And here it is… our BIG announcement!

Starting January 31st, bring all of your senses to Big Cork Vineyards and experience something bigger.

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Asparagus & Hollandaise Casserole with Big Cork Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

BC_Asparagus_Post

Ingredients:

1 lb. fresh asparagus
1 c. chopped celery {about 2 to 3 stalks}
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 T. butter
1 envelope Concord Foods Hollandaise Sauce, prepared*
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1/16 tsp. pepper
2 slices bread
3 T. butter, melted
1 bottle of Big Cork Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc


Directions:

1. Remove tough ends from asparagus spears; discard. Cut asparagus into 1-inch to 2-inch pieces.

2. Heat the 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add asparagus, onion, and celery; saute until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, combine prepared Hollandaise sauce, cheese, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Once vegetables are done, remove from heat and stir in Hollandaise mixture. Spoon into a 9×9″ baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray.

4. Cut or tear bread slices into small pieces; combine with the 3 tablespoons melted butter and toss to coat. Top asparagus mixture evenly with the buttered crumbs.

5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes then uncork a bottle of Big Cork Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc and cheers!

Recipe Source: The Kitchen is My Playground

Roasted Duck Legs & Big Cork Vineyards Merlot

BC_Duck_PostIngredients:

6 large whole duck legs (about 4 1/2 pounds total), trimmed of excess fat
1/2 cup of Big Cork Vineyards Merlot
2 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
8 fresh thyme sprigs
1 cup mixed dried fruit such as dried sour cherries, chopped dried apricots, chopped pitted prunes, and raisins
5 cups chicken broth
Accompaniment: buttered noodles or roasted and mashed potatoes

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. and season duck legs with salt and pepper.

2. In a heavy kettle just large enough to hold legs in one layer, cook legs, skin sides down, over moderately high heat 10 to 15 minutes, or until skin in scrip and mahogany colored, removing fat from kettle as it is rendered with a metal bulb baster (or very carefully tilting the kettle and spooning off). Turn legs over and cook until browned on the other side, about 2 minutes, transferring to a plate.

3. Pour off fat from kettle and deglaze with wine, scraping up brown bits. Boil wine until reduced to a syrup and add garlic, thyme and 1/2 cup dried fruit. Return duck legs, skin sides up, to kettle and add broth. Bring mixture to a simmer and braise, uncovered, in oven 2 hours, or until legs are very tender. Transfer legs to a platter and keep warm.

4. Pour braising mixture into a 1-quart measuring cup and let stand until fat rises to the top. Skim off fat and pour liquid through a sieve into a saucepan, pressing hard on solids. Boil liquid until reduced by about one third and slightly thickened and add remaining 1/2 cup dried fruit. Simmer sauce until fruit is softened, about 5 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.

5. Serve duck legs with sauce and noodles or roasted and mashed potatoes. Pour remaining Big Cork Vineyards Merlot into glasses then cheers and enjoy!

Recipe Source: Epicurious 

Big Cork Vineyards Ice Wine & Apple Napoleons

BC_Apple_Nap_PostIngredients

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons sugar
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
All-purpose flour, for work surface
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick wedges
2 cups sweetened whipped cream
1 bottle Big Cork Vineyards Ice Wine

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar. Place pastry on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons cinnamon mixture. Carefully roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out eight 3 inch squares, and place on a parchment- lined baking sheet. Cover with more parchment and another baking sheet. Chill in freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.

2. Bake pastry in oven until crisp and lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Remove top parchment and baking sheet. Transfer, with bottom parchment, to a wire rack, and let cool.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until foam subsides. Add apples; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Add remaining cinnamon mixture. Cook until apples are tender but not falling apart. Let cool completely. To assemble, top the pastry with whipped cream then apples; repeat with another layer of each. Serve immediately, pour glasses of Big Cork’s Ice Wine and cheers!

Recipe Source: Martha Stewart

Harvest Season at Big Cork Vineyards

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Early on a crisp September morning, Big Cork Vineyards’ master winemaker Dave Collins is busy beginning to harvest fresh Chardonnay grapes. Carefully going through each row of grapes, and tasting a few along the way, he confirms that they are fully ripe and ready to be turned into a delicious batch of Big Cork’s award winning wine. Harvesting season has officially begun.

The Clone 96 Chardonnay grapes that are being harvested were developed about 20 years ago in the Dijon Region of France, and grow extremely well at Big Cork Vineyards in Washington County, Maryland.  These Chardonnay grapes are carefully hand-harvested from the vines and fill the bushel sized blue “lugs” for transportation. After all the lugs are full, the grapes will chill overnight before heading off to be crushed in the morning.

“It’s been a really great year for growing,” Dave said as he admired his beautiful Chardonnay grapes. “The fruit is nice and golden and the sugars are testing at about 22 percent, or “brix” as it is called in the industry. Nice acids and great flavors.”

