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Drinking Our Way Through The Garden State: Part 4

Now that we survived the blizzard of 2016, we decided that it was time to work on completing our NJ Winery Passport-hopefully in time to submit for the May deadline! Most of the wineries that we have left are far from us (100+ miles), and since most of them are clustered together, we decided to split them up and knock out several of them in one shot. This way, we only need one really ambitious trip back down to finish off the area. So, without further adieu, here's part 4 of "Drinking Our Way Through The Garden State".

 

Cedarvale Winery - Logan, NJ

This was our first stop of the day. We met one of the owners-Ed-who poured for our tasting. They're 4th generation farmers who brew their wines in small batches. They've turned down several opportunities to sell their wines outside of the winery because of the small batches-and they do a good job of selling out their wines themselves. They were awesome-I took home a bottle of 2012 Cabernet Franc for myself.
Photo courtesy of Cedarvale Winery

 Don't leave without trying:
2012 Cabernet Franc
2014 Sunrise Chardonay
Blueberry (not as overpoweringly sweet as most-really good!)

Auburn Road Vineyards - Pilesgrove, NJ

This was stop number two for us, and we timed it this way because that have an on-site cafe so that we could grab a bite to eat after drinking all that wine! This was an adorable little winery with some really good wines-I snagged a bottle of Good Karma and a bottle of Classico for myself. We did the wine tasting first, and then sat down for lunch. We ended up splitting an antipasto platter (assorted artisan cheese, loaf of bread, bruschetta, soppresatta, olives, and olive oil) and a wood oven fired "Deano" pizza with arugula, prosciutto, and mozzarella (and we added a balsalmic drizzle to it). The winery also offers sangria by the glass or carafe, which we also decided to partake in. It goes down way too easy, and by the time lunch was over, I was more buzzed than before I ate. I wish more wineries offered little cafes like Auburn Road-we usually end up packing a picnic lunch when we go out because you need to eat when winery hopping for obvious reasons, but it was just too cold out to do a picnic in February in NJ.



 Don't leave without trying:
2012 Classico
Solé
Good Karma

Wagonhouse Winery - Swedesboro, NJ

Let me start by saying this: by the time we had reached this winery, we were officially 32 wineries into our mission. And I've drank at many more across different states and even different countries. This winery has the distinction of being the worst god damn winery I have ever drank at.
When we walked in, it was standing room only-surprising considering the huge tasting room that they had. I'm not mad about that-it's happened many times before. We were finally seated, and the tasting began. When I say that I've never had such horrific wine in my life, I'm not exaggerating or trying to be funny.  With the exception of their Kick in a Glass (tomato and hot pepper wine which tasted like a bloody mary-yummy) and their Sangiovese, every single other one of their wines tasted like cough medicine. Wait-that's not totally accurate. There was one that tasted like a Yankee Candle (Autumn Goddess). I've never been so grateful that the pours were so stingy, and I legitimately could not wait to get out of that place. I was there with Janine & Brian from www.travelrunlive.com and they wished that they had brought the GoPro camera in, because of the faces that I made everytime I had to try a new wine. I mean, for fucks sake, HOW DO YOU FUCK UP PINO GRIGIO? They charge $21 for a bottle. I could walk to my local liquor store, and get a half gallon bottle that's a thousand times better. And it was all downhill from there. I don't think I've ever knocked a single winery so far, but this one deserved it. And their website doesn't work to boot. So instead, enjoy this pretty picture of their vineyards, since it's more enjoyable than their wines.




 Don't leave without trying:
DON'T TRY ANYTHING! Go to the front counter, ask for your passport stamp, and get out!




Heritage Vineyards - Mullica Hill, NJ

Our final stop of the day, we had high hopes coming in here since we saw that they were the recipient of numerous medals for their wines, and it was the perfect way to wash the bad taste of Wagonhouse out of our mouths. They had a nice, big tasting bar and we were able to get right in. The Heritage Fammily has been growing since 1853, and they were voted the #1 winery in NJ in 2011, 2014, and 2015.  I brought home a bottle of Painted Horse Cuvée which was on point. The only downside is that you have to pick an option for the tasting-sweet or dry-and can't mix and match between them. I went for the dry, and it didn't disappoint.
 Don't leave without trying:
Painted Horse Cuvée (not listed on their website, but they have it at the winery)
2013 Sauvignon Blanc
2012 Merlot
2013  Dry Rosé

Current count: 33 wineries down-7 to go! So close!
We'll be heading out soon to knock out the last few, so check back soon!

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