Saturday, October 3, 2015

Big Cork Vineyard

Big Cork Vineyards facility
With a name like Big Cork,we were expecting "big" things as we drove into the vineyard and winery during early August 2015. We were not disappointed.  

Big Cork Vineyards in Rohrersville, Maryland, is situated about an hour and a half from Baltimore, and worth the drive. The scenery along the route is a pleasant change from the flatness of the Chesapeake Bay area, but better than that, the hospitality and the wine offerings are excellent.

Follow the Signs
We had heard about the winery from friends who had visited and were really impressed and so we decided to head out for the day to visit a previously unknown (to us) winery. 

The facility is first-class with a great restaurant and some of the best Maryland wines that we have experienced. The combination of a well-planned facility with very enjoyable wines with a nice restaurant seems to be the combination that other wineries and vineyards are using for success and it certainly had all come together at Big Cork.

Big Cork Tasting Room
The tasting room is expansive and inviting. There is ample room to enjoy the wines at a very well thought out tasting bar and the room has a pleasantly modern motif. This is what a tasting room should be prepared to do: immerse the visitor into the wines and into the entire operation of the vineyard. The view of the barrel room provides a great backdrop while sampling the vintages. 
Big Cork Barrel Room

We were impressed with the entire range of wines produced. The whites, the roses, and the reds. There were eleven wines on the tasting sheet the day we visited and between both of us we tasted each of them and found solid enjoyable wines that should appeal to a wide variety of wine drinkers and oenophiles. 

The 2013 Viognier was an especially nice drinking wine with a good $24 price point. The aromas of apricot and orange made this an especially enjoyable wine.
Assortment of Big Cork wines

The vineyards' most unique wine was labeled Russian Kiss (2013/$20) and represented a blend of an unnamed Croatian varietal with muscat. It was very floral in nature and enjoyable to experience. We especially enjoy the use of lesser known varietals in wines to help expand understanding that there are more than just a few different grapes used to create wine and that each one has something to offer in the process.

Lunch at the Cafe
The 2012 Cabernet Franc, $22, was, in our estimation, one of the best we have tasted from the entire region. We thoroughly enjoyed it and even ordered some to have with our lunch. The wine was complex and the addition of 7 percent Petite Verdot really enhanced the wine and brought out the peppery and earthy tones. We have placed this wine on our short list for Thanksgiving this year.

Another interesting and enjoyable wine was the 2014 Syrah Rose, $16, which presented raspberries and strawberries and was the embodiment of a light, easy drinking afternoon wine. 

RECOMMENDATION: Put this vineyard on your day trip list. Plan at least an hour and more if you are in the mood for some food. Big Cork is Big!

-- Bob and Christina Doan, Elkridge, MD