Heritage Vineyards is a family owned and operated estate vineyard and winery located in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. Mullica Hill is located in the heart of the Outer Coastal Plain American Viticultural Area (AVA), which covers over 2.25 million acres in Southeastern New Jersey. Cultivation of grapes began when Heritage Vineyards was established in 1999 by Bill and Penni Heritage. Seeing the potential of the emerging wine industry in Southern New Jersey, Bill Heritage, with the help of his wife Penni, started converting their 150 acre estate of peach & apple orchards into vineyards. The winemaking team lead by Kevin Bednar, and Julie Pierre, Assistant Winemaker, are responsible for producing 23 wines rated 90+ points by Robert Parker (The Wine Advocate), including two 100-point wines. Bill and Penni have established Heritage Vineyards to fulfill their commitment to six generations of farming the same property. They make great stuff.
A month or so ago, I had the occasion of breaking out the William Heritage Rose Cider 2018. This lovely sparkler is made from apples and grapes, all estate grown. The Blend is 10% Malbec and 90% Cider. The apple varieties used include 70% Fuji, 20% Stayman-Winesap, and 10% Sundowner. The wine is fermented in French oak barrels on Malbec skins. The winemaking notes say, "This is a “farmhouse” style cider, meaning our winemaker purposely allowed wild yeast to do the fermentation (native ferment) and promoted the growth of bacteria such as Lactobacillus and wild yeast known as Brettanomyces (Brett). These types of bacteria and wild yeast are very common in funk-style, farmhouse ciders."
I will say this. That's hogwash. This doesn't taste like cider at all. It tastes like a fine rose sparkling wine. I'd put this up against a fir number of rose sparklers made in the US, and it would win hands down. This is an exceptional experience. Absolutely loved this sparkling cider/wine!!! Perfect for very special occasions. This can handle caviar and funky, funky cheeses. Perfect for a special toast in a sparkling wine flute.
This is vintage sparkling at its best. A very very impressive sparkling wine. YOU MUST TRY IT!
Congrats to Bill and Penni!