Skip The Mall, Try NJ Wine Trail Weekend Instead

Kick off the holidays with tastings, giveaways and fun.

Black Friday, the traditional hot shopping day that comes the day after Thanksgiving, isn’t for everyone. Some folks aren’t interested in bucking traffic to get to the malls or sparring with neighbors for parking spots. Some folks just want to, well, kick back a little.

Those folks should know that this Friday, November 24, kicks off Garden State Wine Growers’ annual Holiday Wine Trail Weekend at wineries throughout the state.

Here’s a look at what’s in store—or, should we say, not in stores, but in vineyards and wineries up and down the state.

First, you should know that some participating wineries will give away holiday grapevine wreaths and decorative ornaments to dress the wreath; these giveaways are all of the while-supplies-last variety. Wine trail travelers will receive a wreath and ornament at their first winery stop of the weekend, and then additional ornaments from each participating winery visited this Friday through Sunday, November 26.

* DiMatteo Vineyards in Hammonton is hosting a Victorian choir, dressed in period costumes to sing Christmas carols on Friday and Sunday from 3 to 5 pm.

* 4JGs Winery & Vineyard in Colts Neck will feature shopping and sipping and a special wine-and-chocolate pairing.

* Bellview Winery in Landisville will be participating in the wreath giveaway as well as distributing homemade ornaments.

* Cape May Winery in Cape May will offer Friday and Saturday winery tours. Reservations are required. Tours cost $25 per person and take about 90 minutes.

* Cedarvale Winery in Logan Township will be giving wreaths away. The tasting room is open Friday from noon to 7 pm, Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm, and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm.

* Chestnut Run Farm in Pilesgrove, which is open only on trail weekends, will open its wine shop this Friday and Saturday.

* DiBella Winery in Woolwich Township will be offering $3 wine tastings and ornament and wreath giveaway. Hours will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 pm.

* At Hawk Haven Vineyard, trail-goers can purchase wine-related gifts and accessories and stock up on favorite wines all weekend. The wine bar will offer tastings and special sale prices. On Saturday, vineyard tours will be offered.

* At Jessie Creek Winery in Cape May, grapevine wreathes and snowmen cork ornaments will be offered. Cookie and wine pairings will be on tap.

* Natali Vineyards in Cape May will offer a free grapevine wreath and ornament as well as complimentary cheese and crackers.

* Coda Rossa Winery in Franklinville will serve homemade lasagna with a selection of both dry and sweet wines. Also on tap: Coda’s Winter Spice wine. Cost is $12 per person, including a logo glass. The winery will be open Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 6pm and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm.

* Four Sisters Winery in Belvidere will be open from 10 am to 6 pm all three days. It’s participating in the wreath giveaway, too.

* Hopewell Valley Vineyards in Pennington will offer tastings ranging in price from $6 to $10 that includes an etched HVV glass.

* Iron Plow Vineyards in Columbus will have musical performances on Friday night, as well as on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Also: wine flights, wine by the glass or bottle, and a menu of artisan cheeses and charcuterie.

* Monroeville Winery in Monroeville will offer a Black Friday sale from 9 to 11 am only with 20% off all purchases. This includes wine, cheese, candy, snacks, gift baskets and wine accessories. No tastings will be offered that morning.

* At Sharrott Winery in Hammonton guests will be able to taste a variety of wines made in the Garden State. The winery also will offer wine tastings at their Tasting Bar or Tank Room. All tastings include six samples of Sharrott’s wines and a souvenir glass. Tastings are $12 per person; complimentary for Wine Club Members with Member Tasting Card. Sharrott Winery is participating in the wreath and holiday ornament giveaways.

* Southwind Vineyard & Winery in Millville will allow visitors from 1 to 6 pm on Friday and Sunday to paint their own wine glass; cost is $5. There will be stencils and an art instructor on hand to assist you. On Saturday, Southwind will host the Fall Hunter Pace, kicking off at 11 am. Riders will need $25, a horse, a helmet and a negative coggins for the horse. Call 856-391-5524 to register and for more information.

* At Princeton’s Terhune Orchards, there will be wines offered in the tasting room, including mulled wine. Terhune’s food products also will be offered, as well as the giveaway wreaths.

* Tomasello Winery in Hammonton will be giving out ornaments and hosting a tapas bar from noon to 6 pm all three days.

* Unionville Vineyards in Ringoes will be open and offering wreaths.

* Valenzano Winery in Shamong will offer a buy-one-case, get the second case at 50% off deal. Also on tap: wine-tastings, barrel and vintages tastings.

* At Villa Milagro Vineyards in Finesville, experience Feliz Navidad. Luminarios will light the cantina where tiny tacos, buñuelos and other Mexican treats will be served with wines. The $5 tasting charge includes a gift glass.

* William Heritage Winery in Mullica Hill will offer special savings on wines from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, including the 2014 Vintage Brut Estate Reserve, New Jersey’s only 90-point rated wine by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. For the first 100 customers, William Heritage will give away holiday wreaths as well as an ornament.

* Summit City Winery in Glassboro will have live music from 7 to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday.

* White Horse Winery in Hammonton will have live music and will be giving out wreaths and ornaments.

* Working Dog Winery in East Windsor will be open from noon to 5 pm each day of this weekend. The Austin Vuolo Duo will perform on Friday; Williamsboy on Saturday; and The B–Street Band (John and Bud Belvisio) on Sunday. In addition, Jersey Devil BBQ food truck will be on site Saturday.

For details, including specific addresses and contact information, visit newjerseywines.com .

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