On top of harvesting the new batch of Chardonnay, Dave has to decide when all of the other grapes will be ripe and ready to go. As we walk around the 24-acre vineyard, sampling the Nebbiolo and Barbera grapes, he identifies that these red grapes are almost sweet enough for picking.

“I am really excited about standing here in front of our Nebbiolo vines. I just love this grape. It’s a grape that is grown in the Northern Piedmont region of Italy, but I have grown it in Virginia and now in Maryland for 15 years,” said Dave. “It is a very dark, rich, bold, tannic red wine that will age for many, many years.”

Dave and the Big Cork Vineyards crew wake up bright and early the next morning for the next, and very important, step in the harvest process: the crushing. They begin by meticulously hand sorting the fruit to ensure that only the best and clusters go to crusher.

After these perfect grapes are selected, they head up the conveyor belt to the crushing and de-stemming machine and are one step closer to becoming Big Cork Vineyards wine.

There, the grapes are separated from their stems during the de-stemming process. The stems fall into a bin, while the grapes are lightly crushed and continue their journey to the wine press.

The wine press resembles a large cylinder, and a vinyl membrane inside the press slowly inflates and the sweet juice is gently released from the berries.  From the press, the juice is pumped to a refrigerated stainless steel wine tank, where the juice is settled, then inoculated with special wine yeast, and the juice then slowly ferments over the course of three to four weeks.  Some of the juice will then be removed to ferment separately in French oak barrels, before being blended together and finally bottled in the spring.

We can’t wait until this fresh, Maryland grown wine is on the shelves!

Big Cork Pours at Maryland Wine Festival

Our Big Cork team had an incredible weekend pouring wine at the Maryland Wine Festival! For two days, our team uncorked bottles and filled glasses with our Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah Rose, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Vidal Ice! We are amazed at the outflow of support we received, and the new Big Cork fans we gained! For everyone who was there, thank you for letting us fill your weekend with Big Cork wine, and we look forward to filling glasses at our tasting room late this fall!

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Big Cork Vineyard named Washington County Farm of the Year

Article by CJ Lovelace

Big Cork Farm of the YearROHRERSVILLE — Big Cork Vineyards, which will soon be opening an on-site production facility and tasting room in southern Washington County, added another honor to a growing list of awards this week.

The winery has been named the county’s 2014 Farm of the Year.

“We’re excited about being named Farm of the Year in Washington County,” said Randy Thompson, president and chief executive officer of Big Cork. “We’ve been doing a lot of work here in the vineyard and the building to make this a premier agritourism farm site for our county.”

It is the first time a farm winery has earned the honor, county officials said.

Joined by Thompson and others, Leslie Hart, agricultural business development specialist with the county Department of Business Development, made the announcement Tuesday at a Washington County Board of Commissioners meeting.

“Each year’s winner has been unique, but all have shown growth in terms of diversification, value added-products and a commitment to keeping future generations involved on the farm,” Hart said. “These magnificent farm businesses show a sincere dedication to preserving the longstanding agricultural traditions of Washington County which we’re proud to recognize.”

Business Development Director Kassie Lewis said Big Cork’s “commitment to the best of the best” in terms of production, proficiency and conservation is evident on the approximately 100-acre farm in Rohrersville.

“Our judges were extremely impressed with efforts to make the farm 100 percent sustainable, and with the addition of the hospitality center, Big Cork will continue to flourish and be a vital part of the Washington County economy and business community,” she said.

Since planting numerous grape varietals on about 24 acres of the larger tract of rolling farmland purchased by his family about 25 years ago, Thompson said the winery has spent about $4 million to date, including its new 4,000-square-foot facility expected to open on 9 acres later this fall.

In addition to on-site production of wine, which currently happens in Frederick, Md., the operation will include vineyard tours and tasting events, as well as a new venue for corporate events and weddings, Thompson said.

BIG CORK VINEYARDS WINS BIG AT 2014 WINE COMPETITIONS

Award-Winning Winery Recognized in Regional and National Wine Competitions 

Rohrersville, MD – Big Cork Vineyards, nestled in Maryland’s Pleasant Valley just west of Frederick, today announced it won numerous awards in multiple wine competitions for 2014, including Best of Class for the 2013 Traminette at the Long Beach Grand Cru, Double Gold for the 2013 Russian Kiss at the Indy International Wine Competition, and Best in Show for the “Best Dessert” Vidal Ice at the Maryland Governor’s Cup. The vineyard is set to open its grand winery and new 4,000 square foot sunlit tasting room in late fall.

Big Cork Vineyards Awarded 2014 Washington County Farm of the Year

Washington County Department of Business Development and Agricultural Business Development awarded our vineyard the Washington County Maryland Farm of the Year award! Our 100-acre farm has been in production for five years, producing black raspberries, pumpkins, vegetables, mixed timothy, orchard grass and hay in addition to our grape varieties for our wine. We are ecstatic that our farm was recognized by Washington County, and we look forward to opening our tasting room late this fall and welcoming people to our vineyard!

