Monday, February 21, 2011

Blending 2010 wines

Barbara & William tasting our 2010 wines
February- short and sweet. Despite the cold weather we've had a lot going on out here this month. William, Barbara and Chloe spent an afternoon tasting the 2011 wines and deciding how and what to blend. We'll bottle 6 or 7 wines in April and I'm excited about all of them! This year we have a dry Traminette, which is the grape varietal that makes our Lazy Day White and has a wonderful aroma. We also have a Chambourcin that is totally different from our 2009 vintage- a little heavier and more full-bodied. It will offer a nice contrast to our 2009 vintage. We've also got some Chambourcin on oak which has a nice chocolately flavor.

Artists mingle and discuss the various pieces
We've had several successful events this month. The UMES art exhibit was well attended, and everyone enjoyed the beautiful artwork. Brad Hudson, artist of several of our other labels, brought prints of the watermelon wine to sell and the winery purchased some lovely photography to display in the tasting room. 
Brad Hudson (second from left), professor of art at UMES and his students
Lovely decorations for the Sweetheart's Dinner!

Valentine's Day was celebrated at our Sweetheart's Dinner on February 12th, with a fabulous meal catered by Jimmie & Sook's of Cambridge. Filet mignon, chocolate pate, and Joe's Cool Red- what more can you ask for? 

Mark your calendars for happy hour in March- 1st & 3rd Fridays. William will offer a pruning session on March 5th for those of you interested in learning how to take care of backyard grapevines, or for anyone curious about what Janet and Nellie are doing all winter! $10 for the lesson and a glass of wine, please register in advance! 

We're also looking forward to the WineFest at St. Michaels- coming up in April. We might need volunteers so make sure you're on our volunteer list if you're interested in helping out!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Farm Family of the Year!

Congratulations to the Layton family on their induction into Maryland's Agriculture Hall of Fame this month! Governor O'Malley and other agricultural and legislative leaders joined to induct the Kohl Family of Kent County and Joseph Layton, Jr of Dorchester County into the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame. These families became the 40th and 41st recipients of the prestigious recognition during the annual “Taste of Maryland” agriculture event at Michael’s Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie on February 3, 2011. More coverage of the event can be read by clicking here.

Sudeep Mathew, University of Maryland Extension agent of Dorchester County sums it up well: "The Laytons have all the ingredients for a successful agriculture operation. They are knowledgeable, methodical, goal-oriented and adaptive to change. When his son decided to return to the farm, Joe and his family diversified their grain operation into growing grapes and opening a winery. The family members are active leaders in their community and have consistently implemented good conservation practices on their farm.”

Joe, William and the whole family have worked hard for many years to keep farming as the family business. The newest addition- Layton's Chance!- is just the latest of many adaptations necessary to keep Lazy Day Farms viable. The Laytons have put unmeasurable time, energy and love into making agriculture work in modern times and it's wonderful that the state has recognized them for this. 

As an employee of the Laytons for the past year and a half, I want to say that I'm extremely proud to be working for this family and I wish them continued success! 

Click here to view a beautiful video with footage of the farm and vineyard, as Joe explains his history of farming. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Hour & UMES Exhibit

This Friday, February 4th, we're excited to collaborate with University of Maryland Eastern Shore's Department of Fine Arts to host an art exhibition during our normal Happy Hour. Students and faculty will bring pieces for display and sale, some vineyard themed, all unique! It's a great chance to support local art students and enjoy a casual evening at the winery. Live Latin Jazz by Brian Perez and co. will be from 5-8.

It seems like folks have gotten the message about Alison's Wonderful Watermelon Wine! Last weekend we had quite a number of visitors who came in to pick up a bottle (or a case!). It's might not be what you expect, but for anyone who appreciates a sweet fruit wine I highly recommend it. Plus, it's 100% watermelon wine (no grape juice added), made from melons grown just down the road, scooped by volunteers at the Great Watermelon Scoop, and produced here in our Vienna winery- a true local! See pictures of the whole process here!

We've still got spaces available for our Sweetheart's Dinner on February 12th. Amanda Bramble of Jimmie & Sook's has put together a fantastic menu (full menu can been seen here) to accompany your favorite Layton's Chance wines. Tickets are $100 per couple, and we are taking reservations for 2, or for groups up to 6. Please call (410)-228-1205 or email by February 10th to reserve your place.