Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Published: Wednesday, June 23, 2010
By Bridget Albert, Editor
WOODBRIDGE – Situated on eight acres of pristine farmland with gently blowing winds perfect for growing grapes for winemaking sits Savino Vineyards.The vineyard, located at 128 Ford Road, was the dream/vision of winemaker Gennaro (Jerry) Savino and his wife Louise.
The Riesling was produced at Whitecliff from their own Hudson Valley Riesling grapes, combined with grapes from the Finger Lakes and Long Island, to balance the strengths offered by each of these different New York regions.
This year marks the 30th year of the San Francisco International Wine Competition, making it one of the oldest in the nation. As a small, artisanal winery, Whitecliff produces a total of about 3,000 cases of wine a year, with wines regularly selling out. Less than 200 cases of our award-winning Riesling were originally produced, and at this time we have a little over 100 cases still available for sale. It is medium dry, with 2% residual sugar, a ph of 3.0, and acidity of 8.25 g/l.
Matthews is no pushover, so this score is high praise indeed! Congrats to the folks at Paumanok! And thanks Thomas Matthews!
By Matthew Smith
Locals were given a chance to test wine from seven vineyards found within our state. Wine enthusiasts say it’s a great event because West Virginia wines have their own special tastes.
Unlike high volume wine exporters, like California and European countries, West Virginia vineyards have a far shorter growing season.
Copyright 2010 West Virginia Media.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
I have broken up the state of New Jersey into six wine regions or trails or trips. These trails or associations are generally travelable in a one-day trip, some longer than others. The idea is trying to break the wineries into small bite size regions that have some geographical identity or pattern easy for day-trippers to manage without long intervals of travel (where possible).
I have given these wine regions names. They are not official, and New Jersey does not have individual trails. Still, I think it makes visiting the wineries fun and doable.
Northern Wine Alliance
This is the most far-flung of all the wine groups. I named this an alliance rather than a trail, since the wineries are not close together, but are in the same geographic region, in the north western part of the state.
All of these wineries are located north of the Trenton area, and are an easy day-trip. This small group of wineries are among the best in the state. All have achieved excellent reviews and ratings. Hopewell Valley and Unionville make exceptional dry whites and reds, and Alba makes wonderful Riesling and some of the best dessert wines in the country.
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
Central Jersey Wine Trail
This wine trail is generally located in the southern portions of Mercer and Monmouth counties, south of Trenton. All three grow their own vines, and make excellent red wines that will be getting better. These are all a lovely daytrip from Trenton and the surrounding region.
North of the Atlantic City Expressway
This is the largest concentration of wineries in the state, all of which are located just north of the Atlantic City Expressway. This is a fun, easy day-trip for folks from the Cherry Hill/Philadelphia region. But being near the Expressway makes this one of the most easily accessed wine regions in the state. This group of wineries includes some of the oldest (Amalthea, Renault, Sylvin Farms, Tomasello) and some of the newest (the rest). A great variety of wines will be had on the trail from fun picnic wines to sophisticated dry reds.
South of Atlantic City Expressway
These wineries are all an easy day-trip from the Cherry Hill/Philadelphia area. All are located south of the Atlantic City Expressway.
Cape May Wine Trail
Certainly one of the up-and-coming little regions in New Jersey. All three wineries produce solid wines, and are popular destinations in one of New Jersey’s premiere shore communities. Easy day trip and fun.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Howard G. Goldberg of the New York Times reported on Twitter today that Leslie Howard of Pindar succeeds Richard Olsen-Harbich at Raphael.
According to Goldberg:
Raphael, a leading Long Island estate, has hired Leslie Howard, Pindar's winemaker since mid-2008, to succeed Richard Olsen-Harbich. Howard spent four years as Jamesport Vineyard winemaker. He has worked as a winemaking assistant at Wölffer, Bedell and Osprey's Dominion. Howard's winemaking education and experience have been entirely hands-on. He is a 1993 graduate of Mattituck High School. Howard, 35, is to join Raphael, a heavily bankrolled estate in Peconic on the North Fork, in late July.
Congrats to Leslie Howard, who this blog named as one of the top candidates to succeed Rich!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
By Tracy R. Wiggins
Gloucester County Times
Stationed peacefully in the Delaware River at the Camden Waterfront, the Battleship New Jersey stands regal, proudly relaying to all its decorated history of serving its country in World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf.
However, like most sectors of our nation, it has been affected by the sagging economy. It has recently experienced a reduction in staff, budget and hours.
