A familiar name came out on top at the annual New Jersey Wine Competition over Memorial Day weekend. Heritage Vineyards of Mullica Hill was named NJ’s Winery of the Year for the second time in four years at the Garden State Wine Growers Association’s Blues and Wine Festival held at Natirar Park in Peapack-Gladstone.
The winery earned 21 medals for its wines, including four gold, while going up against nearly 300 different wines from 29 New Jersey vineyards. Top prizes, each awarded with a Governor’s Cup trophy, went to the best wines in categories such as best grape, fruit, or dessert wines. Among the wineries’ four top-placing wines were Heritage’s estate Cabernet Sauvignon and its own Jersey Blueberry, which took home the top spot in the fruit category.
Rich Heritage is the director of sales and marketing at the vineyard, and said the awards are really a testament to how hard everyone works to produce the best tasting wines. “Both my father Bill, who manages the vineyard, and our winemaker, Sean Comninos, worked really hard to get to this point,” Heritage said in a statement. “To win the trophies and medals is a great accomplishment.”
Heritage Vineyards produces various collections of wines consisting of premium dry wines, along with a Jersey Wines collection, which can be found in Wegmans locations across the state.
In the dessert category, Tomasello Winery of Hammonton earned the Governor’s Cup for the second time in five years for their Vidal Blanc Ice wine. Meanwhile, Sharrott Winery took home its first-ever top prize in the grape category for its Vignoles. Sharrott, of Winslow Township, has only been in existence for eight years and is one of only two NJ wineries to produce Vignoles.
This year, close to 5,000 wine enthusiasts came out to sample some of the top wines from all over the Garden State.
Editorial Intern: Lou Petrella is a senior at Rutgers University, with a double major in Journalism and Media Studies, and Sports Management. Having grown up in Whippany, Lou is passionate about his Morris County roots. Aside from being an avid sports lover, Lou cares deeply about food and should not be bothered while enjoying a good meal. Italian food and seafood are his favorites, but a nice summer barbecue just may trump them both. At school, Lou works as a correspondent for the Daily Targum, and is preparing for a career in writing or communications.