Home Industry News Releases Big Cork Vineyards Wins “Best in Show” for Cabernet Franc 2015 in...

Big Cork Vineyards Wins “Best in Show” for Cabernet Franc 2015 in 11th Annual Controller’s Cup Wine Competition


Comptroller to Present Awards At Upcoming Ceremony in Baltimore

June 12, 2017 (Baltimore, MD)- Big Cork Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2015 was awarded the “Best in Show” at the 2017 Maryland Comptroller’s Cup Wine Competition. The competition, judged by industry peers in a blind tasting, was held in Timonium on May 31, 2017. In addition, eight wines from across the state were named “Best in Class” in their respective categories. Comptroller Peter Franchot will present the awards at a ceremony and tasting of the winning wines in July (date and location TBA). For more information or a full list of winners, log onto www.marylandwine.com.

The Annual Comptroller’s Cup Competition is directed by Al Spoler, host of WYPR’s Cellar Notes, and brings together wine makers from across the state for the opportunity to taste and evaluate each other’s wine.  The competition is blind– judges only know the composition of the wine, not the label, price, intended market or any other details.  Panels of five judges are given a flight of wine spanning a single category, and then are asked to evaluate the wines within the category.

Several things impressed Spoler about this year’s competition. The competition had a record number of entries, by a factor of about +40%, with many of those wines coming from first-time entrants. “Winemaker Dave Collins of Big Cork Vineyards continues to make incredible wines,” said Spoler.

Big Cork Vineyards is nestled on 100 rolling acres in Maryland’s Pleasant Valley. “The Cabernet Franc grape has proven to be a perfect match for our cool, well drained soils in the Washington County Highlands,” said Dave Collins, winemaker at Big Cork Vineyards. “The list of gold medal winning wines in this competition is testimony that Maryland as a whole is producing absolutely stunning wines.”

“Although the Western part of the state continues to dominate, many gold medals were awarded to wineries of Central and Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, demonstrating uniformly high quality throughout the state,” according to Joe Fiola, Ph.D., viticulture and enology specialist for the University of Maryland.

2017 “Best in Class” Winners are:

  • BEST WHITE: Boordy Vineyards • Chesapeake Icon Chardonnay 2016 (Baltimore Co.)
  • BEST WHITE BLEND: Big Cork Vineyards • Valley Vixen 2016 (Washington Co.)
  • BEST OFF-DRY: Broken Spoke Vineyard & Winery • Vidal Blanc NV (Cecil Co.)
  • BEST ROSÉ: New Market Plains Vineyards • Rosé 2016 (Frederick Co.)
  • BEST RED: Big Cork Vineyards • Cabernet Franc (Washington Co.)
  • BEST RED BLEND: Old Westminster Winery • Black 2014 (Carroll Co.)
  • BEST CIDER: Great Shoals Winery • Ginger Hard Apple (Montgomery Co.)
  • BEST FRUIT: Big Cork Vineyards • Black Cap Port (Washington Co.)
  • BEST MEAD: Charm City Meadworks • Sweet Blossom (Baltimore City)
  • BEST DESSERT: Linganore Winecellars • Jack Frost (Frederick Co.)
  • BEST SWEET: Harford Vineyard • Sweet Harmony 2015 (Harford Co.)

2017 “Double Gold” Medalists are:

  • Big Cork Vineyards • Cabernet Franc 2015
  • Big Cork Vineyards • Petit Verdot 2015
  • Big Cork Vineyards • Reserve Chardonnay 2016
  • Big Cork Vineyards • Sauvignon Blanc 2016
  • Boordy Vineyards • Chesapeake Icon Chardonnay 2016
  • Boordy Vineyards • Landmark Albariño 2016
  • Broken Spoke Vineyard & Winery • Vidal Blanc NV
  • Cool Ridge Vineyard • Cool Red 2015
  • Linganore Winecellars • Jack Frost 2016
  • Old Westminster Winery • Black 2014
  • Old Westminster Winery • Cru Cuvée 2014
  • Port of Leonardtown Winery • Barbera Reserve 2014
  • Port of Leonardtown Winery • Chambourcin Reserve 2014
  • Port of Leonardtown Winery • Old Line Red 2014
  • Royal Rabbit Vineyards • Il Barone 2015
  • Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard • Cabernet Franc 2015

A double gold is awarded to a wine that earns two gold medals – once in the first round of judging, and then again in the semi-final round. For the full list of gold, silver, and bronze medalists, please visit www.marylandwine.com.


Maryland Wineries Association, a non-profit, member based, trade association, represents more than 80 wineries across the state. MWA’s mission is to cultivate a sustainable wine-growing community by expanding agricultural products and by increasing awareness through special events, industry education, advocacy, promotions and tourism.  MWA is represented by the management group, Grow & Fortify.  For more information, please visit www.marylandwine.com.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.