Camden Waterfront festival toasts region's wines and beers
More than 200 years ago, London’s Royal Society of the Arts recognized two c
New Jersey’s brewing tradition is even older: the second-earliest documented commercial brewery in America opened in Hoboken in 1641.
And despite the decimation of both industries during Prohibition, craft breweries and wineries producing in the Garden State are making a huge comeback.
In addition to the recent big changes in the shipping, tasting and production laws for both small New Jersey wineries and craft breweries, the Garden State’s beers and wines are gaining wide acclaim. But don’t take my word for it: You can find out for yourself at the Vintage South Jersey Fall Wine and Beer Festival Saturday and Sunday at Campbell’s Field on the Camden Waterfront.
Although there are many such festivals that celebrate both beer and wine in the area, this one showcases strictly local products.
Whole new tastes
Robin Shreeves, a freelance writer and author of the blog South Jersey Locavore, is a big fan of New Jersey’s wines and the festivals that celebrate them.
“Spending an afternoon or evening at a Jersey winery is totally my kind of way to enjoy time with my family or with friends. I love the big festivals because I get to sample wines from several wineries at once. I go to the festivals to taste and learn,’’ she says. “I also get a big kick out of taking a bottle of New Jersey wine to someone’s house, in or out of state, and hearing, ‘Really, this wine is from New Jersey!?’ ”
The 13 wineries to be featured (Amalthea, Auburn Road, Bellview, Cedarvale, Chestnut Run, Coda Rossa, DiMatteo, Heritage, Plagido’s, Sharrott, Tomasello, Valenzano and Wagonhouse) are all strictly form the Outer Coastal Plain (OCP), South Jersey’s official “terroir.’’
What’s interesting about the OCP and promising to many oenophiles, is it has many similarities to the Bordeaux region of France. Its proximity to the sea (salt air) and other bodies of water, soil composition and climate make it just as promising a wine-growing region.