Posts Tagged With: nj 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.

Categories: Uncategorized, Wine and Dine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Rutgers Research Project at Hawk Haven

Something exciting is underway at Hawk Haven (in addition to our regular, everyday exciting) that we wanted to share with you. We’ve been calling it “The Rutgers Research Project at Hawk Haven” (or Rutger’s Project for short) because it is headed by Dan Ward, the Assistant Extension Specialist, and Peter Oudemans, the Associate Professor, both of Rutgers’ Plant Biology and Pathology department. Together with the Outer Coastal Plains Association, they developed a four year trial to see how two rare and unique varietals grow here on the East Coast.

It all began a few years ago when Todd’s quality management of the vineyard caught Dan’s attention. He saw a guy who really cared about the plants and worked hard every day to bring each vine to its full potential. So Hawk Haven Vineyard was chosen, along with three other vineyards throughout the state, to participate in a mutli-year study of the different growing climates of New Jersey. Each vineyard was chosen based on their location as well as the dedication and commitment of the vineyard managers to their land. In that respect, we were very honored to have been selected and look forward to seeing the results.

Lagrein varietal

Lagrein varietal

We were provided with ten vines each of two different varietals. The first, Lagrein, is a red grape native to Northern Italy, known for its full body and high acidity. Besides Italy, it can also be found growing in Australia and New Zealand, and it is related to Pinot Noir and Syrah. The second is a relative of the Lagrein grape, another red Italian varietal called Teroldego, an even more rarely found grape. Teroldego is known for producing a deeply pigmented, fruity wine. Both varietals are almost nonexistent here in the states and have been quarantined at UC Davis for several years to test for inherent diseases and to see how they stand up against any diseases and pests that are native to North America.

The experiment also involved the installation of a weather station out in the vineyard that will record various factors like wind, humidity, precipitation, and temperature. There are even these little “leaves” that are placed within the canopy among the real leaves and will record leaf wetness. This information is uploaded via cell tower to a website that Dan & Peter will use to study all these factors at each of the four vineyards. The best part is that we also get access to this information which will be extremely useful to us going forward in planning future vineyard maintenance.


Teroldego varietal

We planted the vines earlier this spring, the weather station is all set up (you can check it out during our Vineyard & Winery Tour), and we also hired an intern who has experience in plant physiology. She will be helping Todd with petiole sampling to monitor nutrients, testing the sugar content in the grapes (°brix), and other information recording for this Rutgers Project. And get this: once the grapes are grown, we get to keep the fruit! So in a few years you might see some blends featuring Lagrein or Teroldego in the racks of our tasting room. In fact, we should probably start practicing how to properly pronounce those varietals.

By the end of the experiment, Dan and Pete will have collected enough weather information to see the difference in climate across the state and how it affects the vines. We think this will be really great for the New Jersey grape growing industry because in addition to producing award-winning wines, we will have cold, hard facts to support NJ as an excellent growing region.  So stay tuned, we will continue to give updates on the progress of this experiment, and we can’t wait to see how these varietals grow here and if they will produce good wines for us.

A lot of new varietals were planted this year in addition to Teroldego and Legrein.

A lot of new varietals were planted this year in addition to Teroldego and Legrein.

The weather recording station (left) and anemometer (right, in vines).

The weather recording station (left) and anemometer (right, in vines).

Leaf Wetness Sensor

Leaf Wetness Sensor

Categories: Talks with Todd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Best Wine Destinations

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.

Hawk Haven wine has won many awards since it opened in 2009.

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.

New Jersey’s various AVAs.

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 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!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eat Local;Drink Local (TM): Movement and Event by Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery

Eat Local Drink Local Draft Art

It’s official: Hawk Haven will pair with Sean’s Restaurant to emphasize the environmental and economic importance of drinking local wine. We will kick off the campaign with a weekly small-plate dinner event on premises beginning November 6th.  Pair a beautiful local meal with a local wine.


The first “Eat Local; Drink Local” small-plate dinner will take place on November 6, 2009 from 7-10pm in the Hawk Haven tasting room. Reservations required. $50 per person. Call 609. 846. 7347. Join the movement: “Eat Local; Drink Local”

Yesterday I talked to Sean about local food.  Sean is as sunny as his little orange restaurant.

Messing around with my camera before our interview...

Sean with some local lima beans

He started the restaurant with his wife Jennifer because he loves to cook and, “My wife likes french fries.  We bought a restaurant so she could have them the way she likes them – no one else makes them.”  He’s all about high quality food – that’s why we knew he was perfect for our “Eat Local; Drink Local” campaign and event.

