ABOUT & FAQs
Without the red heifer to seal the deal, you wouldn't be drinking this wine.
Many things have changed since the 1940s, but some things will always remain the same. Hard work, passion for what you do and pride in your craft has been the same since the time Kevin's great-grandfather purchased the farm in the 40's. Now a new generation, Kevin and Yvonne Ford, take their turn at working the land and making a living off of its gifts.
Red Heifer Winery represents 56 acres at the crest of the property formerly known as the Naylor Peach Orchard. The sloping hillside with a southeast orientation is the perfect location for growing grapes.What makes Red Heifer Winery unique is the climate in Smithsburg, Maryland. Situated at an elevation of 1,500 feet, the grapes in our vineyard enjoy warm summer days with cool summer nights and a constant breeze.
As you plan your trip to our vineyard, remember to pack a picnic basket and a blanket because from our property, you can take in an amazing view of the forested countryside, the mountains, and the vineyard. Enjoy the view, the wine, and the company.
Welcome to Red Heifer Winery.
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.
FAQ & HOUSE RULES
PETS - Friendly pets on leashes are welcomed in the parking, patio, and winery lawn areas. Pets are not permitted below and within the vineyard or in our Igloos. Pets must be supervised at all times.
We cannot accommodate underage guests. Children are not permitted at Red Heifer Winery.
BRING FOOD - Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy on the outdoor patio. We request that whatever is carried in is carried out.
BUY FOOD - We serve a variety of sizes of charcuterie boards, as well as soup du jour, and a panini of the day.
SEATING - Tables and chairs on the patio may not be moved. We have ample seating for groups of 2, 4, and 6 without reservation.
Absolutely no alcohol, other than what is manufactured by Red Heifer Winery, is permitted on the premises as per Maryland law.
We reserve the right to deny service to anyone.
Please be mindful of our neighbors who live on our shared farm lane.
Our vineyard and winery is an agricultural operation that may include uneven surfaces and terrain and we will do our best to provide reasonable accommodations to our customers with disabilities.
GROUPS - Groups are not being accepted at this time.
All limo and bus visitors require advance reservations by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and advance payment must be made at the group rate.
At this time Red Heifer Winery does not host weddings.
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT
Red Heifer Winery is a proud member of the Maryland Wineries Association. The MWA hosts multiple wine trails over the state, including the Antietam Highlands Wine Trail. Visit MarylandWine.com for information on other wineries near and far from Red Heifer.
Smithsburg is rich with agritourism including orchards, pumpkin, blueberry, and strawberry patches including: Mountain Valley Orchard, Ivy Hill Farm, and Rinehart Orchards. Enjoy a scoop of ice cream or wine sorbet at Misty Meadow Farm Creamery. Visit our local potter Mark Poole Pottery.
Plan a day hike at Catoctin Mountain Park, Cunningham Falls, or along the Appalachian Trail all just minutes from the winery. Spend the day at Ski Liberty, less than 15 minutes away. Or venture across the county and visit historic Antietam Battlefield or walk or bike the C&O Canal.