Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wrapping up 2009

It's been a big year for Layton's Chance and we're looking forward to a breather before going into 2010. The Vidal and Niagara wines have successfully passed primary fermentation and were racked yesterday. Now we wait for solids to settle and for the flavor to develop. The other wines are also in good shape, and our main task now is to prevent oxidation. As William noted yesterday, there are many chances for wine to be spoiled throughout the winemaking process, but so far we are very pleased with how ours have turned out.

There's good news from the drywallers too, who have finished prepping the walls for painting. We were especially impressed with the men who used stilts (and double stilts!) to reach the ceiling and upper walls. Check out some more construction pictures in our photo gallery.
Thanks for keeping up with us and we wish you all a happy holiday season!

Friday, December 18, 2009

100% chance of snow

The radio tells us there's a 100% chance of snow tomorrow and I can definitely feel it in the air. Today is the coldest it's been all week, but there's a big empty field which we need to turn into a second vineyard so we're working out there this afternoon.

In the winery, our newest wines are nearly through fermentation and we'll be able to move them next week. I'm looking forward to the end of the construction there, so we can set up our lab and the office and have all our equipment in one place. The Chambourcin rose had higher acidity than we wanted so we blended it with the dry Chambourcin red, and tests this morning showed improvement.
As for construction, the drywall is up everywhere and they're doing the final touches to prepare it for painting. We have outdoor lights now, so you can find your car in the parking lot!

Farm operations are wrapping up for the season. Chuck spent a few days cleaning the combine so it's bright and shiny now. William and Joe took the tractor out and leveled the driveway, a necessary task after all that rain.

Now, it's time to hunker down and stay warm for the weekend!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Deer Fencing

Despite the onset of winter weather (and colds), we've been very productive these past few days.

The harvest is finally over, culminating in a full Saturday of cutting soybeans. That means that more energy can be completely devoted to the vineyard and winery. Today, Richard and Chloe hung some of the deer fencing, to protect our precious grapes from nibbling animals. We should be able to finish closing in the vineyard tomorrow. The new vineyard will also need to be protected as it is situated close to the woods where we see deer quite often.

Last week we received two barrels of Niagara grape juice and filled another tank with Vidal. Both of these white wines are undergoing fermentation right now. I'll give you more of an update on them later this week.

Also, check out the new page on our website- we've put out the details about what grapes we're growing and what wines we'll make with them!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Trellises

The new trellises in the vineyard are almost finished, thanks to the hard work by Richard. He spent time the past few weeks installing a Geneva Double Curtain system, which is designed to handle vigorously growing grapes. We are using it with Norton grapes, which are a native American grape and well-suited for this climate. Right now the vines are only a year old, but when they reach their growth spurt, we'll be ready!