By Steve Tawa
PILESGROVE, NJ (CBS) – New Jersey wineries believe a new law allowing them to directly ship their products to customers will help them become a contender for space on dining room tables this holiday season and beyond.
New Jersey Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher has heard the complaints of consumers who enjoyed visiting one or more of the state’s 45 wineries, or sampled their bottles at festivals.
“But then later in the year when they wanted some more and they wanted it shipped to them, it couldn’t happen.”
The measure Governor Christie signed into law earlier this year allowed wine shipping, and vineyard owners are hoping that their products will be mailed as gifts this holiday season.
So now, Fisher says as he raises a glass while visiting the Auburn Road Vineyards in Pilesgrove, “People can enjoy these award-winning wines everywhere across the country.”
One of the owners at Auburn Road, Scott Donnini says while European wineries have operated for centuries, Jersey’s viticulture knowledge and winemaking experience have taken huge leaps in the last decade.
“We’re trying to get to know our land and our climate. It is very similar to the growing climate and conditions in Bordeaux, France.”
In a recent Princeton blind tasting, set up like the 1976 “Judgment of Paris” competition,
during which California wines rose in prominence against the French, New Jersey placed well.
“Assuming people can get past the New Jerseyness of it.”
Garden State wines took three of the top four white categories and ranked third highest in reds against 10 competitors.