TripAdvisor recently released their 2012 Travelers’ Choice Best Wine Destinations with four different categories including the United States, Europe, South Pacific, and all over the world. Missing from this list: the great wine regions of New Jersey!
The Garden State has long been overlooked as a grape-growing region, and many people are often very surprised to learn that award-winning wines can be found in places outside of Italy, France, and Napa. If you’ve ever visited our tasting room, you’ve probably heard us talk about the sandy soils, cool ocean breezes, and long growing seasons here in Cape May County. In fact, this area has been recognized by several wine experts as one of the best wine regions on the East Coast.
The history of grape-growing and wine-making in New Jersey can be traced back as far as the mid- to late-1700′s, with the first commercial wine-making operation, Renault Winery, established in 1864. The industry was greatly hurt by the Prohibition era starting in 1919, and production remained small even after Prohibition ended in 1933, but by the early 1980′s more and more wineries began popping up across the country.
South Jersey earned an American Viticulture Area (AVA) in 2007, known as the Outer Coastal Plain. This was a significant development as it meant this part of New Jersey would be officially recognized as a grape-growing region. Almost half of New Jersey’s vineyards are located within the Outer Coast Plain.
Today there are over 40 wineries in the state which have produced around 1.72 million gallons each year, making it the seventh highest wine producing state in the country.
If you visit TripAdvisor.com and look through the ratings for each New Jersey winery, you’ll see plenty of four- and five-star reviews. People love New Jersey wines and love visiting their local wineries. So why isn’t New Jersey a Best Wine Destination? This is where you come in! If you haven’t already, visit the site and leave a review for the wineries you’ve visited (you can find Hawk Haven’s TripAdvisor page by clicking here). Tell TripAdvisor what you love about New Jersey wine and why you believe the Garden State is the perfect wine destination.
Let’s make 2013 the year that New Jersey is recognized as one of the greatest places in the world for fine wines!