Monday, August 23, 2010

RAtG jams out

It's been a little while since I've had the chance to post but that just means things are staying busy at the winery. This past weekend we had a great show by Rusted Axle and the Gingers- Alex Wersen and Dick "Rusty" Morris and his daughters Claire and Emily. There were excellent vocals by the girls and impressive guitar playing by Alex and Rusty despite the afternoon heat. One group of visitors, the "Boat People", enjoyed the show so much that they convinced RAtG to play on for another hour. A good afternoon to be on the porch.

Last week we started preparing the winery for the production season. We've got a machine that separates grapes from their stems and crushes them, which is what we'll use for making red wine. Richard tested it and Barbara was super impressed at the efficiency of the process. There are two new wine tanks in the tank room that will significantly increase our wine-making capacity this season.

What's coming up- wine festivals in September and October, and a big festival to celebrate the harvest! September 25 will be our 1st Annual Harvest Festival- so for everybody who's ever wanted to stomp grapes, this will be your chance to come out and do it! Check our website for full details, but in addition to grape stomping we'll have tractor rides, a fishing contest, a moon bounce, live music by Tommy Buckets and JohnE Wa2C, and concessions by Millie's Roadhouse. $5 entry for adults (21 & up) includes wine tasting. Free entry for kids and youth under 21.

We do need some volunteers for the Maryland Wine Festival on September 18 and 19, and at Pemberton on October 16 and 17, so if you're interested shoot us an email ( and I'll sign you up.

It's getting close to harvest now and now is the best time to visit a vineyard, with bunches of grapes hanging heavy on the vines! Come check it out!

Friday, August 6, 2010


I can't believe that summer is passing by. The breeze yesterday morning really made it seem like we were approaching fall, but the humidity kicked in midday and reminded me that we're still in the thick of it. The grapevines are just beautiful these days. I tasted a Chambourcin grape this afternoon and it is only slightly sour now. With sugar content rising at a rate of 1.5% weekly, they will be ready in a few short weeks. We're looking at a mid-September harvest (and we'll need help so stay tuned if you're interested in picking grapes!). On September 25 we're planning a harvest festival to celebrate the bounty of the vines, and to get our feet dirty with a good old fashioned grape stomp!

In other wine news, the watermelon wine is in the tank and doing well. It has a strong watermelon flavor, although right now the scent of yeast is pretty strong on the nose. As someone mentioned today, the liquid has lost most of it's color and is only a very pale pink. Our sample batches have turned almost clear after sitting. Maybe that's another reason for blending fruit wine with [grape] wine- to offer a nicer color. Regardless, we're still planning on doing a straight watermelon wine so let's keep our fingers crossed that it works! Brice Stump of the Daily Times wrote a great article about the watermelon wine in this weeks' paper- check it out here.

This weekend's entertainment has changed but still promises to be a good time. Randy Lee Ashcraft and the Saltwater Cowboys had to postpone their performance, but we're excited to welcome them to the winery in October. In lieu of the Saltwater Cowboys we'll have JohnE Wa2C- a duo from Easton playing classic rock music from favorite artists like James Taylor, Dylan, the Beatles, you name it. The band plays from 2-5 and admission is $5 at the door.