Our farm was originally a land grant from the kind of England to the Harley family. One of the family's decedents told us that during the Civil War the Harley's would shelter their horses along the rock ledges in Catoctin Creek. For the last several years a pair of Bald Eagles have made their nest in a Sycamore tree along our little stretch of Catoctin Creek and watched over the "keep". Linda Harrison-Parsons created this incredible image. She graces our inaugural dessert wine, "Harley's Keep", made with heritage apples from our orchard.
We grow, pick, press and ferment our apples into hard cider. Some cider we age in French Oak. Some cider our friends at McClintock Distillery distill into apple spirits for us. Then we mix the two liquids along with fresh apple juice to become a fortified wine that we age in American Oak. It becomes the magic of Harley’s Keep, our interpretation of a Pommeau.
Now let's see when we can get these labels approved by the feds. We are hoping to have Harley's Keep ready for sale in the tasting room this spring!
Gorgeous new artwork for our divine new ciders. Linda Harrison-Parsons hits another couple out of the park. We hope you'll love the new ciders as much as we do.
Roxbury Russet is believed to be the first apple cultivated by American settlers. Roxbury is joined by its cousin Golden Russet to create this etherial varietal cider. Smooth, silky, crisp and balanced. 7-9% abv
“The appearance of something remarkable or unexpected”, a fermentation apparition from our Asian pears. A unique bearing on a traditional perry.
We're going to finally blow winter outta here with music by Patty & Brent on April 14, 3-5pm. Come help us celebrate spring and our return to regular hours.
Open every Saturday and Sundays 11am-5pm. Tastings, flights, glasses and bottles of cider available for purchase. Bring a picnic, check out our farmstand, peruse the gallery of local art. Settle in with your friends and snag a board game off the shelf.
Looking forward to tucking in to winter. As the road conditions can be so unpredictable out our gravel road we will be open by appointment and for special events after January 7. On January 7 from 2-5pm you can come out and help us celebrate a great first year in the tasting room. Patty & Brent will be here to croon the cold away. www.pattyandbrent.com
Willow Oaks is featured on Maryland Public Television's program "Maryland Farm & Harvest. They cover our work to restore the Antietam Piper Orchard using historic apple varieties that would have been grown at that time. And our sweet pup Aggie gets her close-up.
The 29th Annual Governor’s Cup Competition was held on August 13 at The Center Club in Baltimore. Entries must be MD-appellation wines, meaning they’re made from Maryland-grown grapes and other fruit.
We are thrilled to report that Willow Oaks won best in class for "Gloaming", our apple/black currant cider. Gloaming also earned a gold medal.
"Vocare", our aged cider, won silver.
We were pleased to be able to tour the cider apple research facility at Washington State University in Mount Vernon, Washington. The pictures above are of some French cider apple varieties growing in their test orchard. Willow Oaks has 4 French apple varieties in the ground. Now we just wait for the fruit! http://cider.wsu.edu
Eric and Lori are on a bit of a busman's holiday, visiting with wine and cider makers in British Columbia and Washington State. The photo above is from our visit to Sea Cider in Saanichton, BC. They maintain a certified organic orchard with sweeping views of Haro Straight. We also visited Silverside and Cherry Point on the east coast of Vancouver Island where they make delicious port-style fruit wines. Today we'll head out to Alpenfire, another organic orchard and cidery.