The Wildwoods and wine make the perfect combination.
The Wildwoods are in the midst of an ever-burgeoning wine country – just minutes from seven impressive vineyards producing some of the area’s finest wines. This phenomenon is no coincidence however, as sandy soils along with Southern New Jersey’s unique mild climate make the area surrounding the Wildwoods an ideal environment for grape growing and wine making.
With the Wildwoods Second Season well underway and grape harvesting at its peak, the ideal fall vacation for wine lovers who also enjoy the tranquility of the beach and boardwalk in the fall, cool breezes, bountiful sunshine and fun-filled special events and festivals, a stay in the Wildwoods is the ideal choice. In addition, fall rates at the many hotels-motels that remain open during this period make for a very affordable getaway.
The fall event and festival schedule is jam-packed with so many exciting things to see and do after visiting the area vineyards. Starting right after Labor Day, every weekend is loaded with fun events such as the Roar to the Shore Motorcycle Rally, Philadelphia Mummers String Band Show, Hydrofest Power Boat Races, Classic Car Auction and Boardwalk Classic Car Show, Seafarers’ Celebration, Olde Time Italian Festival, Monster Truck Races on the Beach, The Race of Gentleman Vintage Car & Motorcycle Beach Drag Races, The Seafood and Music Festival and the Fabulous ‘50s Weekend to name a few.
A quick tour of the vineyards surrounding the Wildwoods illustrates that New Jersey lives up to its moniker as “The Garden State.” New Jersey’s southernmost region is an agricultural hub for wine cultivation. Rich farmland is home to acres of vineyards whose grapes patiently transform into award-winning, hand crafted fine wines. Wines from these local wineries are even served in many of the Wildwoods’ fine restaurants offering a great dining experience to a beautiful fall getaway.
Willow Creek Winery
Willow Creek Winery, the area’s newest and largest winery located in West Cape May is just 20 minutes from the Wildwoods. Willow Creek Winery handcrafts sustainable wines that are also bottled on their beautiful 50-acre estate. Take a guided tour of their vineyard or stroll through their scenic gardens before settling into a seat at the bar for tastings at their 12,000-square-foot hand carved post and beam winery with luxurious leather couch seating areas. Enjoy their estate wines and signature sangria slushies and the delicious tapas menu offered daily – all on the beautiful outside brick patio overlooking the fireplace.
Turdo Vineyards, a quaint, family-owned winery in North Cape May, offering year-round tastings of their award-winning Italian grape wines served in a hospitable atmosphere. With 100% of the fruit estate-grown, this charming winery produces quality varietals such as Sangiovese, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and their signature wine, Nero D’Avola. Less than 10 miles from the Wildwoods, this winery is well worth the short scenic drive.
Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery
Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery, located in Rio Grande – just a short drive from the Wildwoods, offers special events and tours year-round on their sprawling 100-plus acre farm. Three generations of the Wuerker family have lovingly cultivated the farmland while nature provides the perfect conditions for growing grapes with its sandy soils and cool ocean breezes. Guests visit the tasting room, open daily year-round, for educational tastings of their current wine releases, or embark on a guided tour of the vineyard and winery facility. In season, enjoy live music and refreshments at Saturdays on the Crushpad and Sangria Sundays.
Jessie Creek Winery
Also a short drive from the Wildwoods awaits an intimate wine tasting experience at the Jessie Creek Winery in Cape May Court House. Providing a flavorful bounty of their five varieties including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Chambourcin and Pinot Grigio, is the objective of this Jersey Shore Winery. This winery sets the stage for a romantic getaway or extended visit for lovers of wine and history.
Just 20 minutes from the Wildwoods in Cape May Court House, Natali Vineyards boasts, “The wine is made in the vineyard." During the summer season Natali hosts popular “Wine It Down Wednesdays” at their cozy outdoor picnic area. Open in the fall and winter seasons, Natali Vineyards offers numerous events, such as Harvest and Crush, an afternoon featuring live jazz music, contests, food, tastings and more.
Cape May Winery
Cape May Winery, located in North Cape May, is a must-see tourist destination for wine lovers visiting the Wildwoods – and those who enjoy the scenic outdoors. It offers comprehensive wine tours on their sprawling property and “six for six” tastings of their signature wines. A wide assortment of red, white and fruit wines are available for tasting, coupled with a tranquil view. Among three tasting rooms and four different vineyards producing 20 varieties of wine, you are bound to find more than a few to please. The charming deck and breathtaking views of the 150-acre property give this North Cape May attraction its appeal.
With many of the region’s best wineries just minutes from the Wildwoods, lots of great events and festivals and a number of fine restaurants throughout the Wildwoods, visitors to this southern New Jersey shore destination can enhance their vacation getaway with a visit to some of the East Coast’s finest wineries.
The Wildwoods and wine, as it turns out, are a perfect combination for a memorable fall getaway.
About the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority