Chronicles of the Long Shot Farm

Irrigating Traminettes

Last fall we had a well drilled near the Traminette patch. This area has been hit hard twice by drought: the first was the year they were first planted and the second time was this past summer. We should have had our first substantial harvest from these vines. Instead the drought stressed the plants and our Traminette harvest fell sadly short of expectations. So we decided it was high time to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Fortunately there is plenty of water underneath this area of the vineyard and drilling a well was straight forward. Now we are left with the task of getting the water from the well to each plant. We decided to suspend the irrigation line along the bottom wire of the trellis and put an emitter at each plant.  The emitter controls the flow of water at each vine. We suspended the line to prevent rodents from chewing through it and also to simplify servicing and trouble shooting the line.

Hanging the hose was a fun task, and all the Neill children were excited to participate. Lars and Duff held the roll of irrigation hose and Freyja and Leif took turns running down each row.

 

Then we slowly went down the row and attached the line to the wire with little curly-q’s.   The final task is to run a line from the well to the end of each Traminette row.  The line will need to be buried at places so the tractor can get through. But digging is not a winter job, so this is for our next visit.

Posted by Anja Weyant

Craft Vendors at the Winery

After a successful first year of being open, we decided to renovate the middle section of the barn. We wanted to make it suitable for customers to enjoy their wine in the winter months and even have small private events.  Unfortunately, we barely used this room due to the pandemic.  While brainstorming one evening on what to do with all of this space, Samantha, an artist herself, had the wonderful idea of inviting local craft vendors to set up for the holidays. We called it “Craft Days at the Winery.”

We were able to book local vendors on select weekends from November 21 until December 13.  These inside events turned out to be great opportunities to shop local and find very unique gifts.  We also charged a small vendor fee which went to help 2 families in need this Christmas.  We provided everything for a Christmas meal and supplies for a nice breakfast. We found these families through the Salvation Army.


There were eleven vendors in all specializing in felt ornaments, clothes, and candles, to wood working and nail art.  We are looking forward to making this an annual holiday event.

Posted by Anja Weyant

Sock Donations

SOCK DRIVE for the HOMELESS!!!

The Winery is collecting socks to benefit local homeless shelters. The sock donations will help prevent mild to severe foot problems in our local homeless community.  Please help us assist local UPMC Wound nurses with their ‘Socks for the Sole’ Sock Drive! Drop off donations by Wednesday November 25th.  You can also ship socks directly to us at the winery if you do not live in the area.  We are also collecting new-like shoes, washcloths and nail clippers.

Look at the socks that have already been donated (this is a portion of donations)! We have also received lots of very lightly worn shoes.   Hopefully with clean socks and shoes, it’s one step closer to getting back on their feet.

Posted by Anja Weyant and Samantha Shaffer

Elderberry Wine

Our Elderberry Wine is now available! This wine is made from elderberries grown on the farm. If you have ever picked elderberries, you can imagine how long it took. This is also our first wine in sold in 375mL bottle.  Enjoy the wine description below.

Our Elderberry wine is something special indeed. Collecting the berries is a pains-taking process, requiring muck boots, gloves, and delicate patience. The result is a sweet red port-like wine, with the essence of ripe elderberry, blackberry, and thick tannic mouthfeel.

Posted by Anja Weyant and Samantha Shaffer

Pumpkin Wine Slushy

Fall is here and the Winery is ready for the season with our new pumpkin wine slushy. This cool, creamy wine slushy is full of warm spices and perfect for a pleasant fall day.

Earlier this year we made about 35 gallons of pumpkin wine  from long neck pumpkins and spices like cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.   The dry, amber yellow wine tasted like toasted pumpkin seeds.  To turn it into a fall slushy we added sugar and upped the spice.  The result is a decadent treat reminiscent of pumpkin cheese cake; it is creamy and sweet and reminds one of the best flavors of fall.

This wonderful treat has been popular even among non pumpkin fans and is something the Winery will likely produce seasonally.

Posted by Anja Weyant