The Outer Coastal Plain

If you have bought wine in South Jersey in the last decade you probably have noticed at least a few bottles with the abbreviation O.C.P. This is an abbreviation for the Outer Coastal Plain.

The OCP is one of roughly 225 AVA’s in the US and the largest of 3 AVA’s in NJ. AVA’s stand for American Viticulture Areas. These areas are set up by the federal government to help wine consumers understand that the wine from these areas all show similar characteristics. The idea helps to show regionalism in wine, the AVA’s are set by geographical boundaries, not legal boundaries. If AVA’s are used on a wine label, then the wine must contain at least 85% grapes grown in the boundary of the named AVA. The first AVA in the United States was set up in 1980. Since then new AVA’s are created every year. The new AVA’s must show that they are distinctive in growing conditions based on climate, soil, elevation and/or distinct physical features of the land.

The distinctive features of the OCP are the well-drained sandy loam soil and the maritime climate. The OCP covers 2.25 million acres of land and includes at least part of 9 counties in southern NJ. Roughly 30 wineries call the OCP home with more opening every year.

 

Wine of the Week: Petit Verdot

2013 Palmaris OCP Petit Verdot (Pronounced pe-TEE ver-DOE)

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Petit Verdot was originally a Bordeaux grape from the southwest area of France. It is a less common grape in its homeland since it ripens very late in the season, additionally it buds very early. Both of these things make growing Petit Verdot a challenge as frost in the spring or fall and cold weather throughout the summer may produce a limited crop or an under ripened crop. In a good year when the grapes fully ripen, Petit Verdot has a very dark purple hue.

Petit Verdot is often not used as a varietal wine, rather it usually is used for blending to round out Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. This year we wanted to highlight our Petit Verdot and produced the 2013 Palmaris (Latin for “prize worthy”) Petit Verdot. 2013 was a wonderful growing season here in the Outer Coastal Plain. We had dry and warm conditions though the end of the harvest which allowed for a full mature crop. Once picked the grapes were allowed to macerate and ferment for two weeks before it was blended together and stored away for 28 months in a mix of French Nevers Oak and American Oak. The blend is 79% Petit Verdot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 9% Cabernet Franc.

Our Petit Verdot is a wonderful full bodied red wine with hints of cherry, warm hearty oak, along with many other secondary and tertiary aromas. It is best to open the wine and let it breath before you drink this wine. This allows the wine to open up and aromas to reach a fuller flavor potential. This is best done by decanting the wine. That being said, stop in at any of our tasting rooms and try some of the 2013 OCP Palmaris Petit Verdot. We are excited about the results.

I hope you enjoy this first of many wine blogs. I am going to try and discuss a few wines a month and teach some basic wine terminology/ wine processing.

-Brian Tomasello 4th Generation Outer Coastal Plain Winemaker Tomasello Winery

24 Wines 24 Days Holiday Sale!

The holiday season is upon us! How many of you have seen the wine advent calendars? How many of you like to buy wine as holiday gifts? Who here uses the holiday season as an excuse to fill up their wine collection? We here at Tomasello Winery want to help you with our 24 Wines 24 Days Holiday Sale! The 24 Wines 24 Days Holiday Sale is 24 wines that we are putting on sale during the month of December. We picked our favorites (some of our favorites) and ordered them in a way so you can best enjoy them all December long. The sale will be broken into 4, 6 day intervals each featuring 6 wines. Ok we know that sounds complicated so we will break it down in an easy to understand way…

December 1-6 the following wines will be on sale:

 

IMG_3224Dry Riesling

Spiced Apple

Chambourcin

Sangiovese

Cherry Wine

Sparkling Blueberry

 

December 7-12 the following wines will be on sale:

Palmaris ChardonnayIMG_3225

Ranier White

Syrah

Raspberry Moscato

Cherry Moscato

Blueberry Moscato

 

December 13-18 the following wines will be on sale:

IMG_3226Painting Chardonnay

Palmaris CabSauv Reserve

Blackberry Wine

Ranier Rose

Mulled Spiced Wine

2014 Vintage Port

 

December 19-24 the following wines will be on sale:

Winter Chill WhiteIMG_3227

Ice Wine

Pinot Grigio

Palmaris Pinot Noir

Ranier Red

Blaufrankisch

 

Simple, right? You can use the sale to try all 24 wines or wait until your favorites are on sale and stock up. The 24 Wines 24 Days Holiday Sale provides a perfect opportunity to try some wines you may have never had before. It’s also a great way to get some great wines for holiday dinners. We just want to help you get in the holiday spirit and start a new tradition. Make sure to like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter and Instagram so you don’t miss any sales!

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Holiday Wine Trail Weekend

 

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Happy Week (6 days) before Thanksgiving everyone! We here at Tomasello Winery love Thanksgiving for 2 reasons: First we have our November sale which you can use to stock up on wines for your Thanksgiving dinner. Our Winter Chill White, Ranier Red, Cranberry Moscato, Cranberry Wine, and 2013 Outer Coastal Plain Sangiovese are all on sale for 25% off until November 30th. Second the weekend after Thanksgiving is Holiday Wine Trail Weekend! Instead of spending black Friday running through the streets and standing in lines at crowded malls, spend the weekend with us. It’s a great way to unwind before the Holiday season gets into full swing and old Jack Frost starts nipping at your nose.

