Day 2 – Three More Wineries
The second day of the winery tour of NJ took place nearly a week later on June 11. This time we visited three wineries in Monmouth, Ocean, and Mercer counties. It was only the second day of our tasting adventure so, for me at least, I was still getting used to the ways of wine tasting and still learning the difference between wines. I also began a personal quest – find the one winery where I could actually enjoy a glass of cabernet sauvignon.
Winery #4 – Cream Ridge Winery, Cream Ridge (www.creamridgewinery.com)
The first stop of the day was Cream Ridge Winery. This winery was named the winery of the year in 2005 and their specialty fruit wines, particularly the chocolateberry (a red raspberry wine with chocolate) is a tasty surprise with dessert. The Chocolateberry is first sweet and then the taste of chocolate fills your mouth. Cream Ridge is the only winery where we have found this type of wine.
I bought a bottle of the Fredonia, which I will be finally opening this weekend.
Winery #5 – Laurita Winery, New Egypt (www.lauritawinery.com)
On our way to Laurita Winery, we got lost. Not because the winery and vineyards are difficult to find, but once you drive past the bed and breakfast and the stables that share the property, you enter into a different world. Many of the wineries we visit are small, family-run, vineyards with a quaint tasting room. Although it is these things, Laurita is in a different arena altogether. Not that I mind – the setting (as you can see in the pictures below) is gorgeous and relaxing. There is nothing like enjoying a glass of wine on the patio at Laurita. The 2006 Chardonnay Reserve and the 2006 Chardonnay Naked were simply great and as someone who typically finds chardonnay to taste like band aids, that is a huge compliment. Unfortuntely, we didn’t get to try the Chambourcin which was chosen as one of the Top Five NJ Wines of 2009.
Winery #6 – Silver Decoy Winery, Hightstown (www.silverdecoywinery.com)
The third and final winery of the day was Silver Decoy, a quite charming (how can a winery where the first you see is an Ugly Duckling sign not be?) winery and tasting room. My favorite wine here was the 2008 Traminette, the most popular white. Other favorites were the 2009 Syrah and the 2008 Riesling. We enjoyed so many wines at Silver Decoy, that it is no surprising that at Silver Decoy we learned the value of a 10 percent discount.
More photos from the day: