Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Vintage South Jersey Fall Wine & Beer Fest 2012




It's hard to believe it's been over a week since Hurricane Sandy created record breaking history. We were due to attend the Vintage South Jersey Fall Wine & Beer Festival in Camden, NJ that Sunday, but were asked to attend on Saturday instead. Sunday's festivities were canceled to be on the safe side from the coming "Frankenstorm". Here in Philly things were scary but not too bad. One of us lost electricity for a few hours and the other for a few days. That's nothing compared to what so many on the East Coast, especially NYC and Jersey, are still going through. The images of the coast are shocking. We pray that everyone is safe, warm and that they are able to Restore the Shore soon.



We are fortunate we were able to experience this event. It took place at the Campbell's Field, on the Camden Waterfront, home of the River Sharks. The vendors and booths were lined up along the outside, which seemed a little odd with such a big venue available. There was a live band playing which was a nice touch. People seemed to be enjoying themselves as we made our way to sample some wines. South Jersey Wines, WOW...where have you been all our lives???? While the festival itself lacked a few things (particularly food!), the abundance of delicious wines made up for it. South Jersey's Outer Coastal Plain Wine Region...you had us at first sip!

It seems a little ridiculous to think that living in Philadelphia, so close to South Jersey, we have had very limited experience with Jersey wines. Well, all that's going to change. Apparently New Jersey (like Pennsylvania) has had some regulations that make it difficult to purchase these wines across state borders. Fortunately, Jersey recently passed a winery bill that has been a long time in the running. Hopefully soon, people across the U.S. and beyond will have more and easier access to these fabulous "secret" wines.

Below is a list of the wineries along with some of our favorite varieties...
Enjoy the picture slideshow of our day at the end of the post!

The Outer Coastal Plain Wineries/Vineyards:

Amalthea Cellars - Atco, NJ: 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Sauvignon Clone II, 2008 Cabernet Franc Reserve

Auburn Road Vineyard - Pilesgrove, NJ: Good Karma, Battleship New Jersey Red and 2010 Rustica

Bellview Winery -Landisville, NJ: Not one wine we did not like! TOP 3 favorites. The Cranberry was amazing, Nana's Wine, Homestead, Fiesta, Merry Xmas Red, Under the Arbor, Winter Spice, 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 Viognier and Traminette, Jersey Devil Red and White, and our first time trying Dandelion Wine...just to name a few!

Cedarvale Winery- Logan Township, NJ: 2009 Merlot and Cabernet Franc, 2010 Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay, Cherry Fruit Wine, Nectarine Fruit and our favorite, Strawberry Fruit Wine

Chestnut Run Farm- Pilesgrove, NJ: Delicious Asian Pear Wines and Fuji Apple Wine

Coda Rossa- Franklinville, NJ: 1526, Chambourcin, Cabernet Franc, Sweet Jane, Black Bird, Sauvignon Blanc
Dimatteo Vineyards- Hammonton, NJ: Warm Apple Wine, Blueberry, Sparkling Cranberry, Red Table Wine, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Merlot

Heritage Vineyards- Mullica Hill, NJ: Another favorite...all wines were fantastic...Cuvee Blanc, Cuvee Rouge, 2010 Merlot and Chambourcin, Rose, Jersey White, Red and Apple
Plagido's Winery- Hammonton, NJ: Cabernet Franc and Empire (Port)

Sharrott Winery- Blue Anchor, NJ
Tomasello Winery- Hammonton, NJ: Cranberry Wine, Red Raspberry, Spiced Apple, Broomstick Brew, 2009 Vintage Port, 2009 OCP Syrah

Valenzano Winery- Shamong, NJ: Blueberry Wine, Cranberry Harvest
Wagonhouse Winery- South Harrison Township, NJ: Another TOP 3 for us...such unique blends and fun, original label names....Fallen Quaker, Jersey Girl, Shore Thing, Peck's Bad Boy, Sweet Love.

We have to mention that a few local breweries were at the event also, among them: Cape May Brewing Company, Flying Fish Brewing Company, and Yards Brewing Company. If you're in the area and interested in sampling some great local wines and beers, we recommend attending a Vintage South Jersey Festival (another takes place in the Spring). It's a much smaller event than the others we've been to with a more casual environment and relaxed atmosphere. It's a fun afternoon...however, get your eat on before you get there...and bring a designated drive! The beverage to food ratio is definitely not an even one. We were disappointed as we had been expecting some "gourmet food samples". Instead we had only 2 choices for food purchase. Luckily there was some very good pizza and pretty amazing cupcakes for sale from Pure and Simple. By the way, what's with these events not providing any cheese or chocolate to pair with all the great wines!?!?