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South Jersey Wineries
Let’s Taste a Few
by Matthew Hayden

Several weeks ago I attended an event at the Cape May Lewes Ferry Terminal. The facility is an impressive architectural endeavor located at the tip of Cape May with magnificent ocean views. It was sponsored and orchestrated by the Garden State Wine Growers Association. They are the organization that represent the 34 New Jersey Wineries and are responsible for marketing and promoting many of the statewide Festivals and Wine Trail Events.

Most of the 23 Wineries that participated at the festival were from the South Jersey region. In addition to the wineries, there was live music, arts and craft displays and a lot of great local seafood selections. But the wine tasting was still the main attraction.

New Jersey Vintners have been producing quality wines for more than 200 years. They have adopted a rigorous review process called (QWA), Quality Wine Alliance Program. Wines are reviewed and judged by a panel of experts in the industry precisely like they do in Italy and France. Medals are awarded in different categories.

  • Tomasello, the largest winery in the state and located in Hammonton, has won a gold medal for their 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Oak Reserve.

  • Amalthea, in Atco, received a World Wine Championship Gold Medal for their 2007 Europa IV.

  • Chestnut Run Farms in Pilesgrove won a gold medal for its Special Sweet Asian Pear Wine.

In the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association Competition, New Jersey wines, in total, took home 23 medals and one of the standouts was the Heritage Vineyards of Mullica Hill, that won the Best of Class for its 2007 Merlot.

In Gloucester County, the emerging wine industry is just starting to catch up with Cumberland and Atlantic Counties. Heritage Vineyards, in my opinion, would have to be the premier model to be followed in Gloucester County. However, there are four emerging Vineyards: Cedarvale Winery in Logan Twp., Coda Rosa in Franklinville, Dibella Winery in Woolwich Township, and Wagonhouse Winery in Mullica Hill. Some of the local wineries are utilizing several retail locations, as well as local restaurants to market and sell their wines. A unique story is with the owners of the Wagonhouse Winery, Heather and Dan Brown.

Heather has taken a rather interesting approach to marketing and branding her wines. In addition to doing all the statewide festivals with the Garden State Wine Growers Association, she decided to launch Three Boys Brand in order to market her unique line of products. Also, she made the decision to work with three local farmers markets as outlets for her products. Two of the locations are in Mullica Hill; Grasso Girls and Rosie’s. The third is Farmer Franks in Mount Royal.

Another brilliant idea was to place her wines in Talluto’s Italian Market in Sewell. Talluto’s opened their first store in 1967 in South Philly. They now have 4 retail locations. However, it is still a family run business offering the finest Italian specialties and over 90 varieties of pasta that is still made fresh daily. What a thoughtful collaboration. Merging a 44 year old family tradition with an up and coming business venture in a new local industry of winemaking that is changing the culture and landscape of South Jersey.

From an economic standpoint, the agricultural industry and the local communities are experiencing resurgence from the huge followings that all the local wineries are experiencing from their patrons and supporters. My advice is to visit this website: www.newjerseywines.com/ and patronize your favorite vineyards and tell all your friends. They need your support!

Matthew Hayden is new to the writing scene. He grew up in Pitman, attended Rutgers and has spent the last 25 years in North Jersey and New York, entertaining, networking, and hosting events.

He is on the Board of the EFSNJ at Rowan and is a committee member of the NJBA and BLSJ. He has spent most of his life in the restaurant business in one capacity or another.

He is currently the V.P. of Sales and Marketing of Everything, a social media marketing and advertising firm.

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You can send suggestions or comments to: bizmarketingedge@gmail.com



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