Frequently Asked Questions
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE GRAPES
What type of grapes do you grow?
We currently grow 4 varieties of grapes: Norton, Vidal Blanc, Traminette and Chambourcin. Find out more about our grapes here.
Do you have plans to add any new varieties of grapes to your existing vineyard?
As a matter of fact we do. It is our philosophy here at Layton’s Chance to make the best wines from grapes that grow well here in our soil and climate. We aren’t interested in importing grapes from other areas. Right now we have an experimental vineyard with five different varieties of grapes planted; Catawba, Cayuga, Muscadine, Pinot Grigio and Barbera. The process for determining how successful grapes will grow is a long one and we are only at the beginning stages of that process now. Within the next four to five years, we should know whether any or all of these grapes will grow here and then we will make the decision of whether we want to go forward with planting more.
Where do the grape vines in your vineyard come from? Do you grow all of your own grapes?
The grape vines we grow in our vineyard come from Double A Vineyards in Fredonia, NY. They are grown in a greenhouse for a year then they come to us and we plant them in our vineyard. We also buy additional grapes at harvest time from local commercial grape growers on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
How big is your vineyard? Do you have plans to expand?
Our vineyard is currently 14 acres but we are expanding this by about 1 acre per year.
How old are the vines? How long will they live?
Our oldest vines were planted in 2007. Our grape vines will live between 25-30 years as long as they remain disease free.
How much wine will one vine make?
The formula generally accepted is that it takes one vine of grapes to make ten bottles of wine. If you come and tour our vineyard at harvest time, you’ll see around forty clusters of grapes on each vine. So if it takes one cluster to make a single glass of wine, (doing the math and carrying the one), the next time you are enjoying a glass of Joe’s Cool Red there are about seventy five grapes in that one glass alone.
When do you harvest the grapes? How do you know they are ready?
We harvest our varieties of grape in the middle of September through the middle of October. The white varieties are usually the first to mature, followed by the reds. We test our grapes starting in August up until our weekly harvest. We want our grapes to reach an optimal balance of sugar, pH and acid.