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Big Cork Vineyards Entertains Media in a Big Way

Last week we joined photographers and bloggers for a media event at Big Cork Vineyards in Washington County, Maryland.  Upon entering we were treated to a glass of Russian Kiss wine. Big Cork is a winery we visited and wrote an article about when it opened in 2015. We were happy to attend the event where the owner, winemaker and general manager were welcoming and talked about the vineyards, winery and wines.

Big Cork Vineyards in Rohrersville, Maryland

Big Cork Vineyards in Rohrersville, Maryland

The owner,  Randy Thompson first welcomed us to Big Cork. Dave Collins followed up talking about his excitement with the winery opening in this region of Maryland. The second speaker was from Washington County Tourism. Referring to Washington County, she said, “We have everything here.”

Dave talks about the vineyards

Dave talks about the vineyards

Dave had been a winemaker at a winery in Virginia and often traveled these roads wondering why there were no vineyards here in Maryland. Dave asked the media group to follow him to the 30 plus acres vineyards where we saw prolific vinifera grapes thriving. He noted that farther away in the vineyard, he had Russian grape varieties. The Russian grape varieties are known by numbers rather than names such as XIV and the SK-77.

Dave led us into the winemaking area of the winery and explained the winemaking process for those who were not familiar with it. He added that the winery is using oak barrels from different regions of the world.

appetizers prepared by Canopies Catering

appetizers prepared by Canopies Catering

We returned to the Big Cork tasting room where we enjoyed appetizers prepared by Canopies Catering and with the appetizers we tasted several of Big Cork’s wines at the tasting counter. The general manager, Jed Gray poured our wine tastings and talked about his experiences with wine in California. He now refers to Maryland as his home and appears to really enjoy his position at Big Cork. Regarding the tasting room, he noted that he tries to bring unique things into the tasting room – things that people cannot find elsewhere.

At the end of the evening, Randy Thompson commented, “We want to create a vibe; like the one we have at home.”


Tasting room at Big Cork Vineyards

Tasting room at Big Cork Vineyards

Russian Kiss with a light yellow color was a blend of Muscat, XIV, and the SK-77. Orange blossoms were predominant on the aroma and taste along with some peach and citrus. The crisp finish was refreshing. This is a good 3P (porch, patio or pool) wine. Also a light yellow color was the Sauvignon Blanc. This Sauvignon offered lemon, lemon grass, grapefruit and a hint of minerality. The finish was crisp.

The Rosé of Syrah was a light pink color with an orange hue. This perfect for summer weather wine had notes of strawberries and red raspberries.

062816eWe were treated to a club only wine. Twisted Franc was a blend of mostly Cabernet Franc with a splash of raspberries. The grapes and fruit were co-fermented. The raspberries were from the property and were a combination of red and black berries. The resulting wine was an opaque dark purple color with a black fruits profile. The wine had bold tannins and was full bodied. The finish was very crispy. The 2014 Cabernet Franc was a dark ruby color. It offered black fruits especially blackberries, black raspberries and black cherries. Bold tannins were accompanied by a full-body. The fruit finish was crisp and yielded to leather.

Another treat for the group was a Black cap port. With 18% alcohol this raspberry port had no alcohol heat. The dark ruby to black colored wine was very raspberry-like and simply delicious. It had a long raspberry aftertaste.

Big Cork Vineyards reminded us of some of the beautiful wineries we visited in Santa Barbara County, California. Plan to spend some time relaxing and taking in the views.

Terry & Kathy

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