Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Northwest New Jersey is on the edge of the Hudson Valley's 31 wineries. And it is now an exciting wine region in New Jersey. Not far from Warwick Valley and several other Hudson Valley wineries, Westfall Winery, Ventimiglia Vineyard, and Cava Winery & Vineyard form a small trail all by themselves.

Try Ventimiglia's Syrah. Wonderful. Westfall's Pinot Grigio. And Cava Rosso Rame.

A great little three winery jaunt.

Westfall Winery
141 Clove Road
Montague, NJ 07827
(973) 293-3428

For the owners of Westfall Winery, wine is not just their business; it is a labor of love. Loren and Georgene Mortimer met while students at Ithaca College in the heart of the Finger Lakes Wine region of New York State. Visiting wineries and vineyards in that region, they developed both a lifelong love for each other and a passion for world class wines.

Georgene grew up in a big Italian family where home winemaking was a way of life; naturally when she and Loren started a family they continued the tradition. “It was a great way for the family to spend time together,” Georgene remarked, “the kids used to love getting messy crushing and pressing the grapes.” In the Spring of 2000, Loren and Georgene decided to turn their family pastime into a family business and started their own wine school at the historic Westfall Farm in Montague, NJ.

In Loren Mortimer’s family since 1940, Westfall Farm boasts unforgettable scenery and the opportunity for visitors to be a part of living history. Georgene, who holds a doctorate in environmental science, applied her knowledge of organic chemistry and biology along with traditional wine making expertise to launch Westfall Winery in 2002.

In 2006, Loren and Georgene opened a second winery named Island Winery in Hilton Head, South Carolina, their favorite place to spend cold winters. Currently, they spend their time between the two wineries and invite you to come visit Island Winery if you ever find yourself in beautiful Hilton Head.

Ventimiglia Vineyard
101 Layton Road
Wantage, NJ 07461
(973) 875-4333

“The hand-crafted wine making of Ventimiglia Vineyard continues a family tradition passed down for generations. Our wines are made in small batches with carefully selected, top quality grapes. We use oak barrels and minimal chemical or mechanical intervention. Artful blending promotes optimal flavors, aroma, and finish. Our aim is to let you enjoy the delicious wine we share at our own table.

“Our aim is to let you enjoy the delicious wine we share at our own table."Our founder and devoted winemaker, Gene Ventimiglia, was influenced at a young age by the European winemaking traditions which his grandfather, Eugenio Ventimiglia, brought to this country at the turn of the last century. For over thirty years, Gene has been making delicious wines to enjoy at home with his family and friends. Our dream to share our high quality, hand crafted wine has finally come true. In August 2006, with Federal Permit and New Jersey Winery license in hand, Gene and his wife, Anne, along with their family and good friends, began professional winemaking at Ventimiglia Vineyard in Wantage, New Jersey.

Cava Winery & Vineyard
3629 State Rt 94
Hamburg, NJ 07419
(973) 823-9463

"Situated in the beautiful Skylands of northwest New Jersey, Cava Winery & Vineyard is a story of a family journey. Our path, in simple terms, is respecting the old ways but creating something new and maintaining connectedness. After tracing our family lineage back to Italy and finding our name on the side of a bottle, a dream evolved into reality.

"Our location is perfect in many ways. With a history of agriculture that is rooted deep within the lands, our soil’s mineral content is ideal for growing grapes. The terroir drains thoroughly allowing the vines to suffer and the orientation of the sun with east-to-west exposure help our grapes take their natural path in the vinification process.

"Making wine is our passion. Along with the drive to connect with our heritage, we are creating wines we proudly call our own. So in New Jersey, a place where Italian-American culture has had a strong presence for many years, we present a winery with a vision to tie the old world to the new.