Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Tis the Season..."

...for presents, family, fun and libations and all this girl wants for Christmas is wine. So I have set out once again to expand my palate and illuminate my taste buds with some international varieties. I have come to love the white grape, Viognier, but I know that there are many other white wines out there. I have now discovered a grape which is a popular white in Spain & Portugal, Albariño. I would say that an Albariño bridges the gap for all those white wine drinkers who at holiday parties have the hard decision of settling between the ever now so popular choices of Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay. Try something different this year. You can find some very decently priced wines (which is a plus in this economy) with this varietal. In Spain you'll find Albariño from the Rias Biaxas region (northwestern part of Spain) These are very good and have a little more body than ones from Portugal. Portugal's region of Vinho Verde is where you will find Albariño and is very cheaply priced. These are a little lighter bodied but have all the beautiful flavors of lemon pith, lime, and slight flint. So do yourself and all your holiday guests a favor this year, open their eyes to one of the hundreds of varieties that another part of our world offers and let that be your early New Years Resolution.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My "Fieldtrip" to Local Vineyards

The past few weeks I have fortunately been able to experience what it is like on the other side of the bar. A few years ago I had frequented the local wineries A LOT (but I won't say how much, that can stay my secret) Because of work, kids, life, etc. I had let my hobby go by the wayside...but not anymore. I was able to go to some wineries in Loudoun, Fauquier & even Prince William. What a eye opening experience to be able to see what other wineries are doing. Virginia is really upping its game for experience, variety, knowledge & scenery. I was very pleased with the service I got at most places but I will say that some could rethink their customer service. I was disappointed in one "unnamed" place as I had set my itinerary of daily wineries around this one in particular which I felt did not deliver. All in all, though, who can complain all that much when going to wineries. The nice thing about Virginia wineries is that you get a laid back yet informed ambiance. I feel very lucky to have all of this low key culture around me to satisfy my hobby.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sommelier Class 9/28

Well, I had my first Sommelier class 6 days ago and I am still amazed by the enlightenment. It's amazing what 8 wine loving people in one room will do in a wine learning/tasting experience. The 6.5 hour evening (5 PM - 11:30 PM) covered a lot of information starting from the history of wine to viticulture (the growing of grapes) to viniculture (the making of wine) to the nuances of Sauvignon Blanc & Chardonnay. Yes, A LOT of information to process but fortunately was presented by an EXCELLENT instuctor of the International Sommelier Guild. I'll have to get use to the "swishing & spitting" so that I can be a responsible NOVA driver. Maybe I will look into asking the company of Girls Night Out to take me to and from my class each week :)

Friday, September 26, 2008


What a week this has been. The Chardonnay and Viognier have been picked and processed.
The chardonnay came from Jack and Cindy Lowther vineyard in Purcellville, the fruit was excellent and we are looking forward to creating a wonderful wine from it. If you are interested in learning more about their vineyard, please visit our website and click on Vineyards.

Our chiller broke during the chardonnay fermentation, but Sunset Hills Vineyard had an extra one on hand we could borrow and that saved our Chardonnay. If you have not been by Sunset Hills, I highly recommend it. Mike and Diane have done a beautiful job in restoring the old barn and the wines are fantastic.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sommelier Classes

Tonight is the start of my Sommelier Classes. These will be taken at the Art Insitute of Washington through the International Sommelier Guild. I AM SO EXCITED!!!!! I will give occasional updates as to how things are going, what we are learning, etc. I know there is so much information on wine so I'm hoping that I can relay my passion and now soon to be knowledge to other people.

Friday, September 12, 2008

New Website

We are excited our new website is up and running and it is such an improvement over our old site. Please visit the new site at Mandy Corcoran, my sister-in-law created it and so if you like it and would like for her to create an awesome site for you, just email her at

We are testing grapes every few days to see if they are ready for harvest. We tested Riesling grapes last night and they are ready, so as the grapes are being picked as I write this blog. Our Chardonnay will be picked on Tuesday of next week. If any of you are so inclined to want to help please contact Lori at

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


We are preparing for the 08 harvest and things are quite busy at the winery.
Rainfall this past Saturday, 09/06/08 totaled over 5 inches. This has caused us to push out our harvest of our Viognier for another few weeks.

It’s hard to believe it’s already fall and the kids are back in school. We had a great summer and went on many vacations together as a family. We went to Port Republic for a week. Our next stop was the Otter Banks for another week. I also got to escape with my girlfriends for a week down in Florida.

One of my goals that I strive for as the wine maker is to truly understand what great wine tastes like. I know that sounds odd, but if you don’t know what great wine tastes like, how do you know that the wine you are making is great. Thus, one of the perks of my job is sample many wines each week and to visit many of the great wineries. This allows me to sharpen my skills as a wine maker and continue to raise the bar with our own wines here at Corcoran.

I am busy getting all the testing equipment calibrated and getting the pumps and press ready for action. This is an exciting year for us, as this will be the first year in our new winery. Our goal with the new winery was to keep it simple, but very efficient and we have achieved that goal. Further, we have added 8000 liters of jacketed tanks as well as upgraded our pumps to variable speed, which is gentler on the wine. We also added a lab to the new winery and outfitted it with state of the art testing equipment.

The winery itself is completely temperature & humidity controlled and all the air goes through UV lighting to circumvent any contamination issues that could occur. In addition, we have added a patio and wine garden next to the new winery for special events, such as barrel tastings, wine brunches, and aroma seminars. We will have updates on our website about these events as they approach.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Welcome to our new blog!

Welcome to Lori's Blog, offering news and views from both our winemaker and our in-house sommlier. We hope you enjoy reading the blog and please don't hesitate to respond to any post. We ask that you are polite and respectful and avoid profanity or anything that may be offensive to other readers.

We encourage visits to our tasting room located just outside the village of Waterford. The tasting room itself is in a 1750 restored log cabin. We have a picnic area by the beautiful pond. There is a $5 charge for tasting, though that fee will bring you tastings of at least 7 distinctive wines.