5 Ways to Repurpose Wine Corks

Have you ever shared a bottle or two of your favorite BCV Chardonnay white wine with friends, and then kept the cork as a special memento? Upcycling old wine corks is a hot trend right now thanks to Pinterest and the DIY movement.

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Photo Credit: Design Improvised

With the help of creative crafters, old wine corks are finding new life as coasters, candleholders, and more. Cork’s lightweight, 100% natural and biodegradable features make it optimal for a number of design and craft projects. Instead of pitching the cork after you’ve finished your favorite bottle, break out the old glue gun and get your DIY juices flowing with these crafty, quirky repurposed cork ideas.

1. Wreath
Greet guests at the door au natural — with a 100% natural cork wreath, of course! All you need are a stash of wine corks (start saving early), an 8-inch or larger wreath form, hot glue gun, and paint or nail polish for coloring corks (optional). Glue the corks to the wreath form in any random order. Continue gluing in a circular pattern until wreath form is filled. This is by no means a quick DIY, so prepare to spend a couple hours working on this project. Hang it on your front door, near your wine rack or in the kitchen.  (more…)

Meet the Winemaker: Q&A with Dave Collins

wineries in virginia, malbec wines, wineries in marylandWith harvest just around the corner, Dave Collins has been busy ushering BCV’s grapes from vine to wine. As the vice president of operations and master vintner at BCV, Dave oversees the growth and production of 24 acres and 13 varietals. He ensures the quality and consistency of all BCV wines through relentless attention to detail and skilled expertise that spans more than 25 years. Between tending the vines, the award-winning winemaker took a few minutes to chat about his love of winemaking and what’s ahead for the Washington County winery. Here’s what he had to say.

Q: How did you get into the winemaking business?
A: I didn’t choose the wine industry. The wine industry chose me. It was a progression of events and personal relations that brought me to where I am today.

After receiving my degree in horticulture from Virginia Tech in 1979, I spent a few years in the greenhouse business. At that time, Virginia wineries were in their infancy, and I saw an opportunity. It involved a tremendous risk leaving my horticulture career. I had a basic knowledge of viticulture from school, and I attended a class at the University of CA at Davis and toured Napa to learn more. When I returned to Virginia, I planted my first vineyard. In those years, the few Virginia vineyards were planted to mostly American and hybrid varieties. I planted one of the early vinifera vineyards, including one of the very first Cabernet Franc blocks.  (more…)

5 DIYs for Empty BCV Wine Bottles

So, you just finished your favorite bottle of BCV Traminette wine. Now that the last sip has been savored, what do you do with the bottle? By reusing or repurposing just one bottle, you’re reducing pollution and waste. Rather than adding the bottle to the trash pile, think DIY.

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Photo Credit: DIY Network

With the popularity of Pinterest and the DIY movement, there’s never been a more creative time to turn your old wine bottles into functional, fabulous pieces. The unique silhouette and dark, green hue of our BCV bottles make it easy to transform your beloved wine into new and unique centerpieces in your garden or on your dining table. Save money and spice up your home with these 5 nifty, thrifty ways to repurpose empty BCV wine bottles.  (more…)

How to Care for Grapes: Cluster Thinning

“It’s very important as a winemaker that you don’t over crop the vines,” BCV Vintner Dave Collins says as he clutches a cluster of Petit Verdot grapes. Cluster thinning is a winemaking process that improves intensity, sugars and, most importantly, flavor. The goal is to reduce the crop size to help increase the maturity of certain grapes. During the process, any damaged, underdeveloped or congested grapes are removed so they don’t over crop or crowd the larger, juicer fruits.  (more…)

Late Harvest Vidal Blanc Wine & Dessert Pairings

vidal blanc wine, maryland wineriesDecadent, delectable, divine — that’s our Late Harvest Vidal Blanc. When paired with dessert, it’s important to ensure the wine is sweeter than the foods you’re pairing it with. If not, the wine will taste tart. But, when served with a dessert with a fair amount of acidity — a blackberry tart or a sophisticated cheese platter, for example — the pairing can be a sweet ending to a great meal. Here are three recipes sure to enhance the fruitiness of Late Harvest and satisfy any sweet tooth in the process.

Grilled Peaches with Burrata
Recipe c/o Lipstick & Leopard Print  (more…)

The State of Our Grapes

It’s a striking, sunny morning at Big Cork Vineyards as vintner Dave Collins scans the rows and rows of lush grapevines. A red-tail hawk flaps its wings in the cloudless sky above. Dave pauses from passionately reporting the progress of BCV’s grapes to point out the raptor perches scattered throughout the vineyard. BCV placed them here so the birds could live and hunt in their natural habitat among the grapes. In turn, the birds help manage moles, ground hogs and other pests that cover crops can attract.  (more…)

BCV Wine & Food: A Love Story

wine and food pairings, big cork vineyards

Certain pairings have stood the test of time — Mickey & Minnie, Fred & Ginger, Batman & Robin. But at BCV, we believe the greatest duo of all time is food and wine. When paired with the right foods, wine enhances all flavors, culminating in a romantic union that’s heavenly and cleansing to the palate.  (more…)

