In 1998, the Heritage family, who had been farming the same piece of property in Mullica Hill since 1853, converted their 150 acres of fruit farms to vineyards. Leaving behind the apples, peaches and pears of the past, the new generation—led by husband-and-wife team Bill and Penni Heritage—began to grow grapes and produce award-winning wines.
Over the past decade, William Heritage Winery has seen a substantial amount of growth in sales and customer presence—even NFL quarterback Carson Wentz stopped by for a glass of wine last year!
After expanding their Mullica Hill tasting room in 2017, the family had plans to offer a year-round, temperature-controlled space for guests. Though open all year, the existing patio setup, with its roll-down vinyl sides and heat lamps, proved inadequate for Jersey’s harsh winters.
Transforming the patio into an indoor space began in mid-2019. Since no one knew Covid was right around the corner, there was no urgency to get the job done, so the crew held off on construction for a bit.
“Delays piled up, but luckily the timing worked out,” says Rich Heritage, son of Bill and Penni. The new temperature-controlled space opened early last month. Now, with vaccination rates rising, “We’re in a good place to accommodate those starting to venture out,” he says.
William Heritage Winery’s new indoor space has more room for tables and chairs, as well as bar seating with a view of the vineyard. Wines, such as chardonnays, merlots and rosés, can be enjoyed in the temperature-controlled space regardless of what the weather’s like outside.
The Mullica Hill tasting room wasn’t the only project William Heritage Winery was working on in 2019. The family was also preparing to unveil a tasting room on Kings Highway in Haddonfield, which eventually opened in May 2020. It started off as a to-go spot for bottle sales, but a socially distanced tasting room was added in September.
After a dress shop closed next door, they jumped at the opportunity to expand the space, a project which they are hoping to complete by the end of July. “We opened, and within a year we are doubling the size of the space,” says Rich. Until then, guests can enjoy the existing tasting room, which will remain open until construction is complete.
Heading into the summer, Rich is most excited for the return of the Vino & Vibes music series held at the Mullica Hill winery. From June to August, live entertainment, food trucks and delectable wines liven up Thursdays nights, complete with a view of the sunset (“a golden, magical hour,” as he describes it) over the vineyard.
The winery is located at 480 Mullica Hill Rd. in Mullica Hill with an additional tasting room at 127 Kings Hwy. E in Haddonfield; reservations available. Join the Wine Club for special offers. Tickets for Vino & Vibes on sale May 21.Click here to leave a comment