grapes to fermentation and bottling,” said Park.

Charis Winery is not a grower but rather a producer of wine.

The winery, which plans to obtain nearly its entire stock of fruit from Maryland vineyards and farms, will make several types of grape and fruit wines.

“The state requires that our winery classification get at least 75 percent of its product from Maryland agriculture,” said Park, who is from Allegany County and resides in Ellerslie.

Grape varieties will include chancellor, chardonnay, pinot gris, vidal blanc, rose and blends. Fruit wines will include peach, pear, black cherry, watermelon and more.

“We are getting our licenses and other approvals in place. We need to get set up and hope to open in late May,” said Park.

“We are excited to have them. Canal Place is now completely full,” said Dee Dee Ritchie, executive director for the Canal Place Development & Preservation Authority.

Ritchie said that in addition to The Crabby Pig, Canal Place has European Desserts, Cumberland Trail Connection, J-R’s Custom Screen Printing and Embroidery, the Beginnings Montessori School and now Charis Winery.

“For a small fee people will be able to see the operation and sample various wines. It will be an educational experience as well,” said Park.

Tasting only is planned for 2013. In the spring, the winery will have its first run of wines and be doing sales as well, according to Park.

Chocolate and cheese products obtained from Garrett County businesses also will be available.

Canal Place has announced the hiring of Mary Jane O’Rourke, an English teacher at Fort Hill High School, for the position of events planner.

“I’m excited about it. I was born and raised in the city. I want to get the word out of what a marvelous heritage area we have,” said O’Rourke.

The position will be part time. O’Rourke’s responsibilities include educating people about the C&O Canal, increasing activities on the grounds and creating a quarterly online newsletter.

O’Rourke has degrees in English from Immaculata University in Philadelphia and Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

The widow of the late Tom O’Rourke, her family tree includes ties to the history of the canal.

“My father had an uncle who was a lock keeper on the canal,” said O’Rourke.

Andy Vick, president of the Canal Place Development & Preservation Authority, confirmed that a movie theater has expressed interest in locating in Cumberland.

However, Vick put to rest speculation that it was interested in locating to Canal Place or in the historic Footer Dye Works building.

“Any movie theater would not be part of the Footer building,” said Vick.

“Any offers from developers for Footer won’t be reviewed until the deadline to submit plans is here, which is Feb. 18,” he said.

Greg Larry can be contacted at

Text Only
Local News
  •  Easter grass Easter grass

    Kamryn Rice, 7, of Flintstone, finds and bags a plastic egg during Cumberland’s annual Easter Egg Hunt Saturday afternoon at Constitution Park. Hosted by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, along with students from Frostburg State University’s Recreation and Parks Management program and the 4-H Youth of Allegany County, the afternoon also included games, relay races, face painting, temporary tattoos, arts and crafts, and a petting zoo sponsored by the 4-H Hare Raiser Club, as well as a visit from the Easter Bunny. The eggs contained candy and other treats.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Business community wary of minimum wage increases

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany County businesses are certain to be impacted by the increase in Maryland’s minimum wage, set to reach $10.10 an hour by July 2018 under a law championed by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

    April 20, 2014

  • Tipped workers left behind in pay hike action

    ANNAPOLIS — Many minimum wage workers will be getting a raise now that a hike to Maryland’s wage has been signed into law. But while advocates are ascribing the increase as a win, there’s a bitter aftertaste for one group that was left behind.

    April 20, 2014

  • Views vary among Americans when it comes to hourly rate

    CUMBERLAND — Even among those who have worked minimum wage jobs, views on the minimum wage can differ.
    “Minimum wage has to exist. There is no question there, so whatever it is, it will be called ‘minimum wage’. But it should not be below a living wage,” said Bonita Quick of Cumberland.

    April 20, 2014

  • Income guideline change will increase WIC recipients

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Raised income eligibility guidelines for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children will increase the number of those served in West Virginia by about 10 percent, according to the state health officer.

    April 20, 2014

  • Absentee ballots moving online causes security concerns

    ANNAPOLIS — Voters may get to skip the lines at the polls this summer by receiving and marking their ballots online, but election officials must first decide if the convenience outweighs the security risks.

    April 20, 2014

  • Allegany County emergency medical services honorees and supporters Allegany, Garrett emergency responders honored

    MCHENRY — The 75 people from Allegany and Garrett counties who were involved with two exceptional emergency medical services calls in 2013 were presented with awards at the recent Night for Stars program held at the Wisp Resort.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lexis Trickett meets with Gov. Martin O’Malley Ninth-grader among 30 at inaugural event

    OAKLAND — Lexis Trickett, a ninth-grade student at Southern Garrett High School, was among 30 girls who attended Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Leadership Forum for Women and Girls recently in Annapolis in celebration of Women’s History Month.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • School immunization requirements change

    CUMBERLAND — Changes to school immunization requirements by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene affect students entering kindergarten and seventh grade for the next school year.

    April 20, 2014

  • Easter experience Easter experience

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
News related video
Raw: Easter Morning Delivery for Space Station Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians