Memorial Day weekend at the shore can be crowded and for locals, maybe it’s a time when driving north becomes very appealing. If you’re one of those locals, take a short trip up to Morris County for the first New Jersey wine festival of the season.
Spend your Memorial Day weekend with the Garden State Wine Growers Association where they’ll be hosting the first New Jersey wine festival, “Blues, Wine & BBQ Festival,”of the season at the idyllic Schooley’s Mountain Park. This two-day event will be held on Saturday, May 23rd – Sunday, May 24th and will feature 19 New Jersey wineries, live music from Slim Chance & The Gamblers and The Fins, and mouth watering BBQ from some of the best BBQ pit masters in the state.
It’s a chance to pop a cork from your favorite winery, grab a beach chair, peruse the craft vendors offering everything from hot sauces to local delicacies, and jam to some soulful music. Sounds like a great Memorial Day weekend to us!
“This festival is one of the hallmark events of our year,” said John Cifelli, Executive Director of Garden State Wine Growers Association who hosts a number of wine festivals throughout the season.
Kicking off New Jersey Wine Festival Season
The new theme of “Blues, Wine & BBQ” is set to reinvigorate the popular New Jersey wine festivals throughout the state. For Cifelli, the three components were a natural fit.
“Wine compliments any food type, including BBQ,” said Cifelli who recommends pairing your favorite chicken or pork BBQ with a New Jersey Riesling or Viognier and a classic New Jersey Cabernet, Syrah, or Merlot with short ribs or roasted lamb.
In addition to tasty wine, authentic BBQ, and rockin’ music, the event will also feature the New Jersey Wine Competition awards ceremony. On Saturday, the three “Governor’s Cup” trophies will be awarded to New Jersey wineries for the best overall, best dessert, and best fruit wine categories. Over 300 wines will be tasted and judged by sommeliers, fine wine distributors, boutique liquor storeowners, and restaurateurs.
You may not be able to vote, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to sample some of the wines. While you’re there, you’ll have the opportunity to taste hundreds of wines made from New Jersey grown grapes. Get to know the winemaking teams throughout the state and learn more about the latest vintages and releases. You’ll love New Jersey even more after a few sips!
To conclude the event, the Garden State Wine Growers Association will be awarding a lucky wine lover a wine tasting trip to Spain. If you’re just a tad jealous, be sure to pick up your own New Jersey wine trail passport (or download their new app) to collect stamps as you sip across the state. Fill your wine trail passport up with every glass so you can enter for a chance to win a stamp in your actual passport.
Tickets to this New Jersey wine festival can be purchased at the gate for $25 or online. Check out the weekend pass so you don’t miss one beat, sip, or rib!