The staff at the battleship along with local winemakers at Auburn Road Vineyard & Winery in Pilesgrove Township are hoping that a new fundraising venture will help plug some of the economic holes for the ship.
Auburn Road Vineyards has created two new wines the Battleship Red and the Battleship White that will be offered at various venues, including local retail liquor shops, Auburn Road Vineyards and the ship itself. A portion of each bottle sold will go directly to the Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial.
According to Scott Donnini, co-owner of Auburn Road Vineyards, the project has been a truly collaborative effort right from the start.
Donnini said he and business partner Joe Reilly were attending a Jersey Fresh event held on the Battleship New Jersey in September. While impressed with the event, Donnini said they were astounded by the ship itself.
"It's such an amazing ship with an incredible history," he said.
During the event, Donnini met Jack Willard, senior vice president of marketing and sales for the battleship. Their discussion on the ship and its history soon turned to the challenges of operating and preserving the ship, particularly during tough economic times.
When Donnini and Reilly offered to help in any way they could, Willard suggested the idea of a custom wine specifically for the battleship.
"We loved the idea and volunteered to not only make one wine but we would make two a red and a white," Donnini said. "We'd donate a portion of the proceeds to the ship and have information on the label indicating how people could help or donate if they chose."
Read the rest at:
HAMILTON SQUARE, NJ -- The Tomasello Winery of Hammonton has been named Winery of the Year in the annual New Jersey winemaking competition held by the Garden State Wine Growers Association. Tomasello took three gold, five silver and two bronze medals in the annual competition. Twenty four New Jersey wineries participated in the competition, taking 18 gold, 36 silver and 98 bronze medals for a wide variety of different wines. Tomasello won three gold medals for its 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, its Vidal Ice Wine, and its Raspberry Wine. The state’s largest winery also took five silver medal for its 2007 Petite Verdot, 2007 Cabernet Franc, its non vintage Blanc de Blanc champagne, a non vintage Sparkling Blueberry Wine and its 2007 Nevers Oak Cabernet. Tomasello’s Vidal Ice Wine also won the Governor’s Cup for best dessert wine. The winery also took two bronze awards for its 2008 Pinot Noir and its 2007 Outer Coastal Plain Villard Noir.
Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery opened its oversized wooden doors to guests in the summer for 2009. The new winery is the fourth operational winery in Cape May County, which is fast becoming a wine destination (there are four operational wineries and three more vineyards will open within the next few years). Noted wine professor, consultant and judge Gary Pavlis asserted, “The Hawk Haven wines prove that Cape May is one of the best places on the East Coast to grow wine grapes."
The new and modern vineyard produces wines that speak for themselves; the Pinot Grigio and Merlot are particularly standout. "The Merlot blew me away and seems more like a Napa wine than an east coast wine” and the Pinot Grigio has, “great fruit and great minerality” said Pavlis.
The Wuerker Farm, now Hawk Haven, began when Felix Wuerker, whose father was a winemaker, traveled to America to work as a dairy hand. He fell in love with Irene Heathcoat, a native of Cold Spring, NJ. They bought a dairy farm near Irene’s home in the sandy, haven of Cape May County, NJ. Their son, Ed Wuerker, has worked that same farmland all his life. He and his wife Sue have watched as the sandy soil of the Wuerker farm produced, in turn, snap beans, peas, pumpkins, the iconic New Jersey lima bean and finally – wine grapes.
Although Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery is new, Todd has practiced the art of grape growing for twelve years. He started the vineyard with 100 Cabernet Sauvignon vines and watched them flourish. Now, he is pushing the traditional limits of New Jersey vineyards and experimenting with grapes like Malbec and Tempranillo.Hawk Haven Vineyard’s sprawling property has two lakes and even a swing for the kids. Guests enjoy picnicking on the property with bottles or glasses of wine. On “Sangria Sundays”, blonde sangria is available by the glass ($5) along with other frozen drinks including a blended rosé called a “Rosarita”. The extra-long mahogany bar in the tasting room exudes a relaxed modernity.
Wines start at $14 per bottle and include 2008 Pinot Grigio, 2007 Red Table Wine, 2007 Merlot, 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007 American Kestrel, 2008 Riesling and 2008 Red-Tailed Rose. Tastings are $5. The tasting room is open every day from 11am to 7pm. 600 South Railroad Avenue. Rio Grande NJ. (609) 846- 7347.
There's lots of good things going on at Hawk Haven. If you don't visit, when you're down there, then you are missing something.
By ERIC SCOTT CAMPBELL, Staff Writer
Posted: Monday, June 21, 2010
Press of Atlantic City
The wineries of southern New Jersey are doing big business, but even so, the reputation of industrial northern New Jersey isn't helping.
