Kevin Ford and his wife, Yvonne, dreamt of starting a vineyard on the sloping hillside of the former Naylor Peach Orchard where his grandparents had lived since 1945. The name of the winery originated from the initial purchase of the farm house and property. At that time Kevin's great-grandfather met with the owners to buy the farm. During the discussion of sale a lone red heifer stood grazing on the hillside. Always a negotiator Kevin's great-grandfather said, "throw in that heifer and you have yourself a deal!" The family farm was purchased that day and has been a working property since.
Initially Kevin's grandparents Edna Mae and Sam Naylor grew peaches and apples. Later, they switched to dairy and hay. Kevin has memories of helping plant and harvest corn, potatoes, green beans, and turnips. Our tasting room is decorated with a hand painted Naylor's Orchard sign and Sam's vanity license plate TURNIP.
When asked about starting the winery Edna loved the idea of growing fruit on the old farm and gave her blessing to begin the vineyard. Initially gifted a small parcel of land the Ford's later purchased the remaining acreage to bring the Red Heifer property to a total of 56 acres.
The Ford's broke ground for their home in 2009 and continue to reside at the winery. The first vines were planted the following year in 2010 in the exact spot that the peach orchard once stood. The winery opened in 2012.
Every Red Heifer wine is tenderly crafted by owner and winemaker Kevin Ford. Grapes are pressed and then fermented in stainless steel tanks, American oak, French oak, or a combination. All wines are processed, fermented, aged, and bottled on-site. Every bottle has passed through the hands of Kevin and Yvonne. Kevin's wines have garnered accolades including several Comptroller Cup and Governor Cup medals as well as winning the 2019 Best in Class Award for Fruit Wine and Gold Medal for our Blueberry Wine.
Red Heifer Winery is a proud member of the Maryland Wineries Association and part of the Antietam Highlands Wine Trail.