After graduating from Vassar College in 1997, vintner Tom Carroll Jr. continued his education in California, where he taught himself about viticulture and enology to achieve a lifelong dream of opening a winery. Three years later, he returned to his hometown to found Crossing Vineyards on a plot of land situated a short distance from George Washington’s Delaware River crossing. The winery mingles historic charm and pastoral surroundings with modern technologies, such as a sterile HVAC bottling system and solar-energy panels. Tom and his parents, also co-owners, built the facility around eco-friendly winemaking practices, such as composting waste and using cover crops, a technique that prevents topsoil erosion and helps vintners sing the young grapevines to sleep.
Crossing Vineyards' European-style wines have won more than 115 awards in both national and international competitions over the past 12 years. The winery offers tastings and wine-pairing classes in an onsite educational area and hosts an annual summer wine-and-music series on its sprawling, 15-acre property.
If it weren't for a pesky aphid, Renault Winery may never have existed. When parasitic bug wiped out much of Europe's grape crop, it forced master vintner Louis Nicholas Renault to move from France to the United States. He eventually settled in New Jersey, a state that boasts a similar climate to France and a similar accent to Parisians. Here, he cultivated American grapes that were unfettered by the insects, turning Renault Winery into a prize-winning establishment and eventually into a New Jersey historical site.
Today, the winery offers tours of its storied grounds, inviting visitors to peruse while sampling a wide variety of reds, whites, and champagne. The space also doubles as a popular wedding venue and even houses a golf course on site.
Two buffalos graze between hundreds of fruit-bearing trees. But it?s the grapes sprouting throughout Cassinelli Winery & Vineyards' 110 wooded and open acres that matter most. Each hand-selected and sustainably farmed grape emerges from the earth to take its first step toward becoming one of 12 wines produced at the vineyard. Those include a 2009 Barbera reserve and a 2009 Merlot, bronze- and gold-medal winners, respectively, at the Maryland Governor?s Cup, a cup always filled with wine or melted cheese. Seven total medals have distinguished Cassinelli wines, which the company?s owners share at their tasting room, events, and a quartet of outlets throughout the state.
One pound of sliced Angus steak topped with a mix of melted cheese and Guinness barbecue sauce, served alongside a basket of fries. For finishing this behemoth yourself, the personnel at Harper's Pub treat you to a complimentary drink and add your snapshot to their wall of fame. More often, however, the kitchen whips up smaller sandwiches, wraps, and burgers packed with ingredients ranging from ranchero sauce to mozzarella sticks. Over at the bar, bartenders draw draft beer from 18 tap lines and stock 40 types of seasonally appropriate bottled beers in the fridge. Open until 3 a.m., the pub entices night owls with free WiFi, broadcasts of Sunday-, Monday-, and Thursday-night football games, and weekly hooting lessons.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Wine
Alcohol: Wine Only
Delivery / Take-out Available: No
Outdoor Seating: Yes
What?s the best reaction you?ve ever gotten from a customer?
Best fruit wines.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
We have an excellent selection of both dry and semi-sweet wines. We offer many fruit wines including Nectarine, Cranberry, Apple, Blueberry and Cherry. Our whites include Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Our Estate Gruner Veltliner. (Only two wineries in New Jersey grow this grape.) Our dry reds include Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
All of our fruit wines are made with 100% fruit. We do not add any artificial favors or coloring.
When Wagonhouse Winery owners Dan and Heather Brown were first starting their business, they were also starting a family. As the couple worked vineyards on land owned by generations of Browns, they raised three adorable boys?Dallas, Dawson, and Dower?honoring them with a specialty sweet-wine label. Visitors share in the family's joy with tastings, sipping cabs and chardonnays while snacking on cheese from Cherry Grove Farm. The rustic tasting room surrounds guests with dark varnished wood, rocking chairs, barrels, and a shuffleboard table, evoking the image of an old-timey colonial tavern or grandpa's secret man cave.