Winery Snafus: It’s Funny Now

Sometimes at the Winery we goof.  Of course we try to be careful, but we are only human after all, and we forget things and make mistakes.  At the time, there is often a mix of panic, problem solving, and cursing. After a short while, we are usually able to laugh about our mistakes together at the next family dinner. For your enjoyment, we share some of these instances with you.

At the Winery, everything is bottled and labeled by hand.  Sometimes we get chatty and mistakes happen.  As a result, at least 1 bottle every time is accidentally is double corked!

We mixed Vidal and Apple together to make Summer Blend and overfilled the tank by a few gallons.  The lid doesn’t fit and is floating on top of the wine.

We racked wine ready to bottle into a tank that was inconveniently placed in front of all the empty wine bottles ready to be filled.

We had a pressing malfunction which resulted in a mini explosion of Pink Quiver. It. Was. Everywhere.


Apricots, a peachy punch, and an aroma of ripe apples, a bit of sweetness brings out a whole new character in Vidal Blanc. Crafted out of a single grape, like its namesake from a single piece of wood.  Take a long shot from our semi-sweet Longbow.

Rescuing Sully

Useful things are rarely cast away at the Long Shot Farm. The sheds are full of tidy bits of irrigation hose, coffee cans of drywall screws, chains and tools for a variety of purposes, and piles of wood that may someday be necessary.  Items are often repurposed and recycled in creative if albeit janky ways.  Old cars can be seen ferrying farmer to vineyard to tractor at different locations.

Recently our beloved suburban, circa 1998, lost its rear bumper. The rear bumper was loose and upon removal, caught on fire. This vehicle, historically shuttling the Weyant children to various sporting events and college in the early 2000s is fondly referred to as Sully.  With Sully in need of repair, Zach and Lars came to the rescue.

Zach visited the hedgerow, the place where farm implements and useful “junk” are kept. He dug out an old bumper belonging to a truck with a dump bed.  That truck was recently disassembled to create a dump trailer that we use for mulching. Unfortunately the bumper was too large.  Lars cleverly sliced the old bumper to fit and welded it back together.

He then attached it to the truck after a little welding yoga. We’re happy to report that Sully is back in business, shuttling Weyants to and fro, and occasionally making a trip to Sheetz.

Pennsylvania Wine Excellence Award!

The Pennsylvania Wine Society selected the top 11 wines in PA to receive the Pennsylvania Wine Excellence award.  We were thrilled to learn that Desert Rose made the cut.  The top wines were then placed in front of a panel of judges and Desert Rose placed 4th!!!! Check out more here.  We also earned medals this year at the Pennsylvania Farm Show for 3 out of 4 wines that we entered, Apple, Trophy Rack, and Valley Blush.  Learn more about award winning craft beverages in Cumberland County here.  And don’t forget to stop by and sample our award winners!

Bird Netting Cleanup

Every major event is a marathon, particularly for those who have to get it together. Take Thanksgiving. The weeks before, you agonize over the menu, because some people think pumpkin pie tastes better with sweet potatoes, and others say that that is an abomination. Days before you hunt through the grocery and markets, to get all the ingredients necessary for the turkey dinner, the dressing, the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, the green beans, and yes, the pumpkin pie. Then for the 48 hours leading up to the great meal itself, it is nothing but cook and clean, cook and clean, cook and clean for the crew of friends and family, half of whom will love your heterodox pumpkin pie, half will think it blasphemy, and half will not know the difference. And at the end of the meal, everyone clears out but you, and you realize that there is one last cleaning to do. But you are tired and exhausted, and perhaps can be forgiven if things sit till the evening. Meanwhile, you will have another bite of that pumpkin pie.

So to it is with the harvest for the grapes. Since last winter, you have trimmed, dug new rows, planted new vines, fertilized, run irragation, mowed, bottled the old stock, put up the bird netting, harvested the grapes, crushed, juiced, and fermented. So perhaps you can be forgiven if at the end, you let the bird netting lay in the field, though the grapes are gone, the leaves have fallen, and the days are now short. Perhaps it is a bit untidy looking. Yet now, perhaps just one more glass of wine.

But of course it must be picked up. The next cycle is coming soon enough. The trimming must start once more. So as on Thanksgiving, you push yourself from the table, wondering where all the well-fed yet critical guests went, plodding to the kitchen to make things right. For no-one else will. With another glass of wine, of course.