I love to drive off the beaten path, miles from anywhere, to find a little gem of a winery. Even better to drive off the beaten path and find that little gem close to another place I like to visit.
A stop at Big Cork Vineyards came after a weekend of skiing at Wisp ski resort in western Maryland. Get off Interstate 70, drive about 15 minutes or so and you’ll discover this sleek winery with the ultra cool lounge, a market stocked with cheese, crackers and souvenirs. There were corks in the wine, cork-shaped bar stools and the staff wore cork ties.
We came on a foggy winter day but it wasn’t hard to imagine these rolling hills warm and green. Either way, it was a fun and delicious way to spend a couple of hours.
The best part was the tasting bar populated by staff who are delighted to introduce you to the winery’s Chardonnay, Viognier and Barbera. I liked them all. A little high in the tannins, these fresh wines have a nice balance of acidity and fruit with a minimum of sugar. Except for the sweet Vidal Blanc and even that had a fresh fruit finish.
We liked everything we tasted but in the end we took home the Chardonnay and the Viognier so we could taste them again.
Ⓒ Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman