Monday, July 16, 2012

NJ winery tour

A few representatives from yesterday's outing.  There are 35 wineries registered with the Garden State Wine Growers Association.  If you can get to all of them within a year and get them to stamp their page in the "passport" I think you get some sort of small prize for the effort.  Perhaps a matching pair of Kabuki kewpie dolls.

Back during our two week vacation, at the end of June, diaristwoman and I spent a rainy day touring three wineries in the Cape May area.  The wine growers association of course wants us to visit them all and we're gamely giving it a go.  This past Saturday we ticked three more wineries off the list.  Since many of the wineries are in the southern end of the state it shouldn't be too hard to do this.  The ones that are located way up in the northwest corner of the state will require a dedicated trip or two.  Of course the association has a website which you can peruse:

We started the afternoon with a stop at Bellview Winery.  I was a little hesitant because I associate the name "Bellview" with the well known mental hospital!

The tasting room however was very inviting.  As was the case with the three wineries we visited back in June, Bellview charges $5.00 per person to taste their offerings.  For the price one generally gets to keep the stemware with which one samples the wines on offer.  In this case, although there were several wines which we found pleasant, the prices were on the high side and only a cranberry-based novelty wine (it will make a refreshing hot afternoon spritzer when mixed with club soda) caused me reach for my wallet so we pressed on to the next winery which was only a few minutes away.

Coda Rossa apparently means "red tail" in Italian and is a reference to the red tail hawks that lurk in the vineyard of this winery.

Coda Rossa has attractively landscaped gardens leading to the tasting room.  One can see some of the vines in background.  Some of  Coda Rossa's wines come from their own grapes while others, although fermented at the winery are derived from California grapes.  A nice aspect of this winery is that their don't charge a fee to sample and they pour with a generous hand.  And sample we did!

I was smitten with two of the wines: the Tempesta, a full bodied red (a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet & merlot grapes) from their own vines and also a very pleasant 50/50 blend of California Barbera and Petite Sirah grapes.  I bought six bottles which gave me a 10% discount and this handy six compartment bag to carry my booty to the wagon.  The discount dropped the cost per bottle to less than $14.00 which your diarist thought was good value for the money.

Auburn Road Vineyards, just west of Woodstown, NJ was our last stop of the day.

The tasting room is at the end of this inviting shady graveled lane.

Although the exterior of the tasting shed looked serene, inside it housed a noisy party atmosphere which made it difficult to concentrate on the task of wine sampling.  Tasting was free (your choice of three wines).  We sampled several that were drinkable but the prices, like those at Bellview were not competitive with the real world.  I bought a single bottle of their "Rustica" red table wine (a blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes) and we soon left.
So, between our two excursions we've ticked off six wineries out of thirty five.  Only twenty nine more to go--if this was a bigger state I'd probably need a liver transplant!


  1. Hej George !
    Fina bilder intressant läsning. Även i kalla Sverige finns det faktiskt 36 vingårdar, alltså
    som odlar druvor själva. Den största är Ästa
    gård med 15000 vinstockar. Den ligger ca 20 min
    bilresa från där vi bor.
    Hälsningar !

    1. Hej Johannes: Vem visste att kalla Sverige hade en blomstrande vinkultur! Jag tror vingårdar i Sverige lider av samma uppfattning som dom i New Jersey. Folk säger att det vinet måste smaka dåligt! För 30 år sedan så smakade New Jersey viner säkert inte bra men tiderna har förändrats och nu gör en del av dessa vingårdar utmärkt vin.

      Bästa hälsningar,

  2. George, what in the world did you do wrong to tick off six wineries?

  3. HAHAHA, sigh. Baydog: must I explain everything? I didn't "tick" them off as in causing a disturbance but rather I "ticked" off those wineries we've visited, as in checking off something accomplished from a list, silly. I think all those avacados in that shrimp concoction of yours are clouding your thought processes! I'll have to consult the map and see if there are any wineries in your neck of the woods. A good glass of wine should help clear your head.

    1. I actually forgot to put the :) at the end of my comment. Hopewell Valley Vineyards is very close and they make a nice Prosecco, and not cheap I might add.

    2. I'm not too worried about an emoticon here and there. Hopewell in number 17 in the passport. They sound spendy for an old diarist who's a dedicated drinker of bargain brands and lesser vintages!

  4. george!! still reading up and checking in on you!! i used the mug you gave me last week to drink coffee. what a good start to my morning!! i hope you are taking care of kathleen!! :( and now i want to go buy me some wine!! talk soon.

    1. Hey Emily! Good to hear from you. Hope the new job is going well and glad that you're still reading my blog. Kathleen is back to work after her stay in hospital. Hopefully the burns will heal OK. You never did tell me if you liked the St. Germaine you bought. Did Johanna give you your share of the Fralinger creame mints I brought to the lab? So many questions!

  5. george!! yes. johanna did give me those creame mints from the shore!! I'm impressed you remembered those were my favorite. i cannot believe its already been 4 full weeks since I've left! new job is going well. so much to learn but I'm slowly getting a hang of it i think. can't believe the olympics are finally here. are you excited?! also can't believe its almost august. is time flying or what! please ask johanna to give you my personal email so we can keep in touch!! did you know that you're the first blog I've left comments on?! this is historical!

  6. Hello, I've been looking through the weblog a pair of times and basically needed to say that the way with phrases is best notch. All the best.
    wine tasting tour california