Posts Tagged With: hawk haven winery

Be Our Valentine?


Valentine’s Day is this Friday, February 14th, which is perfect because it means we have all weekend to celebrate. If you’re looking for something special to do with your significant other, Hawk Haven is the perfect place to spend a romantic afternoon and we have some very exciting festivities planned for this weekend.

If you’re single and Valentine’s Day is depressing for you, let us point out that studies have shown that CHOCOLATE makes everything better. It’s science! You can’t argue with science and you definitely can’t argue with chocolate. Not when there is wine involved, and I’m sure there are other studies showing that wine gives you eternal life or something, so you really can’t lose.

So here we are, offering you happiness and eternal life* and you’re still wondering what to do this weekend. Let us help you with that!

Our friendly tasting room staff are ready to serve up our award-winning wines!

Our friendly tasting room staff is ready to serve up our award-winning wines!

The tasting room is open daily, 12pm-5pm, for educational wine tastings, wine sales, cheese plates, and general hanging out. On Friday, February 14th, we will be offering our Wine & Chocolate Pairing for $12 which includes a wine tasting of eight wines, four of which are expertly paired with gourmet chocolates (we ate a lotttt of this chocolate so we’re pretty sure that makes us experts now), and a souvenir wine glass.

Then comes the Wine & Chocolate Wine Trail Weekend, February 15th & 16th. We are so excited for this weekend that we wanted to make sure you had plenty of time to enjoy it, so we extended our hours a bit to be 11am-6pm. Fall in love with our wines during the Wine & Chocolate Pairing, then stroll on over to our barrel room for a very special barrel tasting with our very special winemaker. During this barrel tasting, you will get to sample some of our newest wines and although they aren’t quite ready for bottling, they are already tasting great which is why we wanted to share them with you now. We will even be selling futures, so you can secure yourself some bottles before they are ever released to the public.

This is the best grilled cheese you ever had in your life, especially if you've never had grilled cheese.

This is the best grilled cheese you ever had in your life, especially if you’ve never had grilled cheese.

At this point you’ll be ready to sit back and relax under our heated crushpad tent with a glass of your favorite wine. Can’t decide which one you liked best? Order a red or white wine flight for a 2.5 ounce serving of four wines. By now you’re probably starting to get hungry, and as delicious as those chocolate tastings were, you need something more! We’ve got that covered too, with gourmet cheese plates and some appetizer-sized offerings from Chef Ryan Kennedy of Executive Catering. We had the opportunity to try some of these dishes last weekend, and they are not to be missed. You might have to order one of everything.

This article is getting pretty long but I am not finished! I didn’t tell you about the LIVE MUSIC yet! That’s right, we will have some great local musicians here from 2pm to 5pm all weekend. Come hear the poetic lyrics of guitarist Gordon Vincent on Saturday, then come back Sunday with your dancing shoes because we’ve got Tamara deMent on the violin accompanied by Jim Maher on the guitar.

And that’s that! If you totally scrolled straight to the bottom without reading any of the above, here is the jist of it: Wine, Chocolate, Food, and Live Music at Hawk Haven Winery this weekend, February 15th & 16th. Now you have to come because you skipped over all my hard work. See you there!

*Our lawyers have advised us that we must inform you we cannot guarantee eternal life from our wines. But we still think we can at least do the happiness part.

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Behind the Bar: Jaclyn

If you’ve been coming to Hawk Haven for a while now, you’ve probably noticed some new faces over the last year. We thought it would be a good idea to let you get to know our staff a little bit more in our new Behind the Bar series. Of course, nothing is better than chatting in person, so come have a glass or two with our friendly wine tasting guides, waitresses, and service bar staff! In the meantime, here is a little background info on one of our newest employees, Jaclyn!

photoJaclyn came to us a couple months ago from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania where she lives with her parents and younger sister. She is currently majoring in Biology at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and found herself drawn to the science of fermentation, so she is a perfect fit as our viticulture and oenology intern. She is also a Division I Track & Field Runner. Little known fact: Jaclyn can bench press 135 pounds. Do NOT mess with this girl! Not even Todd can bench press that much.

When she’s not using her well-toned arms to pour wine in the tasting room, she can be found by the water enjoying some deep sea fishing with her family, or surfing with friends in Stone Harbor.

Jaclyn’s favorite Hawk Haven wine is the 2011 Riesling. “It tastes like summer in a glass and I love the aroma of honeysuckle. It reminds me of my childhood.”

Her main goal at Hawk Haven is to study the wine making process, from learning about jaclynbiophotothe different varietals and how they grow, to fermentation and aging. You may soon find her, clipboard in hand, taking extensive notes on growing conditions, fermentation progress, and keeping track of various details like sugar and alcohol content, etc. She’ll also be helping with the Rutgers Research Project at Hawk Haven, tracking weather patterns and growth of the new vines.

We asked Jaclyn what advice she has for wine drinkers, and she said, “Don’t knock it until you try it!” Well said, Jaclyn, we agree completely!

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The Five S’s

If you attended the wine pairing dinner on June 19th then you got an education from Dr. Gary Pavlis about how to properly taste your favorite wines.  If you did miss out on the dinner, don’t worry, we’ve got all the information you need right here.

Dr. Gary Pavlis

Dr. Gary Pavlis, Rutgers Cooprative Extension

To properly taste a wine you just need to follow The Five S’s

SIGHT: Go ahead and take a good look at the wine you’re drinking.  Look at the color, from the deep red of a cabernet to the buttery yellow of a chardonnay.  Notice the clarity of the wine, and look for any sediment that might be swirling around in your glass.  It’s also worth checking out your wine’s legs.  That’s the trails that the wine leaves down the side of the glass after you swirl it around.  Speaking of swirling…

SWIRL: Giving your wine a nice whirl does a lot to enhance the taste.  Agitating your wine releases the esters, ethers, and aldehydes that combine with oxygen to yield the bouquet. In other words, swirling aerates the wine and gives you a better smell.  The bouquet is an important part of the taste, so if you wine hasn’t had enough of a swirl it won’t taste as good as it could!  That brings us to…

SMELL: Many people say that this is the most important part of wine tasting. We can only perceive four different tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, and salt. That may not seem like a lot, but the average person can smell over 2,000 different scents, and wine has over 200 of its own. What does the wine smell like? Often you can describe the smell of the wine by comparing it to other scents.  Look for red fruit scents, like raspberry and blackberry, in red wines and pear and pineapple scents in white wines.  Doesn’t talking about all these delicious things make you thirsty?  Well then…

SIP: The people who don’t say that smell is the most important part of wine tasting are probably a little more concerned with this part. But don’t rush into it!  Take only a small mouthful of wine, and make sure to move it around your whole mouth.  If you don’t bring the wine into contact with your taste buds, how are you going to actually taste it?  Don’t just gulp it down, even if it is that good!  After you’ve gotten all the flavor out of your first sample sip it’s time to…

SAVOR: Now that you’ve swallowed the wine, take a moment to evaluate your experience.  Think about the lingering taste and texture of the wine.  This is called the finish, and it can be just as rewarding as going back in for another sip.  See how long the wine’s taste lasts in your mouth, and try to determine the different tastes.

After you’ve gone through the Five S’s once, simply repeat until your glass is empty.  We recommend lots of practice!

If you want to make sure you don’t miss out on the next great Hawk Haven event, just check out the Events section of!  This weekend, the 17th and 18th, is our “Walk In The Vineyard” event. Click here for more information.

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