"People (who don't know better) talk about New Jersey wine like they're drinking skunk juice," said Ray Pensari, co-owner of Natali Vineyards in Cape May Court House.
Rather, the sandy soil of Cape May County is ideal for grape vines, growers say. The wineries are young, however, and just as wine grapes take a long time to cultivate, so does a regional reputation.
"I think a lot of it has to do with people being snobs," said Ewa Nadolczak, working in the tasting room at the year-old Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery in Rio Grande, Middle Township. "Everything is 'California, California, California.'"
Among the customers touring the county's wineries Sunday were the Buonannos of West Milford, Passaic County, who make the four-hour trek once a year.
"You will not believe how many people (looking for wineries) go, 'What, in New Jersey? What, in Cape May?'" said John Buonanno, a construction official. He had never before seen the cozy premises of Turdo Vineyards in the North Cape May section of Lower Township, but he had enjoyed a bottle of dry, rare Italian wine from there.
"I'm not a connoisseur," Buonanno said. "I like it. I don't know how else to say it."
Most of Turdo's marketing happens for free, by word of mouth or Internet reviews, owner Sal Turdo said. Like all his competitors, Turdo said business is improving year after year, even without a marketing blitz - and with an entrance that would be easy to miss without the broad Italian flag planted there.
"People who drink wine, they still drink wine" in a slumping economy, said Turdo, a native Sicilian who set up shop in 1999. "We don't have to do much, we just have to be here."
The best days of business usually come when inclement weather makes the county's more famous tourism draw less attractive.
"You can only take the sun and beach so many days," said Stephanie Vogel, Cape May Winery's tasting room manager, who worked behind a counter in the merciful air conditioning while Sunday sweltered outside.
The 14-year-old winery is expanding after several years of steady growth. Customers there frequently have been referred by local bed-and-breakfasts where they stay, Vogel said.
None of the winery workers said government tourism bureaus have marketed Cape May wine country impressively.
"The actual state themselves, they could care less," Turdo said. "Everything we have to do locally."
Pensari predicted several more wineries will debut in the county in the coming years. That process is understandably slow, Nadolczak said.
"Down here for years, lima beans were the king of crops," the Lower Township resident said, as an acoustic guitarist entertained guests under a tent on the lawn outside. "You have to get (farmers) out of that mindset."
Pensari admitted rooting for the occasional roll of clouds to dislodge visitors from their beach chairs, but on most days, for his vines' sake, he'd prefer a dry 80 to 85 degrees. That just happens to be perfect beach weather, but that's all right, Pensari said as he puffed on a cigar: "We only want you for one day."
Contact Eric Scott Campbell:
Thursday, June 17, 2010
May 22nd, 2010
After eight years, the New Jersey Governor’s Cup Wine Competition is finally all about New Jersey.
Competition coordinator, Gary Pavlis, Ph.D., Rutgers University Professor and Agricultural Agent was pleased.
Toward the end of the day, we switched to sweet wines and fruit wines. Another panel had a banana wine which elicited a crack about global warming. (Non-grape fruit wines can still be made with fruit from anywhere. So no, the bannanas did not come from Bayonne.)
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
FIRST ANNUAL LONG ISLAND WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL
For those who love great wine, food, beer, and fun!
eat. drink. local.
The Long Island Wine & Food Festival will celebrate a world class wine region! A premier travel destination on the East End of Long Island, the North Fork delivers remarkable cuisine, boutique wineries, craft beer, and quaint accommodations. Festival guests have the opportunity to learn about local flavors, tastes, sights and smells of Long Island’s wine country.
Meet local chefs. Enjoy local wines and fare. Experience the rural character of Long Island's North Fork.
The three-day festival kicks off with an exclusive cocktail reception on June 25. On Saturday, June 26, be sure to keep your glass full while experiencing the wines, food, and activities that our wineries will offer. The festival culminates Sunday, June 27 with a Grand Tasting in the historic village of Greenport, a working seaport since the 18th century.
Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard
Bella Vita Vineyard
Castello di Borghese
Duck Walk Vineyards
Grapes of Roth
Harbes family Vineyard
Long Island Meadery
Martha Clara Vineyards
Old Field Vineyards
Peconic Bay Winery
OUR LOCAL BEER AND SPIRITS COLLEAGUES:
Blue Point Brewery
Greenport Harbor Brewery
Long Island Spirits
The American Hotel
Comtesse Therese Bistro
Cuvee Bistro & Wine Bar
Ever so Saucy
The Fifth Season
Gold Coast Catering
H20 Seafood Grill
Il Mulino Restaurant
Love Lane Kitchen
The North Fork Table & Inn
Penntara Laos Food
The Plaza Cafe
Red Bar Brasserie
Social Sports Kitchen
The Village Cheese Shop
Vine Wine Bar & Cafe
And More to Come...