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There are so many great reasons to visit us during the Holiday Wine Trail. For starters we can help you cross a few people off your Christmas list with our great gift baskets. Each basket features two wines and other treats and goodies to go with them. Another reason to visit us is that we have grapevine wreaths and cork ornaments for those who stop by. The ornaments are handmade and perfect to adorn your tree but you better come in early because we only have a limited supply so get them while supplies last. All 3 days from 12-5 we will have a chocolate fountain in our Palmaris room. We repeat, a chocolate fountain. It’s so nice that we just had to say it twice. What goes better with wine than chocolate? On Saturday and Sunday we will have live music from 1-4. Lastly on both Saturday and Sunday from 12-4 we are having tapas and burgers made to order at our tapas and burger bar! We know that you’re going to have a full day so not only can you come in for a wine tasting but you can have some lunch before you head out for more shopping. We can’t wait to see you then!

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Six Flags Grape Adventure Festival and Safari

Well wine lovers it seems we have come to the end of our festival season for this year. How did you like it? We here at Tomasello Winery know we had a lot of fun.

Before we call it completely over we still have one more event we are hoping you’ll join us at. November 7-8 Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ holds it’s annual Six Flags Grape Adventure (see what they did there?). This festival is more than wine tastings. Six Flags opens up its safari section and for an added cost wine festival “can purchase an upgraded safari package which includes a private tour of the 350-acre safari, a special wine tasting at Camp Aventura with a view of African plains animals including giraffes, zebras, Ankoli cattle, kudu, springbuck, gnu and more plus an unforgettable, face-to-face giraffe feeding experience”. Sounds really exciting to us!

What’s just as exciting is we will be featuring several of our wines including Cranberry Moscato and Spiced Apple. The festival will feature 14 wineries including Tomasello Winery, Amalthea Cellars, Auburn Road Vineyard, Cava Winery, Cedarvale Winery, Coda Rossa Winery, DiMatteo Vineyard, Four Sisters Winery, Monroeville Winery, Plagido’s Winery, Sharrott Winery, Valenzano Winery, Villari Vineyards, and Wagonhouse Winery.

There will also 5 food vendors in attendance; Empanada Guy, Mobile Mardi Gras, Nomad Pizza, So. Jersey Mobile Cafe, and Texas Smoke BBQ. Along with wine and food there will be great craft vendors; An Etch of Glass, Blue Ridge Farms, Carolyn’s Crystal Creations, Celtic Chairde Creations, Demca Demo, Designs with Juls, JD Gormet, Jerky James Fine Meats, Justine’s Truffles, Pappardelle’s Pasta, Silpada Designs, Spices & Stuff, Susan Ruth’s Creations and Simple Elegance by Lauri.

The Grape Adventure takes place November 7 and 8 11:30am-5pm and the Safari Off Road Adventures start at 10:30am each day and end at 3pm both days. You can find tickets and more information HERE. We can’t wait for you to join us for a Grape Adventure!

Grand Harvest Festival

As the festival season starts to wind down we here at Tomasello Winery are thankful for all of you who have come out to support us. This weekend we are headed to the Garden State Wine Grower Association’s Grand Harvest Festival. As some of you may know this event was originally scheduled for October 3 and 4. However the weather changed our plans but it didn’t dampen our spirits. We are now going to celebrate in grand fashion!

The wineries that will be there include us at Tomasello Winery, 4JG’s Vineyards, Auburn Road Vineyards, Cava Winery, Chestnut Run Farm, DiMatteo Vineyard, Four Sisters Winery, Heritage Vineyards, Hopewell Valley Vineyards, Monroevillle Winery, Old York Cellars, Plagido’s Winery, Salem Oak Vineyards, Sharrott Winery, Valenzano Winery, Ventimiglia Vineyards, Villa Milagro Vineyards, Villari Vineyards and Wagonhouse Winery. It’s going to be a very big festival. make sure to stop by and try our Broomstick Brew, Spiced Apple Wine, or Cranberry Moscato.

There will also be entertainment and bands both days of the festival. On Saturday October 24 Sassfaction, a six piece dance band. On Sunday The Heartbeats will be playing their dance music. There will also be presentations over the course of the two days. Presentations include themes like wine pairing, cocktail making, and wine education.

Along with the entertainment will be great food from Carolina Blue BBQ, Cherries on Top, Empanada Guy, Momma’s Meatballs, and Pure & Simple Flatbreads. Perfect for grabbing a bite with that bottle of  Tomasello wine you bought!

Join us Morristown NJ at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm Saturday October 24 and Sunday October 25 from noon to 5pm. You can find tickets HERE. We can’t wait to celebrate the harvest with you.

Autumn Wine Festival at RiverWinds

Why do we love Fall so much? Is it the crisp and cool air? Do we love the colors that nature paints the leaves of trees? Or is it the crunch of said leaves under our boots? Whatever the reason we love Fall we spend every opportunity we can to celebrate it.