Sean is animated as he explains the importance of local food and wine.  “We all work together.  The more local I buy, the more it keeps everyone else in business.”  As he explained that most of his produce comes from Vineland, he reminded me that local foods just taste better – fresher.  “I’ve grown up eating out of a garden.  And the more people that start eating local food, the better everyone’s food will be.”

Fresh Corn

The “Eat Local; Drink Local” campaign is also about the environment.  Rich Saunders of says, “With all the focus on local food it often becomes easy to forget the climate impact of the manufacture and distribution of beverages. If you live in New York, Hawk Haven’s wines would travel 150 miles to your glass, instead of the thousands that wines from elsewhere often cover.” That is a huge carbon differential. So drink local wines – drink Hawk Haven wine!

We gave the event a trial run last night at Sean’s Restaurant.  Everything was delicious, but we might mix it up a little for the first event.  Can’t wait!

Kenna and Todd at the Eat Local; Drink Local test dinner at Sean's Restaurant

Lindsey and Cate at the Eat Local; Drink Local test dinner at Sean's Restaurant

Eat Local ~ Drink Local
Hawk Haven Vineyard and Sean’s Restaurant
6 November 2009
All Three Small Plates and Wines Included

Small Plate One
2008 Pinot Grigio

Spinach and Seared Scallop Salad dressed with Toasted Sesame and Siracha

Small Plate OneSmall Plate Two
2007 Red Table Wine

Pork brushed with Blackberry Barbecue Sauce served over Jasmine Rice and Chef’s Vegetables

Small Plate Two
Small Plate Three
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

Rack of Lamb with Dijon Drizzle served over Roasted Garlic Mash and Chef’s Vegetables

Small Plate Three

Signing off from Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery in Cape May County, NJ – Cape May Wine Country ~ Cate

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Talks with Todd: 2009 Chardonnay Harvest

Chardonnay with Bees Todd and Lalo harvested the Chardonnay this morning.  Todd is still making fun of me for being such a whiny whimp about my bee sting, so he didn’t even bother to tell me about harvest until this morning.  Above is a picture of some Chardonnay grapes in the lug, along with a few tag-along-drunk bees.

Lalo, My Favorite Model

 Above is a picture of Lalo happily harvesting Chardonnay.

Chardonnay on Harvest Day


I snuck a few tastes of the Chardonnay – delicious!  They are at 21 bricks, which Todd said is exactly what he wanted for the sugar content.  They acidity level is exactly where he wants it too.  I’m very excited; I love Chardonnay!

Signing off from Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery in Cape May County, NJ – Cape May Wine Country ~ Cate Hylas

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Talks with Todd: The Booze and the Bees

Last wednesday we harvested the Pinot Grigio.  I decided to to try my hand at harvest, but I think I was more harm than help.

My Grandpa also helped, so we were both in the parking lot by 6:30 a.m. 

Grandpa in the Hawk Haven Parking Lot Ready to Harvest

 The first step of harvest is to unload the grape lugs from the barn. Lalo and the Grape Lugs

Then we harvest!Pinot Harvest Picture

Little known fact: if there is even a small puncture in the grape, it can start to ferment on the vine, especially if harvest is late in the season and the sugar content is high.  Todd decided to pull the Pinot Grigio at a fairly high brick count, which means there was a lot of sugar to ferment in the grapes. 

 Ed Wuerker Harvesting Pinot Grigio

Grandpa Harvesting Pinot Grigio

So, when the bees buzz around and feast on grapes, they actually get drunk!  Of course, Todd told me this like it was no big deal.  I thought it was hilarious!  Until one of them stung me, which I promptly used as an excuse to get out of the  grass and the bugs and stop harvesting.

Pinot Grigio at Harvest 

Pinot and Chardonnay are my favorite grapes to look at; the pinot has such a beautiful maroon color.  Below is a picture of the offending bee…

The Offending Bee.  What a JERK!

Signing off from Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery in Cape May County, NJ – Cape May Wine Country ~ Cate Hylas

Categories: Talks with Todd | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Talks with Todd: Combatting Feathered Foes

Vineyard managers battle mother nature everyday.  Fungi, bacteria, mold and deer are all common wine-grape pests.  Come late August, early September, there’s a feathery foe: warblers.

The warblers swing presumptuously down from the sky and pluck our grapes right out of their clusters.  The brick count (a measure of sugar content) in the pinot grigio is nearly up to 20, so I can understand why grapes have become the choice bird snack.  I can barely prevent myself from picking the grapes right now – they are so good – so it’s hard to blame the birds.

To prevent against the wino-warblers (and Katies), Todd puts nets up around the vines.  Bird-brained animals can’t conceptualize of reaching through the nets, so the grapes are protected.

Netted Cabernet Sauvignon

It’s nice that there is such a simple alternative to using pesticides.  Nets – so easy!

