If you’ve never tried a blueberry wine, the Garden State Winegrowers Association is hosting a Wine Trail Weekend Barrel Tasting weekend where you will get a chance to try many different wines including the state’s delicious fruit wines. New Jersey is known for making some of the best fruit wines in the world, especially blueberry wine.
New Jersey has a long history of blueberry production, the high bush blueberry plant was developed here and now the state is the third largest producer of blueberries in the U.S. behind Michigan and Maine. With blueberry farms in Hammonton so close by, it is no surprise that many local New Jersey wineries chose to make blueberry wine.
Perhaps the most interesting of the Blueberry wines is Renault Winery’s Blueberry Champagne. “We’re the only winery in the country that makes blueberry champagne,” said Joseph Milza, assistant manager of Joseph’s Restaurant at Renault Winery, which is located in Atlantic County. Renault was founded by Louie Renault of Champagne, France, in 1864 and has been making champagne for 150 years. In fact, they have patented their Blueberry Champagne. They can call it Champagne, because they were grandfathered into the champagne laws, making Renault the only place in the United States that can officially call their sparkling wine Champagne.
Barbara Keenan from Tinton Falls tried the wine on a recent visit to Renault and described it as, “Sweet and bubbly with a nice finish! I’d make a toast with this.” Her friend, and Debbie Thomas said “This is good! I’m bringing some home!
Alba Vineyards in Finesville also produces an award-winning Blueberry Wine from fresh locally grown berries. This still wine is delicious as a dessert wine or it can be served as an aperitif or a fruit wine cordial.
Tomasello Winery in Hammonton has been producing a semi-dry still blueberry wine from Atlantic Blueberry Company blueberries for more than ten years.
Bellview Winery uses only Hammonton grown blueberries to make their Blueberry Dessert Wine, an after-dinner sweet wine.
Blueberries are supposed to be high in antioxidants and good for you, so try adding a splash of it to a semi-sweet sparkling white wine, for a delicious aperitif in the mode of a Kir. All of the wineries say blueberry wine is wonderful served with angelfood cake or lemon mousse, as an aperitif or as a dessert wine.
To try and compare these wines, the Garden State Wine Growers Association Barrel Sample and Vineyard Trail Weekend takes place throughout the state July 16-17, 2011 from 11:00am to 05:00pm and the cost is $5 per person for wine tasting.
For more information you may contact the wineries directly:
- Alba Vineyards – 269 Route 627, Village of Finesville, Milford, New Jersey 08848 Phone: (908) 995-7800
- Bellview Winery – 150 Atlantic Street, Landisville, NJ 08326 Phone: 856-697-7172
- Renault Winery Resort – 72 N Bremen Ave Egg Harbor City, NJ Phone: (609) 965-2111
- Tomasello Winery – 225 North White Horse Pike Hammonton, NJ 08037-1868 Phone: (609) 561-0567