Saturday, January 26, 2013

South Jersey Times Highlights Local Wineries (NJ)

Wagonhouse Winery owner Dan Brown pours a glass of wine in the tasting room at his winery in Swedesboro. (Staff photo by Calista Condo)

South Jersey wineries offer samples in wine tasting rooms By Kelly Roncace/South Jersey Times on January 04, 2013 at 12:05 PM, updated January 04, 2013 at 12:06 PM

South Jersey has been known for its tomatoes for centuries. However, another crop has popped up recently and its popularity is soaring. Grapes are the crop, but the wines made from those sweet little berries is changing the social scene of the area. Many local vineyards throughout the South Jersey area, have opened up wine-tasting rooms where visitors can sample these Garden State vintages in order to choose a favorite.

The wine tasting room at Heritage Vineyards in Harrison Township is open seven days a week and offers samplings of wines made on the premises. Tiffany Bowman, manager of Heritage’s wine bar, said a tasting room is a place to try new things.

“It’s a place where wine is available, not only for purchase, but also to sample before-hand,” Bowman said. “Or even if you’re not looking to buy, you can come in to see what the wine is like.”

In Heritage’s tasting room, there are complimentary wines to try, but also samples of their more rare vintages for purchase.

“We have a handful of wines that are complimentary and we also have a menu of some of our limited production wines you can purchase,” Bowman said. “Some customers do one or the other, or both. We encourage our customers to stay and have a glass of wine after their tasting.”

Aimee Friedrich, manager at Auburn Road Winery in Pilesgrove, said said their tasting room is a space where “you can come try the different wines and hang out.”

Both Heritage and Auburn Road offer guests an ounce of a particular wine to try.

“We don’t spit here,” Friedrich said. “We pour an ounce of each wine and you can sip it and pour the rest out, or drink it all.” Heritage also offers guests an ounce of wine to try. “We pour a one-ounce sample,” Bowman said. “The customer is free to consume it all or spit it out. We do have spitoons on the bar, but most people just end up drinking it because it’s such a small amount.” Bowman said the increased popularity of local wineries could be due to “agritourism.”

“Our climate is ideal conditions for grape growing,” she said. “People are starting to recognize that you can find a fine wine in New Jersey.” And wine tasting isn’t the only activity local wineries offer.

“We have dinner every Friday night,” Friedrich said of Auburn Road Vineyards. “It’s a full, sit-down dinner with a different menu each week.” Auburn Road also offers live music every Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. and tours of the facility every Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

During the summer months — between mid-spring and early fall — Heritage hosts outdoor concerts every weekend. “Our menu is available every day and we have monthly events except for in December and January,” Bowman said. “We have a lot of regulars who come in every couple weeks to just have a glass of wine.”

* Heritage Vineyards is located at 480 Mullica Hill Road (Rt. 322) in Mullica Hill. Hours are Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 856-589-4474 or visit www.heritagewineNJ.com.

* Auburn Road Vineyard and Winery is located at 117 Sharptown Auburn Road in Pilesgrove. Hours are Monday and Tuesday noon to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call 856-769-WINE or visit www.auburnroadvineyards.com.

Other local wineries with tasting rooms include:

* Wagonhouse Winery is located at 1401 Route 45 in Swedesboro, at the corner of Marl Road. Tasting room hours are Thursday and Friday noon to 5 p.m. for complimentary tastings, and Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. with tastings for $5. For more information, call 609-780-8019 or visit www.wagonhousewinery.com.

* Bellview Winery is located at 150 Atlantic Street in Landisville. Tasting room hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week and tastings cost $5 for eight tastes. For more information, call 856-697-7172 or visit www.bellviewwinery.com.

* Coda Rossa Winery is located at 1526 Dutch Mill Road in Franklinville. Hours are Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call 856-697-9463 or visit www.codarossa.com.

* DiBella Winery is located at 229 Davidson Road in Woolwich Township. Tasting Tent hours are Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call 609-221-6201 or visit www.dibellawinery.com.

* Monroeville Vineyard and Winery is located at 314 Richwood Road in Monroeville. Hours are Thursday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call 856-521-0523 or visit www.monroevillewinery.net.

* Southwind Vineyard is located at 385 Lebanon Road in Millville. Hours are Tuesday to Sunday noon to 6 p.m. For more information, call 856-364-9690 or visit www.southwindvineyardllc.com.

* Swansea Vineyards is located at 860 Main Street in Shiloh. Tasting room hours are Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. Tastings Monday through Friday are by appointment only. For more information, call 856-453-5778 or visit www.swanseavineyards.com.

Contact Kelly Roncace at 856-845-3300 or kroncace@southjerseymedia.com.

Read the whole thing at: http://www.nj.com/indulge/index.ssf/2013/01/local_wineries_offer_samples_i.html