Net Jungle

The view through the nets is absolutely breathtaking.  The nets make the vineyard feel misty and enchanted.

View of Netted Vineyard

Unnetted Cabernet Sauvignon

This is a half-netted Cabernet Sauvignon vine.  The half-net technique tricks warblers, but not me!  I ate one, and it was delicious.

Signing off from Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery in Cape May County, NJ – Cape May Wine Country ~ Cate Hylas

Categories: Talks with Todd | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wine and Dine: Cedar Plank Salmon with Red-Tailed Rose and Orange Glaze Update

As promised, I tried out my own recipe for Cedar Plank Salmon with Red-Tailed Rose and Orange Glaze.  It was a success.  I changed the recipe based on a few suggestions from my Aunt Jane and Shop Rite’s poor selection of herbs.

Red-Tailed rose and Orange Glaze for Cedar Plank Salmon

Ingredients of Cedar Plank Salmon with Red-Tailed Rose and Orange Glaze

2 cups orange juice

2 tps orange zest

.25 cup olive oil

3 tps chervil

1 cup Hawk Haven Red-Tailed Rose

A few orange slices

I brushed the salmon with the glaze and situated some of the orange slices on top.  I think the crisped orange slices were the best part of the whole dish.

Salmon on the Grill

Salmon on the Grill

I soaked the cedar plank in warm water with a pinch of salt for about an hour before I put the salmon on.

Me with the Salmon

Me with the Salmon

Cedar Plank Salmon and Hawk Haven Wine

Cedar Plank Salmon and Hawk Haven Wine

My Grandma is still raving about this meal, so I recommend you try it out.   If I do it again, I may make a few changes.  I’ll probably increase the proportion of the Red-Tailed Rose wine, which has 4% residual sugar, so that the glaze is slightly sweeter.  I’ll also use cilantro.  The chervil was nice, but I like herbs with more kick.

Signing off from Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery in Cape May County, NJ – Cape May Wine Country ~ Cate Hylas

Categories: Wine and Dine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wine and Dine: Cedar Plank Salmon with Hawk Haven Red-Tailed Rose Wine and Orange Glaze

So I’m having a Julie Powell moment.  After seeing the movie Julie & Julia, I decided to try extending the blog to include cooking with Hawk Haven wine.  (Mostly I just want to bounce around my kitchen shouting  boef bourignon and bon apetit in falsetto).  I’ll try to wow my boyfriend and my grandparents with a Cedar Plank Salmon with Red-Tailed Rose and Orange Glaze tonight.  Wish me luck…

I’ll be grilling the salmon on a low flame with Cedar planks (courtesy of my Aunt Susan).   I’m not much for recipes, so I’ll just give you an idea of what I plan to do.  I can’t promise I’ll follow my own instructions, but I’ll let you know in another post what if anything I change:

Red-Tailed Rose and Orange Glaze for Cedar Plank SalmonAn image of my Aunt Susan's Salmon that I stole from her.  Thanks Aunt Susan!  Hopefully it will look something like this.

A little bit of cilantro..

A little bit of orange zest…

A few orange slices…

A few cups of orange juice…

About a cup of Hawk Haven’s Red-Tailed Rose…

Vegetable oil (maybe?)…

And Sour cream if I decide to turn the whole thing into a cream sauce…

I told you I wasn’t much for recipes… Suggestions and comments welcome!  If you have any of your own recipes that include Hawk Haven wine, please send them to me at, and I’ll post them on the website!

Signing off from Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery in Cape May County, NJ – Cape May Wine Country ~ Cate Hylas

Categories: Wine and Dine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Anatomy of an Ad: Eat Local Drink Local (TM)

Everybody seems to be concerned about the little  blue planet these days.  At Hawk Haven, we are too.  I’m working on an ad/t-shirt concept that embodies our environmental sensibilities.

I try to eat local foods whenever I can.  I went to college in VT, so the “eat local” concept  is burned irreversibly into my brain.  The logic is that local food has less carbon expenditure per calorie because it traveled fewer miles from the farm to your mouth. 

Although people have internalized the “eat local” mentality, it’s very common to pair a plate-full of locally grown fruits and vegetables with a California  or even European wine.  We want people to realize there’s an environmentally friendly alternative: Hawk Haven’s, NJ grown and produced wines.

Check out the concept below.  The final image will be hand drawn and much prettier than my little concept below.  Would you wear a t-shirt with this image on it?  Do you think local wines are just as important as local foods?  Discuss… 

Eat Local Drink Local Concept Image(TM)

Signing off from Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery in Cape May County, NJ – Cape May Wine Country ~ Cate Hylas

Categories: Anatomy of an Ad | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at