Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery is located on a sprawling 100+ acre farm in up & coming Cape May Wine Country.Visit us every day for wine tastings and wines by the glass/ bottle.
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600 S. Railroad Avenue. Rio Grande, NJ 08242.
The Story of Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery
The Hawk Haven story begins back in 1940 when Johan Felix Wuerker traveled from Germany to Cape May, New Jersey and purchased the land that would one day become a vineyard and winery. Three generations later the farmland was still in the family and it became Todd Wuerker’s turn to choose something to plant. The youngest of three sons, Todd and his brother planted the first grapevines, Cabernet Sauvignon, in 1997 before he was even of the legal drinking age. He knew nothing of wine but his roots in farming and his dedication to learning more about winemaking resulted in a very knowledgeable individual who not only produces award-winning wines but also consults for two other local vineyards. Additionally, he helped plant vines at Turdo Vineyards and Cape May Winery.
Meanwhile, Kenna Sitarski was a single independent lady working in sales with a payroll and human resource outsourcing company. One of three daughters, she grew up in Voorhees, NJ and graduated from Rutgers with a BA in English. She met Todd in December of 2004 when his banker referred Todd to Kenna for his construction and development company. The banker had also bet Todd that he couldn’t get Kenna to go on a date with him. Feeling overconfident in his skills, he was sure he would woo her right away. Kenna, however, would not be charmed quite so easily. Todd realized he had met his match and would not stop until he had won her heart. Kenna eventually gave in and they were married March 16th, 2008. Four years later on February 9th, Kenna gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Elin Irene, who was followed by Semma Loren in June of 2013.
Together they are the perfect team for running a successful vineyard and winery, with Todd in charge of the vineyard, wine making and property maintenance and Kenna handling the business operations including marketing, finances, event planning, and merchandising. They began their work to open the winery in August of 2006 and established Hawk Haven Vineyard LLC by May 2008, opening the tasting room just one year later. Their first vintage was in 2007 and consisted of the American Kestrel White (an unoaked Chardonnay), Red Table Wine, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Today they have nine acres of vines with twelve different varietals; six red and six white. All of the grapes are harvested, pressed, fermented, aged, blended, and bottled on site. The Hawk Haven wine label was created by a local artist and is designed not only to represent the winery’s namesake but also the yin and yang of Todd and Kenna’s relationship.
Todd also has a very talented helper in the vineyard; Lalo came to Hawk Haven in 2009 with orchard experience and has adapted to the world of viticulture amazingly. He loves working outside and talks to the vines as though they were human. Now the venerated Hawk Haven Vineyard Supervisor, Lalo lives with his family in the farmhouse in front of the tasting room.
Read about some of our other staff members in our Behind the Bar series: Karl – Josh – Lynsie
Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery is open daily for tastings, wine by the glass, and other special events such as wine pairing dinners and Sangria Sundays. We sell our wines at Hops & Grapes Online, Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille, and The Mad Batter. We also have retail outlets at Cape May Fish Market, Quahogs in Stone Harbor, The Lobster Shack in Wildwood, The Red Store in Cape May Point, Kudo’s American Grille in Avalon, and Tullia’s in West Berlin.
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