There was an absurd moment yesterday, sitting with my husband and mother-in-law and her sister at a table overlooking the orderly lines of riotous vines at Layton's Chance Winery, a baguette and two different cheeses before me, that I realized I was either doing Whole30 really well or completely wrong.
In the last six weeks, Jon and I have visited three different vineyards, each only a short drive away from DC: Naked Mountain Winery, Barrel Oak Winery, and, as of this past weekend, Layton's Chance. I love how friendly all the wineries in the region are; every one we've been to is super dog/child-friendly, situated in the most gorgeous countryside, and totally unpretentious. If you stop by on a nice day, there's nothing lovelier than settling yourself at a picnic table in the sunshine with a flight or a bottle in front of you and a stunning vista beyond that. So, despite my temporary teetotalism, when Jon said he wanted to take his mum and aunt out of the city for the day, I thought it would be nice to include a picturesque and relaxing lunch at a vineyard on our excursion. After we decided to make St. Michael's on the Eastern Shore (where Jon and I spent a day with our friend Alex last summer) our ultimate destination, I messaged my Instagram friend Morgan to see if she had any recommendations for nearby vineyard that might fit the bill - and she didn't steer us wrong!
Layton's Chance is just under two hours outside of DC, and Jon's mum and aunt loved driving over the Bay Bridge and seeing all the boats out on the water. Route 50, the main north/south road on the Maryland bit of the Eastern Shore, meanders through small towns and cornfields - we felt like we'd jumped back to summer when the sun came out as we drove along.
One of the owners greeted us from an Adirondack chair by the front door as we pulled up to the winery and, in the most wonderful drawl, told us a little bit about the vineyard and the season they were having. At the bar, Jon, Ged, and Annette all chose the five-glass flight, which ended up being a lot more wine than they'd expected - not that they complained! We took our drinks and picnic out onto the porch and settled in for a lovely hour.
When we'd finished our lunches, which we'd picked up at Whole Foods earlier in the morning, we set off on a mile-long trail around the vineyard and through the fields that one of the winery staff had suggested. It was pretty hot for mid-September, but a breeze was blowing and the butterflies were out in full flutter, and it felt good to stretch our legs before getting back in the car to head up to St. Michael's.
It was a perfect way to spend a few hours on a beautiful weekend afternoon. We'd definitely recommend visiting Layton's Chance if you're in the area, and we're excited to continue adding to our list of local vineyards as we head into fall! Hopefully I'll be able to drink the next time we visit one...