World Class Competitive Wines in New Jersey? The international experts are believing it. And even Dionysus believes it (or at least his modern day Dionysian Society). In 2008, over 200 of the region’s most renowned oenophilic pundits gathered to take a blind tasting which compared the best wines of France – of California – and of New Jersey. When scores were all tallied and the bottles uncovered, New Jersey vintages triumphed handsomely. Since then, Garden State wines have proven their fine quality in several such tastings which have gained us an increasing, if grudging, respect throughout the world wine community.
Now how about you? Isn’t it time for you to O Taste & See? This past weekend, I sat on the porch of Hopewell Valley Vineyards, with Violetta Neri, who, with her husband Sergio, operates this marvelous winery. I was there to sign copies of my newly released book, “Garden State Wineries Guide”. Knowing my proclivities for dry reds, Violetta set before me a glass of their Merlot, which recently won Best in Class at the L.A. competition. As expected, it was heavenly. As we chatted and walked the rows, my mind meandered, oddly, back to the Trenton State House, and a June Monday where the Winegrowers Association was holding a press conference.
Valiantly, they were striving to get laws passed which would protect their threatened right of sale, (another blogpost for another time). There, in the middle of it all, one reporter, voiced the age old anti-Jersey bias. “Come on now, are there any really good wines in New Jersey.” I rose like a lit fuse, and volunteered to field that question, which I did with no little fervor. The ignorance and prejudice against Jersey wines is old, even by its old residents. But more and more are discovering the true quality and enjoyment of wines grown and produced right here in our Garden State. (After all, we’ve been making wine since before there was a U.S.) We invite you to be among those making such tasteful pilgrimages to Garden State Wineries and discovering the vintages which please you the most.
To order your copy of the “Garden State Wineries Guide” visit www.BartsBooks.com.
Featuring: Profiles of New Jersey’s 36 wineries: contacts, hours and wine tasting specifics, owner s most prized wines, annual events and driving directions; Detailed maps of area wine regions and American Viticultural Areas; Year in Jersey Wine: Recommended wine related events from all corners of the Garden State; New Jersey Wine Grape Glossary; Directory of Garden State wine associations, shops, and educational resources; An historical retrospective of New Jersey wine written by Gary Pavlis, Ph.D., of Rutgers, and an essay on the importance of the industry to the state by NJ Secretary of Agriculture Doug Fisher; and An instructional guide by wine judge Anthony Fisher on the proper tasting method and how to throw your own Garden State wine-tasting party.
Bart Jackson, author of Garden State Wineries Guide, lovingly details New Jersey’s wineries and vineyards.