Saturday, September 29, 2018

Drinking Local with Corcoran's Wine & Cider

Jim and Lori Corcoran have been a leader in the #DrinkLocal movement in both Loudoun County and the Commonwealth of Virginia as proprietors of Corcoran Vineyards & Cider. The couple established the winery in the early years of the Loudoun Wine Renaissance as Winery #11 when they planted the vineyard in 2001 and opened their doors three years later. Later, they were at the forefront of the local craft cider and beer, augmenting Corky's Farm with both beverages.   Their menu includes cider as well as both dry and sweet wines as Lori specializes in unique dessert concoctions. The winery is open only on weekends and encourages picnickers, dogs, and children. There's plenty of outdoor space.

When visiting, Corcorans offers a separate cider or wine flight for $7 and a popular option for two is to split each flight.  The cider starts with the delicious dry hopped Hop'n'Pop which uses locally grown hops to provide an IPA like finish to this refreshing cider. Another favorite is the PoPo Peach, a juicer cider that was fortified with peach juice. Finally, try the Knot Head, a proprietary blend of seven locally grown apple varieties then aged a few months in used Bourbon barrels. Excellent.

Moving to wine, a tasting always starts with their Virginia Wine Lover favorite Apple Wine. This wine is made dry using several locally grown apple varieties and packs a wallop of flavors as the tartness and natural acidity leads to a refreshing finish. Seyval Blanc was one of the first grape varieties planted in 2001 and this wine has been on the tasting menu since. In 2011 the winery received a shipment of Riesling grapes grown in the cooler mountains of the Shenandoah Valley. Lori recently found a lost palette and the wine remains vibrant with a slight petrol aroma, but traditional Riesling flavor. Lori does specialize in Chardonnay and during my last visit they were sold out with a bottling ready to proceed this summer. As for reds, Cabernet Franc is your choice, with multiple vintages available. A vertical tasting is an excellent method to witness the history of the area's weather and geology.

The wine flight concludes with three dessert wines starting with the BlackJack where the Chambourcin base is fermented with blackberries and then blended with Petit Verdot and Merlot. The USB is also based on the estate Chambourcin but this time fortified with brandy and aged in whiskey barrels for 12 months. This a “Port-styled” wine is delicious. Finally and equally tasty is the RAZ Raspberry and Merlot blend which starts with the powerful berry flavors but finishes with soft tannins. Nicely done.

14635 Corkys Farm Lane, Waterford, VA 20197
Phone: 540-882-9073

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