Saturday, November 29, 2008

Trenton Times Celebrates New Jersey Wineries

Happy trails again
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The Trenton Times

Wine lovers who are California dreaming can get a taste of the West Coast by visiting the region's newest vineyard, which at first blush appears to be a slice of the Napa Valley dropped down into New Jersey.

Upscale and beautiful, solar- powered Laurita Winery is located just outside of New Egypt, not far from Silver Decoy Winery in Rob binsville and Cream Ridge Winery in Cream Ridge. Laurita opened in September and officially becomes part of the Garden State Wine Growers Association's wine trail during this week's Holiday Wine Trail Weekend.

While most of us spent this week thinking about or planning Thanksgiving dinner, the folks at most of the state's wineries have been gearing up for the annual holiday wine trail. Each Thanksgiving weekend they throw open their doors and offer special tastings, tours and discounts to entice customers to buy local wines for the holiday season.

Laurita will be participating in its first Wine Trail Weekend and its name has been added to the latest version of the New Jersey Wine Country Passes available at wineries throughout the state. Visitors can see the new winery as well as hike the trails there and taste wines that have garnered a following from pre-opening appearances at state wine festivals.

Other local wineries that are participating include Silver Decoy, Cream Ridge, Hopewell Valley Vineyard in Hopewell Township, Unionville Vineyards in Ringoes, Valenzano Vineyard in Shamong and Alba Vineyard in Finesville.

The new wine country passes feature an all-time high of 30 participating vineyards, said Mark Carduner, one of the partners at Silver Decoy. He said anyone looking to have their passes stamped could hit all three of the wineries at the edge of the Pine Barrens on one day. The wine growers' association lists 33 members; another 10 wineries are making wines al though they are not yet open to the public.

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