The Wine Room of Cherry Hill, South Jersey Winemakers Anticipate Strong Crop of California Grapes
Wine lovers and winemakers in South Jersey are gearing up for what by all accounts will be a strong harvest of California grapes, and The Wine Room of Cherry Hill will be inviting them in to crush, press, barrel and bottle their own varietals beginning late September.
South Jersey’s only hands–on winemaking facility, The Wine Room of Cherry Hill combines old-country techniques with state-of-the-art, imported machinery to help anyone become a master winemaker. Individuals as well as groups of friends, relatives or co-workers can choose from among more than 30 types of wine to hand craft and then bottle and label with their own name listed as "winemaker."
“Due to very favorable weather after three straight years of delayed harvests, this year’s crop of California grapes will be of exceptional quality, and on time,” says Kenton Nice, owner of The Wine Room. “That makes for a lengthy winemaking season here in New Jersey. We expect our first trucks of grapes to arrive around Sept. 24, and continue well into October.”
Winemaking is less "work" and more of a "celebration" at The Wine Room, says Nice. Over the course of four visits, under the guidance of professionals, do-it-yourselfers will crush the grapes, press the juice from them, “rack” their barrel (siphon out the sediment) and ultimately bottle and label their wine. Each session involves about 40 minutes of effort, but winemakers spend about an hour and a half enjoying food, other wines, and each other’s company, in a setting designed to resemble a piazza in Tuscany. Winemaking is, above all, a social activity.
For those who aren’t in for a whole or half-barrel but want to give it a try, The Wine Room has a Winemaking Club. For just $65, individuals can join a winemaking group, and participate in the making of club wines.
The Wine Room is located at 1 Esterbrook Lane in Cherry Hill, N.J., right off Springdale Road. For more information on The Wine Room, or to enroll in winemaking, visit www.thewineroom.com or call 856-424-WINE (9463).