The Garden State Wine Growers Association and the NJ Department of Agriculture are dedicating an entire week to New Jersey wine. Until the end of the month, through the last week of September New Jersey Wine Week will showcase New Jersey wine and include various tasting activities that range from vineyard dinners, to restaurant promotions, and a Jersey Fresh Wine Festival to close out the week.
New Jersey comprises 2,000 acres of grapevine cultivation, with 50 licensed producers fermenting wine throughout the state. These local vineyards help make New Jersey one of the nation’s top 10 wine-producing states.
New Jersey Wine Week will feature Villa Milagro Vineyards in Milford and Sharrott Winery in Winslow Township. Both will serve dinner throughout the week. “Wine Week is a terrific opportunity for NJ wines to step outside of the wineries,” says John Cifelli, executive director, Garden State Wine Growers Association. Cifelli explains that the Association is looking to engage with consumers who have yet to learn about what NJ wines are all about.
In carrying out that effort, restaurants and liquor stores will offer samples and discounted promotions throughout the week. The Iron Room in Atlantic City will offer a sampling of local wines, while the Harvest Restaurant Group will feature wines from Alba Vineyards at their restaurant locations in Berkeley Heights, Morristown, and Basking Ridge. Blue Morel Wine Bar, in Morristown, will pair New Jersey wine with local artisanal cheese from the Valley Shepherd Creamery, making for an ideal afternoon happy hour or late-night tasting.
Wine Week will conclude at the Burlington County Fairgrounds, in Columbus, for the Jersey Fresh Wine Festival. The festival will feature a dozen of New Jersey’s local wineries and will kick off with Secretary of Agriculture Doug Fisher. Jersey Fresh Farmers will sell fresh local produce alongside the Garden State Wine Growers Association’s various food vendors. The festival will also include exhibits from the NJ Department of Agriculture, the Farm Bureau, and Jersey Bites.
“In future years we hope to see more and more of these businesses feature local wines,” says Cifelli. “We will support and promote them in turn.”
Click here for more information on New Jersey Wine Week and a full listing of the week’s events.
Photo: Unionville Vineyards, courtesy of Garden State Wine Growers Association