Monday, January 5, 2009

Here's a scoop: Md. wine ice cream out by spring

One event that got lost in the holiday and my job change was a press invitation to sample Maryland wine ice cream. Hey, if they had held the event on sundae ... ha ha, I would have been there, too. Samples were given out on Monday, Dec. 15, at the Maryland Department of Agriculture building in Annapolis.

Winery association executive director Kevin Atticks said yesterday that the event drew a big crowd, mostly from those curious what this wine ice cream was all about.

Kilby Cream, located in Cecil County, has developed a line of Maryland wine ice cream to be available this spring. This innovation is a culmination of Maryland's diverse forms of agriculture, as both the dairy products as well as the grapes are exclusively from Maryland, according to a mid-December release.

"We've developed four flavors, all made from our ice cream and Maryland wines," said Phyllis Kilby of Kilby Cream. "We think they're delicious!" Kilby Cream is using Traminette, Vidal Blanc, as well as Chambourcin, in addition to other flavors.

Karen Fedor, agricultural marketing specialist at the Maryland Department of Agriculture, added, "It's exciting to see two of our state's value-added agricultures joining together to develop a new product."

'Down time' for winemaker is short-lived

Sent a note to winemaker Jason Price at Twin Brook Winery in Gap, Pa., asking how he'll spend the next month to month and a half and whether it's too soon to get out into the vineyard. I also asked the importance of getting any type of a snow cover.

Price: Yes, too soon for the vineyard as far as pruning is concerned. Weather depending, we will start concentrating on the vineyard in late Feb/March. Until then, I’m in the cellar doing everything from QCs to blending as well as other wine processing steps. It is true that winter months offer a “down time,” but aside from allowing the winemaker a much needed 2 week vacation away from the farm there is no extended time off. Winemaking and viticulture are as much a full time all year around job here in Pennsylvania as in other grape growing regions. As far as snow … bring it. If [there is going to be precipitation], it might as well be now when the vineyard is dormant . . . Putting Chard and Grigio in bottle this month as well as Vignoles."