Awards – Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association
Big Cork Vineyards received multiple awards from the 10th Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition.
The Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association is one of the oldest wine organizations in the East Coast. We are very proud to have a variety of our vintages honored from such a prestigious group within the our industry.
- SILVER – Russian Kiss
- SILVER – Chardonnay
- SILVER – Vidal Ice
- SILVER – Traminette
- SILVER – Cabernet Sauvignon
- SILVER – Cabernet Franc
- BRONZE – Sauvignon Blanc
- BRONZE – Viognier
American Airlines Magazine – Tasting Notes
by Laura Kiniry
Want to sample award-winning wines but can’t fit in a trip to Napa? Try the rolling hills of Maryland’s Pleasant Valley instead. Big Cork Vineyards in Rohrersville, Maryland, will unveil its brand-new tasting room early next year. In the western part of the state, just over an hour from both Baltimore and Washington, D.C., the 4,000-square-foot sunlit space will be the perfect place to swish, sip and savor some of the winery’s dozen-plus varietals. The flavorful selections include aromatic wines like the semi-dry traminette (goes great with seafood) and a soft, sweet Vidal blanc. Though known for its whites, Big Cork Vineyards has begun rolling out reds as well, such as a cabernet sauvignon aged entirely in French oak barrels. After the tasting room opens, the winery will also host pairing workshops and vino-making demos.
BIG CORK VINEYARD HOLDS FALL FESTIVAL
By D.C. Smith
Big Cork, the new vineyard adjacent to Rt 67 in Rohresville, opened its doors to the community last weekend. The vineyard, soon to open to include a winery and hospitality center, held its first annual Fall Festival last weekend (October 25th and 26th). Big Cork Vineyards is officially located at 4236 Main St. in Rohrersville.
From noon -6 pm over two days, the event featured food and fun for the whole family. For the adults there were tastings of Big Cork wine, arts and crafts, and live music; for the kids there was face painting, a moon bounce, a hay maze, a pumpkin patch. And everyone could go on a hayride to see the sizeable vineyard up close and personal.
Big Cork’s Fall Festival was over a gorgeous weekend, bringing out families and friends to enjoy the festivities. Many folks brought picnics, or bought a bottle of wine and food to enjoy on the property, courtesy of cheese from Buttercup Valley Cheese, ice cream and cheese curds from Misty Meadow Farm Creamery, Funnel cake from Hobby Horse Concessions, Guacamole and grilled stuffed avocados from Juan Guacamole, Kettle Corn from Mt. Musser Kettle Corn, BBQ from Brad and Paul Rohrer, etc. Live music acts over the 2-day festival featured the Short Hill Mountain Boys, a blue grass band, and Jaime and James (cover music, country, and pop). The Boonsboro high school FFA was selling local apples for $0.50 each, and Big Cork’s wine samples were $1 by the ounce ($5 by the glass). Hayrides ran hourly each afternoon, touring the rolling hills of vines with stories and grape samples. “Five tons of grapes make about 700 gallons of wine”, said Master Winemaker Dave Collins. (more…)
Big Cork Vineyard named Washington County Farm of the Year
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.
Russian Kiss has spy-novel story but no secret agents
So the story goes something like this: Grape varieties developed and grown for years in the Soviet Union before finally being abandoned, but somehow making their way into the United States by someone who has since died. Some of those grapes made it to Missouri, some wound up on the East Coast, virtually all remaining off the radar of growers and wine consumers.
Listen to winemaker Dave Collins at western Maryland’s Big Cork Vineyards recount the legend on the phone Thursday and it was easy to envision cuttings wrapped in burlap carried by double agents who met somewhere out in the sticks in the middle of the night.
Truth is, Collins isn’t really sure of the accurate story of how SK 77 and XIV 1-86 and other members of their family made it here. What he knows, however, is that he purchased the Eastern European grapes from Maryland farmer Wick Dudley last fall and blended in some other white grapes to come up with a wine that ultimately was named Russian Kiss.
Grown In Serbia, Vinted In Maryland, Winner at Indy Int’l
At the recent 2014 Indy International Wine Competition a wine called “Russian Kiss” from Big Cork Vineyards in Maryland won Best of Class in the White Vinifera Blend category. Indy International is known for showcasing new and exciting wines, but bestowing such an honor on a wine made from experimental Eastern European grapes is highly unusual. (That four judges selected “Russian Kiss” as their “Wine of the Year” is even more remarkable.)
Russian Kiss is a blend of Muscat Canelli and two little known grapes called “XIV” and “SK 77.” According to Big Cork’s general manager Heather Tapper, “Two years ago, our winemaker Dave Collins tasted some experimental wines from several unnamed Russian grape varietals. The uniqueness of the Russian grapes led us to the conclusion that they are truly a special discovery in the viticulture world.” She said that the winery located “the only commercial vineyard growing these varietals” in the country, and immediately contracted grapes from them.
New kid on the bloc: Big Cork’s Russian Kiss takes double gold in Indy
“Big Cork Vineyards and Bordeleau Vineyards & Winery scored big in Indianapolis at the ‘14 INDY international Wine Competition. Big Cork earned a DOUBLE GOLD for its Russian Kiss ’13, a blend of white varieties; a GOLD for Viognier ’13, SILVER for Traminette ’13, Chardonnay ’13, Cabernet Franc ’12 & Syrah ’13. Bordeleau garnered GOLD for its Chambourcin Lot 5 and SILVER for Malbec. Congratulations”
The twist is Big Cork’s win with its wine called Russian Kiss, a blend of Russian white varietals and Muscat Canelli. According to the Big Cork web site, “Fall in love with its strong floral notes and impressions of tangy kiwi and pineapple.”
The success of Big Cork, a new winery in western Maryland that soon will open its tasting room, reiterates the potential this region has for growing a number of different grapes. Russian hybrids and varietals could be part of that mix.
Patriot News: The End is Near – Grand opening for MD’s Big Cork Vineyards only a couple months off
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.
FOX Baltimore: Big Cork Shares Summer Wine Suggestions
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.
Count on Big Cork malbec as a local option to a South American staple
Malbec an unusual grape variety? Not for those who purchase their wine from a retail outlet in the four-state area, where table and reserve malbecs fill the shelves. Indeed, much of what’s imported from Chile and Argentina is malbec.
Big Cork’s Dave Collins sees Virginia’s path in Maryland’s future
Unless you pay attention to the half-dozen or so wineries that are opening annually in Maryland or you live in Washington County, chances are you haven’t heard of Big Cork Vineyards (or BCV, as the winery uses repeatedly on its site).