Acorn Hollow Bed & Breakfast
Heron Harbor Suites
Home Port Bed & Breakfast
The Red Barn Bed and Breakfast
Red Barn B&B
Sannino Vineyard Tuscan Suite B&B
Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast
The Stirling House B&B
For more information: www.longislandwineandfoodfestival.com
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
The silk is a rosato-colored wine that offers a soft expression of their home vineyard. They hand harvest the grapes from both the mahogany and the cedar portions of the hill. The grapes are then given a slow, cold fermentation followed by a brief barrel period. It is a blend of Barbera, Corvina Veronese, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Nebbiolo.
At room temperature the wine resembles a Rhone red, and when served chilled the raspberry and blackberry flavors come front and center. A wonderful, deep rose'!
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
By CARLA SPARTOS
Last Updated: 3:12 AM, June 8, 2010
Posted: 4:37 PM, June 7, 2010
Utter the words “New Jersey wine” and you’ll hear all sorts of wisecracks. Heck, even the winemakers themselves will make jokes — off the record, of course — about “Oil Slick White” and “Roadkill Red.”
Monday, June 07, 2010
With the move of Richard Olsen-Harbich to Bedell, winemakers all over Long Island were surely buffing up their resumes this weekend. Possibly a few in the Finger Lakes and the Hudson Valley as well.
No one is going to replace Rich. He was a one-man band as far as winemaking and setting the tone for the house. He is the equivalent of Johnny Unitas or Joe Montana as far as Long Island wine goes. The question is - is Raphael (without Olsen-Harbich) the 49ers or the Colts? The 49ers of course followed up with Steve Young and another Super Bowl and several NFC Championship appearances. The Colts didn’t get back to ultimate pinnacle in sports until Peyton Manning arrived (who was born after Unitas retired).
But the answer is not clear. Who is the next Olsen-Harbich – that’s the $64,000 question? Harbich was a winemaker at the top of his game, who lead a team of his own choosing through some remarkable and innovative wines. He was self-assured, extremely knowledgable, and knew the way the game was played in the wine business. He could speak the salesmen’s language as well as charm the press. Big shoes.
So who then are some of the candidates?
So many decisions. I guess, you prefer, it should be someone from Long Island, who knows the players, the landscape, and who is a known quantity. Or, you can take a look at the Finger Lakes wineries. Or someone from the Hudson Valley?
Let’s start with Long Island. Firstly, does Olsen-Harbich’s move start the domino’s tumbling? It’s a good question. If they truly want to replace Olsen-Harbich’s true value, they would have to make a concerted play for either Roman Roth or Eric Fry. However, both are well ensconced (so, we thought, was Olsen-Harbich). They might have an opportunity with Roman, since the late Christian Wolffer isn’t there to fight a bidding war. But for the sake of argument, let’s say no to both. Where does that leave you?
A few of the possible candidates, then.
Miguel Martin of Palmer Vineyards. Experienced. Sure handed. Great European stylist, would fit right in stylistically. Be nice to see what he could do with the Raphael bankroll behind him. He’d probably be a solid person for the top five interviewees.
Les Howard of Pindar Vineyards. Local boy makes good. Lacks the experience of Martin, but is well known throughout Long Island. He made an instant impact at Pindar. He’d be an interesting, long-term choice. With someone like Howard, Raphael might bring in some real star fire power consultant for the first few years.
Gilles Martin of Sparkling Pointe and Sherwood House. Martin has tremendous background in wine. France. California. Long Island. And certainly would probably flourish given the opportunities at Raphael. It would be a chance for him to run his own show on a large canvas. Among the more intriguing possible candidates.
Of course, there are outsiders. And Raphael has enough recognition that they could possibly coax a Californian, Oregonian, or Washingtonian winemaker out to the North Fork. But it’s doubtful. As for the Finger Lakes, I think it doubtful. They are known for white wines, and Raphael is a red wine house. And the Hudson Valley? Even more doubtful, although a call to Kristop Brown might not be out of the way. With Millbrook and Benmarl on his resume, he’s worked at some of the better wineries in the Valley. If he doesn’t get the call to replace Olsen-Harbich (which is doubtful, could he be a contender to replace Rich’s replacement? Maybe.)
Anyway, lots to think about. Lots to watch.