Big Cork Vineyards Winemaker Highlights Malbec Grapes

Big Cork’s Vice President of Operations & Master Winemaker Dave Collins highlights Malbec wines and discusses the ripening and harvesting process for these grapes.

Big Cork Vineyards Winemaker Showcases Syrah Grapes

Big Cork Vineyards Winemaker Dave Collins spotlights the Syrah grapes on the vineyard.

Patriot News: The End is Near – Grand opening for MD’s Big Cork Vineyards only a couple months off

Big Cork Clouds

Article By Paul Vigna

Big Cork Vineyards is located in Rohrersville, Md., about 10 miles west of Frederick and 70 miles northwest of Washington D.C.

What’s there now are a couple of solid vintages of bottled wine, a lot of vines, and a great deal of expectation as construction continues on a 4,000-square-foot winery and tasting room. It’s scheduled to open in the fall, and based on the photos looks like it’s on target.

The vineyards are planed across 24 acres and feature 13 varietals, making it one of the largest growing vineyards in Western Maryland, according to the winery.

Based off a press release, here’s some information on their team.

The Big Cork Vineyards team also brings a wealth of experience and expertise in the wine and hospitality industries.  For President and CEO Randy Thompson, the hillside of his family’s farm was truly a field of dreams. Amid the rows of corn and hay, Thompson envisioned a vineyard with a grand winery filled with guests experiencing unforgettable moments with every bottle of wine.  He brought on Vice President of Operations & Master Winemaker, Dave Collins, who brings more than 30 years of winemaking experience to Big Cork. The skilled vintner, who holds a degree in Horticulture from Virginia Tech, will oversee the growth and production of 24 acres and 13 varietals at Big Cork.
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Big Cork’s Star Spangled Sangria

Celebrate Fourth of July with our refreshing and delicious Star Spangled Sangria!

Big Cork Vineyards Star Spangled SangriaIngredients:
2 cups Strawberries, sliced
1 cup Blueberries
Pineapple, cut into star shapes
2 bottles Big Cork Sauvignon Blanc
1 cup Triple Sec
½ cup berry-flavored vodka
½ cup simple syrup

Directions:
Combine the ingredients in a large pitcher and stir. Chill and refrigerate for at least four hours. Serve and enjoy celebrating!

Big Cork’s Red, Wine & Blue Spritzer

Happy Fourth of July! Celebrate the long weekend and show off your American pride with our Red, Wine & Blue Spritzer!

Big Cork Red Wine & Blue Spritzer

Ingredients:
4 ounces Big Cork Vineyards Traminette (chilled)
2 ounces club soda
4 Raspberries
8 Blueberries
3 Strawberries (1 for garnish)
Ice cubes

Directions:
In a mixing glass, muddle raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and Traminette until raspberries and strawberries are completely dissolved. Fill glass with ice and stir until fully incorporated. Pour (do not strain) into a serving glass and top with club soda. Sip and enjoy!

Big Cork’s Barbecue Beer Brisket

Our Barbecue Beer Brisket is delicious dish for Father’s Day! With the smokey flavors and hint of spiciness, it pairs best with Big Cork Vineyards’ Cabernet Sauvignon.

Prep: 10 minutes Cook TiBig Cork's BBQ Beer Brisketme: 5 hours

Ingredients:

4 pounds beef brisket
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup beer (pick your favorite!)
Ciabatta bread (get enough for the number of sandwiches you want to make)

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Sprinkle both sides of the brisket with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red cayenne pepper.  Place in a large covered roasting pan, add the liquid smoke on top and place in the oven, cooking one hour per pound. Before the last hour of cooking, remove the brisket and let it rest for 15 minutes. Then, slice the brisket and return the slices to the pan. Combine barbecue sauce and beer and pour over the slices. Then, place pan in oven for additional hour. Take the brisket out of the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes. Serve on ciabatta bread and top with BBQ sauce. Pair it with a side of potato salad or french fries and uncork a bottle of Big Cork Vineyards’ Cabernet Sauvignon to make the meal complete!

Big Cork’s Bourbon-Glazed Salmon

Big Cork's Bourbon Glazed SalmonOur Bourbon-Glazed Salmon is the perfect meal to create a fine-dinning experience right at your dinner table. The sweet notes from the brown sugar and soy sauce based marinade make it pair well with Big Cork Vineyards’ Syrah Rose wine.

