The Layton family has been a presence in Dorchester County agriculture since Joseph H. Layton, Sr. bought the original farm in 1948. In the mid-70s the next generation Joseph H. Layton Jr. and his wife Laura, continued to add to their holdings by purchasing Lazy Day Farms and turning it into a successful grain operation. It would be another Layton, returning to heed the call of succession however, to bring the idea of Layton’s Chance Winery and Vineyard to fruition.
“I never thought William would come back to the farm.” Laura Layton says, but on the same day that he and Jennifer called to tell her that she and Joe were going to be grandparents, he announced his intentions to do just that. So, in 2003 after years of living all over the United States and with a newborn in tow, William and Jennifer arrived and began their new adventure on William’s old ‘stomping’ grounds.
In an effort to diversify their farming operation the family reevaluated their business and planted their first grapes in 2007. Taking a leap of faith and a ‘chance’, they planted grapes suited for the climate of the Eastern Shore and anxiously waited to see if their hard work would ever bear fruit. Bear it did and in 2010, the family opened the winery that would come to be known as Layton’s Chance.
Joe, Laura, William and Jennifer each own a quarter of the winery and make decisions by consensus, however each family member plays a distinct role. With a strong family bond and teamwork, the vineyard has since expanded from just six acres of grapes to fourteen and production has increased from five wines to nine.
Situated on part of the 1800 acres that makes up the family farm, the winery features a tasting room that is open daily, tours, walking trails, as well as play and picnic areas. There is something for everyone here at Layton’s Chance so come and enjoy a lazy day with us!