Big Cork Sweeps Annual Wine Competition

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Big Cork wines are bold, expressive and extraordinary… and now we can add award winning to that list! We’re excited to announce we received five medals at the seventh annual Maryland Winemasters Choice Awards, including two Gold medals and a Best in Class acknowledgement. (more…)

A Wonderful Weekend at Wine in the Woods

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(clockwise from top left) Our delicious Chardonnay, Traminette, Vidal Blanc & Late Harvest Vidal Blanc are poured for tasters; a number of tasters flock to our tent to sample our fine Washington County wines; winemaker Dave Collins has some fun with our Big Cork goddess display prior to the festival; tasters sign up for our raffle: a Henri Bendel bag, a free wine tasting with Dave and a free case of wine; good times and good wines were the only thing on the Big Cork menu; President & CEO Randy Thompson pours a glass during Wine in the Woods.

Big Cork Vineyards was honored to share our white wines at this year’s Wine in the Woods festival. A number of volunteers helped pour, while hundreds of tasters lined up to sample our Chardonnay, Traminette, Vidal Blanc & Late Harvest Vidal Blanc. This was Big Cork’s first major wine festival, and it was a hit! A special thanks to everyone who helped set up, pour wine, Power Marketing & Advertising, LLC for all marketing materials and everyone who attended the event. Here are a few photos from the weekend. Like us on Facebook to see the rest.



Big Cork in the News

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Last week, Dave Collins, Kari McNair & Julia Thompson talked to Your4State about Big Cork’s wines sampled at this week’s Cannes Film Festival in France. Check out what they had to say here: http://your4state.com/fulltext?nxd_id=309042.


Big Cork Vineyards Goes to Cannes Film Festival

Late Harvest Vidal 2012Watch out, Hollywood! Big Cork Vineyards has been selected to share our handcrafted wines at a wine tasting party during the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. The party is exclusive to film festival organizers attending Cannes and will take place Tuesday, May 21 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Bruno Chatelin, board member of the European Film Academy, advisory member of the International Film Festival Summit and the CEO of FilmFestivals.com, invited all guests to bring their favorite wines to share — something they like or something that grows in their country. Tracie Hovey of Power Marketing, the firm responsible for Big Cork’s advertising, is attending the festival and encouraged us to supply our varietals during the party. Guests of the wine tasting party will sample four of our signature wines: Chardonnay, Traminette, Vidal Blanc and Late Harvest Vidal Blanc.

We couldn’t be more excited to share our wines with festival organizers and represent Washington County during the festival. We’ll post photos of the event on our Facebook page, so check back soon.


Wine in the Woods

wine in the woods


What are you doing this weekend? Stop by Wine in the Woods at Columbia, Md.’s Symphony Woods for a celebration of tastes. Big Cork Vineyards will be there, sampling several of our finest white wines. Saturday’s hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday is 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets are still available, online and at the door. We look forward to seeing you there.


Big Cork at the Crystal Ball

A proud sponsor of Meritus Healthcare Foundation‘s 2013 Casino Royale Crystal Ball, Big Cork Vineyards was honored to provide samples of our wines to guests. Big Cork and ThompsonGas President Randy Thompson poured wines and discussed the vineyards with guests, while his lovely daughter Julia greeted guests as they arrived at the booth. Special thanks to Power Marketing & Advertising, LLC for all marketing materials and everyone who stopped by to say hello and try our wines! Check out the evening here and on our Facebook page.


crystal ball, big cork vineyards, wine sampling, maryland wineries

(clockwise from top left) President & CEO Randy Thompson pours a glass of Late Harvest Vidal Blanc during the Crystal Ball; Randy and his daughter, Julia, chat with guests; Crystal Ball attendees sampled our Chardonnay, Traminette, Vidal Blanc and Late Harvest Vidal Blanc; guests smile while sampling our fine whites; Randy and Julia pause from the pouring rush for a quick photo.

Bottling Begins at Big Cork

Exciting news! We recently began bottling 4 of our signature wines: Traminette, Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc and Late Harvest Vidal Blanc. Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the process here, then visit our Facebook page to see the entire album.


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Welcome to the Big Cork Blog!

big cork vineyards

Welcome to the Big Cork Vineyards blog. Here, you’ll find updates on what’s happening at the vineyards, special tasting events, the progress of our tasting room and much more. We hope that this blog will be a place for our friends and fellow wine lovers to connect with us, learn more about our local winery, and enjoy the art and spirit of wine drinking. From our first bottling to our tasting room and production facility set to open next year, there’s plenty of activity at Big Cork. And who better than you, our friends, to share in the excitement with us. We’ll update this blog as well as our Facebook page often, so be sure to check back for the latest news.


Randy Thompson & Dave Collins

Open Thursday through Monday, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm. Open Fridays until 9:00 pm.