Layton’s Chance marks 10 years, wins accolades

From left, Carole Lawson, CEO of the Craft Wine Association, with Layton’s Chance owners Jennifer and William Layton.

The vines may look bare and the air may be cool, but things are definitely heating up at Layton’s Chance Vineyard and Winery in Vienna with the announcement that it has been recognized as the first and only Certified Craft Winery in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic.

Carole Lawson, Executive Director of the CWA announced the accreditation at Layton’s “Leap Year Happy Hour” on Friday, presenting the winery with a plaque marking the occasion.

“Craft has long been recognized in other beverage categories, and it is really beyond time that wine be offered the same standard,” said Lawson, who founded the CWA and is a certified sommelier. “We see this movement heading east across the US, and we’re thrilled to welcome Layton’s Chance as our first member in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic.”

At the event – also a kick-off to Maryland Wine Month in March – Jennifer Layton, “Jen’eral” Manager of Layton’s Chance, and William Layton, the winery’s vintner, officially revealed the winery’s new 10th anniversary logo, debuted its newest craft wine and announced its schedule of events, including a 10th Birthday Bash on Saturday, May 23.

“We’re excited to be recognized for our approach to growing and sourcing grapes and producing wine. Craft wine is and has always been the basis of our existence,” said Layton. “Our vineyard and winery are a labor of love and being certified ‘craft’ ties our approach all together under one proud banner.”

To be a Certified Craft Winery, the Layton family had to demonstrate that their wines are commercially available in limited production, and that:

  • The development of every wine is led by a winemaker who is a partner and decision-maker  throughout the process (William Layton).
  • The fruit used to produce each wine comes from traceable sources, whether grown on-site or acquired.
  • Every wine produced by the winery is in 5,000-or-fewer case lots.

Lawson noted, “The rise in popularity of craft wines reflects changing tastes, inspired by creativity and sourcing high-quality, local fruit. Consumers want to know the hands that made the wine and the stories behind the craft.”

“Being certified by CWA was an early 10th birthday gift,” added Layton. “It’s given us even greater momentum as we roll out the fun for the rest of the year.”

To add to the festivities, state Sen. Addie Eckardt and Delegate Johnny Mautz provided proclamations from the General Assembly.

“During its first decade, Layton’s Chance has shown itself to be a leader – in agriculture, environmental stewardship and of course in winemaking,” said Eckardt. “It comes as no surprise to us that their approach to winemaking has raised the bar and we are thrilled to recognize them as the first and only craft winery in Maryland, especially as we enter Maryland Wine Month this March.”

Jennifer, William and in-laws Joe and Laura Layton, founded the winery in 2010. It produces more than 20 wines – an array of reds, whites, blushes and sparkling – all of which are bottled and canned in Maryland. Layton’s Chance is also a Certified Good Land Steward, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Layton’s Chance is a family owned and operated, 14-acre, third generation-owned Eastern Shore farm.   It features a Tasting Room that is open daily, weekend tours, walking trails, concerts and special events, and play and picnic areas.

For more information about Layton’s Chance Vineyard and Winery, visit LaytonsChance.com or call 410-228-1205.

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