The Garden State Wine Growers Association will host its annual Barrel Trail Weekend on Saturday and Sunday July 16-17 at participating wineries across the state. Visitors to New Jersey wineries and vineyards will have the opportunity to sample future award-winning vintages direct from the barrel room; enjoy wine tastings, new wine releases; tour the vineyards; and hear discussions on the wine making process from wine makers.New Jersey wines have been winning medals in renowned wine competitions. The state’s soil conditions, weather and grape varieties all factor into the wine making process and the public will get a first-hand look at the process during the weekend events planned at wineries throughout the state.“Barrel Trail weekend is designed to give visitors to our state’s wineries a chance to learn the wine making process,” said Tom Cosentino, Executive Director of the Garden State Wine Growers Association.All New Jersey wineries will be open for tastings and activities on Barrel Trail Weekend. To find a winery, visit https://www.newjerseywines.com. Updated listings of events are available at https://www.newjerseywines.com/events. ‘Some of the activities being planned at wineries include: historic Renault Winery in Egg Harbor, the third oldest winery in the United States, will offer guests a historic tour of the winery, along with wine tasting including one tasting straight from the barrel. The tour and tasting, costs $10 a person. Plagidos Winery in Hammonton, the 2016 NJ Winery of the Year, will sample wines with some special barrel samples. They will be giving visitors a sneak peek at their 2015 vintages for $10 per person. Four Sisters Winery in Belvidere will offer wine tasting, a souvenir wine glass and strolling vineyard and wine cellar tours for $5. Guests will be able to sample their Beaver Creek Red from the cellar cask in several phases and can try two new releases: Robin’s Raspberry – 100% red raspberry wine named after one of the four sisters and Warren Hills White – semi-sweet white wine named after the Warren Hills Viticulture Region. At 4 JG’s Orchards & Vineyard in Colts Neck, guests will enjoy wine tasting and barrel samples and hear winemaker Craig Donofrio conduct an Informative discussion of the use of oak barrels to enhance flavor.
Working Dog Winery in East Windsor will offer a $5.00 admission (live music and BBQ food truck) filled with barrel samples, a self-guided vineyard tour, wine education, and award-winning, estate-bottled wine. John and Maggs on Saturday, and Pennington Station on Sunday will perform. Two food trucks will be on hand offering their delicious BBQ for purchase: Oink and Moo on the 16th and Jersey Devil on the 17th.At Villa Milagro Vineyards in Finesville, guests will chill in their “Chill Room” where you will learn how they finish, age and bottle their wines using no additives. Visitors will sample future vintages directly from the barrel and then sample currently bottled wines. The $10 admission includes wine tasting, appetizer plate and gift glass to keep. Summit City Winery in Glassboro, on Saturday, July 16, in addition to usual tasting room hours will have “Wine and Oldies” with Jim Tighe 7-10 pm with $10.00 cover. Additionally they will offer 10% discount on purchase of 3 bottles or more of wine and free wine tote while they last. Tree fruit growing; wine tasting, alcohol metabolism slide show through the day will educate visitors on the wine process. Tomasello Winery in Hammonton is offering a taste of all of their Palmaris Reserve Wines and all Palmaris wines will be 25% off that weekend.Do you know what a wine thief is? Should you be worried when one is around? Join wine makers at Hammonton’s Sharrott Winery in their Barrel Room for the answers to these questions plus tastings right from the barrel! This tasting is just like the one the wine makers do as they ready the wines for bottling. A tour of the wine making facility and souvenir glass is included. Barrel Tastings cost $12 and will take place at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 pm. The standard tasting ($8) will also be offered anytime throughout the day. At Bellview Winery in Landisville, Barrel Trail Weekend activities will include $5 barrel tasting, exclusive wine previews, and vineyard trailer rides. Hopewell Valley Vineyard in Pennington will offer wine tastings at $6 per person, which includes an etched logoed glass. Hawk Haven Vineyard in Rio Grande has their regularly scheduled Vineyard & Winery Tour daily at 1pm. Taste through Hawk Haven wines and hear a discussion from a guide on every step of the wine making process from the vineyard to the vast steel tanks and French oak barrels. Discover what makes each wine unique and how their wine maker achieves every flavor and aroma. The tour concludes with a selection of gourmet cheeses to enjoy on the vineyard view crush pad and cozy barrel room. Call (609) 846-7347 for reservations. $25 per person includes tour, wine tasting, cheese, and souvenir glass.From only a dozen wineries open in 2000 to the more than 50 open today, the New Jersey wine industry is growing across the state with many more wineries due to open in the next couple of years. For a full list of participating wineries and details of the special offerings at each location, visit https://www.newjerseywines.com/events. Barrel Trail weekend is funded through a grant from the New Jersey Department of Tourism.