Dear Friends,

Alas, we’re not there yet!

The wine crew continues to work towards wines we’re proud of. I mentioned that we have reinvigorated the old vineyard (medium old by Maryland standards closing in on 20 years) and working alongside the brewer to master the art of the barrel; those little rascals have proven unreliable in the past. Mostly what we’re headed towards is the best we’ve produced in the past: sparkling wines. They’re just not ready yet.

On the beer front, here’s a photo from the recent wheat harvest from our farm, which will be stashed for a fall fermentation. Brewer Dan Bedford is on another trial with yeasts, this one with two Norwegian yeasts which do not heat over 90F even when in the height of gobbling up nutrients. He hasn’t given these yeasts his blessing yet, but he’s honing in on the ingredients and recipes he wants. And from the sidelines, this guy is a pro after working at five different breweries, including one in England, as well as Flyhing Dog, Atlas and Sierra Nevada. His turn now to run his own shop.

So, check back in a month and hopefully we’ll have a timeline we and you can live with. Thanks to all our fans who’ve been patient; it’s been a long haul and a summer without Slack wine (and brew) is painful.

But we’re almost there. In the meantime, we have arriving again this week 7 interns from Elmberg College to help get us over the hump. You might imagine this is beneficial. I like to say around here that every day with 7 trained agriculturalists from the Elmberg College of Agriculture and Nutrition in Linz Austria, l can accomplish a week of work. They will again start posting on the FARM BLOG this week so you can follow their — and our — progress towards our re-opened winery and brewery. Yesterday I got two queries to make sure they have packed the best work clothes for the jobs ahead — not worried about the nearest grocery store or gym or movie theatre. Don’t worry though, we do make sure they get plenty of American culture (read their stories on the blog) and, with our proximity to Washington, a dose of the scene in DC.

Maggie O’Brien


Photo of Mr. Bean and Tucker Grube-O’Brien directing Jubilee Farm wheat into a macro-bin, destined in a few months for beer fermentation.

Wheat picture.jpg