This weekend we at Tomasello Winery will be celebrating Autumn at the Autumn Wine Festival at RiverWinds. In West Deptford NJ we will be there with some of our Fall favorite wines like Broomstick Brew and Spiced Apple.

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There will be several wineries in attendance at this festival; Tomasello Winery (us), Auburn Road Vineyard & Winery, Cedarvale Winery, Chestnut Run Farm, Coda Rossa Winery, DiMatteo Vineyards, Monroeville Vineyard & Winery, Plagido’s Winery, Sharrott Winery, Valenzano Winery, Villari Vineyards, and Wagonhouse Winery.

Along with great wines there will be a few eateries in attendance including Carolina Blue Smokehouse, Empanada Guy, Star of the Sea, and So Jersey Mobile Cafe. There will be two bands performing over the weekend. On Saturday SassFaction will be playing and Sunday Right Turn at 40 is on deck. It will be great to hear great local bands while enjoying wines. Lastly 13 artisans and crafters will be in attendance ready to share their beautiful handmade wares with you.

We hope you can join us. The RiverWinds Autumn Wine Festival will be in the RiverWinds Community Center 1000 RiverWinds Dr. West Deptford, NJ 08086 from 12-5pm. Gates open at 11:30am and you can get your tickets HERE.

Chatsworth Cranberry Festival

As we get further into the fall season the harvests are ripening and ready to be picked. Our beloved state of New Jersey isn’t called “The Garden State” by accident. In fact New Jersey’s fertile land is what makes Tomasello wine so delicious. However, grapes aren’t the only crop that thrives in Jersey soil.

This time of year cranberries are ripe in their bogs and ready to be harvested. The town of Chatsworth, NJ celebrates this harvest with their annual Cranberry Festival. The entire small town becomes filled with artists, crafters and vendors selling their wares and displaying their beautiful art. There will also be a band.

Most importantly Tomasello Winery will be there and we like to celebrate New Jersey’s cranberries in our own special way. Both our cranberry wine and our cranberry moscato wine will be there for you to taste and enjoy. The Cranberry Festival is always has a full crowd so we have a handy map showing where we are.

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Where we will be

For those who know Chatsworth we are at 3993 Country Road 563. It’s the main road through town so make sure to look for us. The festival is from 9am-5pm Saturday October 17 and Sunday October 18. We can’t wait to see you!

Join Us in Cape May

Hello again wine lovers! Today we are very excited because we will be at the Cape May wine festival this weekend. The Cape May wine festival is being held in the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum at the historic Hangar #1 in the Cape May Airport.

Wineries that will be there include Tomasello (us), Amalthea Cellars, Auburn Road Vineyards, Bellview Winery, Cape May Winery, Cava Winery, Cedarvale Winery, Chestnut Run Farm, Coda Rossa Winery, DiBella Winery, DiMatteo Vineyard, Hawk Haven Vineyard, Heritage Vineyards, Monroeville Winery, Plagido’s Winery, Salem Oak Vineyards, Sharrott Winery, Summit City Farms, Valenzano Winery, Villari Vineyards, and Wagonhouse Winery.

Wow that’s a lot of wineries! 22 in total so make sure you look for us. We will be excited to see you.

Along with the wineries there will be 4 food trucks; El Lechon de Negron that specializes in Puerto Rican pig roast and cuisine, Star of the Sea which offers some of the freshest and tastiest seafood, Grumpy’s BBQ with the flavors of New Orleans, Saint Louis, Carolinas, and Tex-Mex, and Tony’s Farm Table that sells freshly made flatbreads.

There will also be great music at the festival. One band will play each day. One Saturday it will be Strumberry Pie, an acoustic rock duo and on Sunday it will be Bluebone, a blues rock band. There’s nothing like great entertainment while you’re sipping great wines.

We will have 16 of our delicious wines there including Broomstick Brew, Cherry Moscato, and 2 festival specials Cape May Red magnum and Ranier Red magnum. The festival is Saturday and Sunday from 12-5pm. You can get your tickets HERE. Can’t wait to see you!

Tomasello’s Night at the Opera 

Sounds of music fill the air and lift your spirits as you sip the exceptional wines and enjoy decadent food. An experience that awakens your senses and delights your palate. Did you know that at Tomasello Winery we hold several opera galas throughout the year?
In February, May, October and December the halls of Tomasello Winery are filled with the sounds operatic arias. Each of the songs selected reflect the season of the gala whether it be the crisp and cool fall or the jovial holiday season. Our talented artists have performed in many premier opera houses around the country and have graciously lent their voices to our winery.
Not only will guests get the unique experience of hearing operas but the evening is coupled with an exquisite dining experience. Four courses of a gourmet meal expertly paired with Tomasello Winery’s finest wines. It is a feast for the senses and a wonderful way to enjoy your time visiting Tomasello Winery’s beautiful crystal ballroom.
Did you know there are still 4 left before the end of 2015? First up are our Harvest Galas October 11 and October 18. Then our Holiday Galas December 6 and December 13. These events are very popular and our December 6th Gala is completely sold out. The matinee galas start at 2pm and last about 4 hours. Each event is $75 per person and you can find tickets HERE.

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