Prep Time: 1 hour 45 minutes  Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons bourbon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets

 

Directions:
Grate fresh ginger and combine with the bourbon, brown sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice and garlic in a large zip-loc bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 ½ hours, turning occasionally to ensure it is coated well.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and coat pan with cooking spray. Add fish and marinade into the pan and cook four minutes on each side (or until fish flakes easily when tested with fork). Plate each fillet, drizzle remaining sauce on top and pair with brown rice and asparagus. Pour a glass of Big Cork Vineyards’ Syrah Rose wine and enjoy!

FOX Baltimore: Big Cork Shares Summer Wine Suggestions

Big Cork Vineyards (BCV) President Randy Thompson visited FOX Baltimore studio and talked with Megan Gilliland about our best wine selections for summer!

Big Cork Wine Bottling & New Wine Releases

May was a busy month at Big Cork Vineyards. We were hard at work bottling six different Big Cork wines: Viognier, Savignon Blanc, Syrah Rose, Merlot, Cabernet, Cabernet Franc and a new exciting varietal that only Big Cork is producing….Russian Kiss! Our first vintage of reds ever produced was bottled during this two day bottling marathon, and as the last case was corked, labeled, wrapped and packed we toasted our good fortune and our good wine with a glass of Big Cork!

It’s been exciting to see the transformation from vine to wine, but we are even more enthused to finally share our creations with everyone. Throughout June, we will be releasing our new wines, the first being our Merlot and Syrah Rose!

We are anxious for everyone to uncork our wine, and we can’t wait to hear the reviews. To reserve your bottle, pre-order by calling 301-432-3889!

Big Cork’s Raspberry Mojito

Celebrate the weekend with our Raspberry Mojito recipe!

BC_Raspberry_Mojito_Recipe

Ingredients:

Juice of 2 limes or ¾ cup of  Nellie & Joe’s lime juice
1/2 cup agave syrup
8 cups of Big Cork Sauvignon Blanc
¼ cup of Triple Sec
1 pint fresh picked raspberries (we grow these on the vineyard)
1/2 cup lemon-lime seltzer
12 lime wheels, for garnish

Directions:

In a pitcher, muddle mint and raspberries with lime juice and agave. Remove mint, then add wine. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, stir well, pour over ice and add seltzer. Serve in wineglasses and garnish each with fresh mint, lime wheel and a stick of sugar cane to stir with. Makes 12 Servings.

Big Cork’s Memorial Day BBQ Recipe

Chardonnay and grilled chicken make the perfect pair for a Memorial Weekend BBQ!

BC_Memorial_Day_Post2

Ingredients:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 can pineapple juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sauce:
1 stick of butter
1/4 cups heavy cream
Remaining marinade
1/2 cup of Big Cork Chardonnay

Directions:
Marinate the chicken in garlic and herb infused olive oil and pineapple juice (best if overnight but marinate at least four hours). Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil grate. Cook on the prepared grill 10 to 15 minutes per side, or until no longer pink and juices run clear.

In a saucepan, over medium heat, use the leftover marinade and combine with the Chardonnay. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the mixture reduces by half. Add the cream and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, a couple of pieces at a time. Stir well and keep warm.

Finally, pour a glass of our Chardonnay and cheers to a great meal!

Big Cork Pours at Wine in the Woods

The Big Cork team poured wine at the Wine in the Woods event at Symphony Woods in Columbia, MD. Throughout the weekend, our staff and volunteers served hundreds that lined up to try our award winning wines including our Chardonnay, Traminette, Vidal Blanc, Late Harvest Vidal Blanc and our new Merlot wine. Thank you for those that visited us at Tent #7 and took the time to try our wines. We are amazed by the support we received, and we look forward to seeing everyone at future tasting events!

 

CBS Baltimore: Big Cork Offers Wine Suggestions for Mother’s Day

Big Cork President and CEO Randy Thompson visited the CBS Baltimore studio to suggest the best Big Cork wines to serve for Mother’s Day.

Big Cork Sponsors the Mother’s Day Centennial Luncheon in D.C.

Mother's Day Centennial LuncheonThis year marked the 100th anniversary of President Wilson’s proclamation of Mother’s Day as a National Holiday. In celebration of the anniversary, Big Cork sponsored the Mother’s Day Centennial Luncheon hosted by the the Willard InterContinental – where President Wilson himself visited and introduced the idea of the League of Nations to the American public – and The President Woodrow Wilson House. More than sixty people attended and enjoyed toasting with a glass of Big Cork wine!

Big Cork’s Cinco de Mayo Pearalicious Sangria

Celebrate Cinco De Mayo with our delicious Big Cork Vineyards’ Pearalicious Sangria recipe! BC_Cinco_Mayo_Post

Ingredients:

1 bottle of Big Cork Traminette white wine

1-1/4 cups pear juice

1/4 cup brandy

1/4 cup Triple Sec

1 cup chopped fresh Anjou pear

1 cup chopped ripe apricots

1 cup chopped Red Delicious apple

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. For optimum flavors, marinate overnight before serving.

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