- Associated Press - Saturday, February 22, 2014

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - When Carol Wilson, co-owner of Elk Run Vineyards, received a call last year to provide all the wine for the second season of Netflix’s “House of Cards,” she first worried what it might cost.

In the end, the production was only interested in the winery’s empty bottles, labels and foils.

The actors aren’t consuming real alcohol during taping, after all.

“That hadn’t dawned on me before,” Wilson said this month.


Her next question was just how the show would turn juice into a realistic-looking version of the Elk Run’s Liberty Tavern Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

“Oh, we’ve done this before,” the show’s representative responded.

Trailers for the show have offered glimpses of Elk Run labels and other Frederick County products the show has snapped up since last spring.

Eagle-eyed viewers will be able to spot everything from American Indian jewelry and antique Chinese wheelbarrows to window privacy screens bought from Frederick County businesses.

“I’m glad we had some great local products being highlighted,” said state Sen. David Brinkley. “We’ve got some great cottage industries in Frederick and in Maryland.”

This boost to local business is one reason it’s important to incentivize the film industry, said Brinkley, R-Frederick.

Since producers of the 2006 movie “Annapolis” eschewed the namesake city to shoot in Philadelphia, state leaders have worked harder to draw filmmakers to Maryland, Brinkley said.

Lawmakers in 2011 dedicated $7.5 million annually to tax relief for film producers. Last year, they allowed up to $25 million in incentives, and lawmakers are considering $11 million in tax breaks for the coming fiscal year.

House of Cards has received $11.6 million in tax credit for its first season alone, reported Jack Gerbes, director of the Maryland Film Office. The returns on this investment can range from job creation to business for local companies, according to Gerbes.

“We like to see them employ local talent … highlight Maryland products and have those jobs and payroll come back here,” said Brinkley, who has supported the tax incentives.

Statewide, the first season of “House of Cards” has generated an estimated economic impact of $138 million, Gerbes indicated.

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