Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Week

Hanging Christmas lights in t-shirts!
I just read the blog from last Thanksgiving and wow! So much has changed in the past year. To start with, the weather this year allowed for the corn and soybean harvest to finish 3 weeks earlier. Also, the weather this fall has been absolutely fantastic- mild temperatures and colorful surroundings!

Lovely bottles of label-less Joe's Cool 
The big changes though, have been happening at the winery. With six months of having the tasting room up and running we've certainly learned a lot about the work involved, but it's also been a lot of fun! From big events like hosting Randy Lee Ashcraft and our Grape Stomping Harvest Festival to relaxing evenings like Sundaes at Sunset over the summer and the Happy Hour live music series this fall...We've been creating lots of good memories.

Chloe borrowed a hand labeler and got to work
Winemaking is still the same process, although there's a lot more wine this year! We also have a few new wines we're working on- like Alison's Wonderful Watermelon Wine and an aged Chambourcin reserve. Our 2nd bottling of Joe's Cool Red didn't go exactly the way we planned (labels and labeler didn't match up...) but with the help of our sister winery Costa Ventosa and her hand labeler, we were able to get Joe's back on the shelf by Thursday afternoon and make all the deliveries on Friday. THANK YOU!

Feel the holiday love.
I guess it hasn't changed too much actually- we're still making wine, having fun and building friendships with fellow Eastern Shore wineries. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Waterfowl & Bottling JCR

Vineyard manager Richard Murphy & his wife Cara at the Waterfowl Festival
Nancy Kreek volunteered on Friday
In case you haven't heard, we've been officially sold out of our most popular wine- Joe's Cool Red- since Saturday. We took our last cases to the Waterfowl Festival in Easton, MD where is was quickly snatched up by visitors out enjoying the beautiful weather and festival atmosphere. There was a smattering of bottles available at the winery which were traded among customers after the last bottle was sold. Also popular at the festival was our Vidal Blanc, one of the few (or only?) dry white Vidal Blanc wines in the state. Check out the great article from the Star Democrat.

Fun with capsules!

Anyway, the drought of Joe's is brief as we are bottling more wine this Thursday. William the Winemaker foresaw the popularity of the wine and started making more over the summer, so we have 1000 gallons ready to go. It's definitely worth stopping by, maybe on an early lunch break, to see what's happening and pick up a bottle fresh off the assembly line. We'll hopefully get started at 8am and it will take 3-4 hours to bottle all the wine.

Also this week Chris English is playing at Friday's Happy Hour. A local blues guitarist who graced the Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth fundraiser last month, he promises to give a good show. Find out more at his webpage:

The Hunter's Banquet has been canceled for this year, but we hope to offer a similar event next year. My sincere apologies to those of you who have made plans to attend and we hope we can interest you in other events at the winery. We are getting ready for our Christmas Market too, on December 4th. Anyone interested in setting up a table is welcome to contact Chloe ( for more information.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Recent Events

Welcome back Laura and Joe! They've been away for the past week and we've missed them at the winery. While they were gone we had several fun events, from the Vienna Heritage Foundation fundraiser to our Ladies Night home shopping evening.

Tom & Jennifer
The VHF had a great turnout and several speakers came to illustrate the main cause of the afternoon- to raise money to support building a permanent home for a recently acquired Native American artifact collection. Tom Bradshaw, curator of the collection which is currently housed at Salisbury University, and Jennifer Notari (an SU graduate student) showed some pieces of pottery.

Lots of ladies!
 Ladies night was also a fun evening- it was chilly outside but the winery was cozy and warm. We served local cheese from Chesapeake Bay Farms and Chapel Creamery, and guests browsed beautiful displays of unique jewelery, cooking items, home decorating goods, make up and skin care products, and more. Jennifer's presentation went well and many ladies went home with door prizes donated by the vendors.

Alex Wersen of Rusted Axle & the Gingers performed at the winery on Friday night with Katie Gutoskey on vocals for happy hour. Everyone enjoyed the music and the relaxed atmosphere of the evening, and we appreciated having two volunteers join us for the night.

Can you see the beautiful sunset behind them?
What's coming up next? Another chance to join us for happy hour on November 19th, and we're busily planning holiday parties for December. If you haven't booked one yet for your business or group, give us a call (410-228-1205) soon! As advertised in Metropolitan Magazine, we're offering our event room free for daytime events (up to 75 people) during the month of December, and at a 25% discount for evening events.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Watermelon Wine Update

Mid 50s this week and the leaves are all brightly colored. The rush of harvest is over- William finished cutting soybeans last weekend and they finished planting wheat yesterday so the bulk of the fall farm activities are finished. It finished surprisingly early this year- normally everyone is busy until Thanksgiving! I suppose with farming you can never predict the weather and you work as hard as you can while you're able.

What it also means is that William can turn his full attention back to the wine! We tasted some samples of Alison's Wonderful Watermelon Wine last night. It was delicious!! It isn't as pink as we expected- the color disappeared during fermentation and now it is a light peachy color. Sweet and fruity, it's really going to be wonderful. A pure watermelon wine! For those who haven't heard the news, we won't be bottling this until 2011, as the process has taken longer than we expected. I promise to send a news flash out when it is ready!

But we are definitely bottling Joe's Cool Red this month. It's incredible but we have all but sold out of this regional favorite. Richard and I did a full count yesterday and there are less than 300 bottles in the whole winery. We're scheduled to bottle on November 18th, so if you're interested in seeing how this works come out and join us. We'll have a full assembly line going and we expect to fill 5000 bottles to replenish our stocks.

Tomorrow evening we have our Ladies Night Home Party (6-9pm at the winery, $5 admission for wine tasting and refreshments). Speed shop your favorite home vendors and enjoy a fantastic presentation by Jennifer about how to prepare for the holidays stress free. She claims that you can be ready by the first week of December so that you can actually relax and enjoy the holidays!

Tonight Jen and William present some of our wines at the Signature Chef's Banquet at the Hyatt for the March of Dimes Fundraiser. Say hello and consider a bid for the free event we are offering in the live auction!