Farewell Wine Lovers

Hello Wine Lovers,

I’m sad to announce that my journey has come to an end. During my senior year at Rowan University I have had the privilege to blog my journey as I sipped through the South Jersey vineyards. In the beginning of the semester I was worried that I wasn’t educated well enough in the wine industry to write posts to educate my readers. I was very wrong. Throughout the semester many of you all have emailed, commented and shared my work. I truly appreciated all the love and encouragement throughout the semester.

My favorite part about writing this blog was meeting new people and trying new wines. Every winery I visited, everyone was so friendly and helpful. I want to thank those who took the time to share their story and passions about the wine industry. I learned a lot from speaking with you all and have developed many new skills when it comes to tasting wine or selecting a delicious bottle of wine.

By writing this blog, I gained a greater appreciation for wine. I now know the work and effort it takes to produce wine and maintain a winery. Here are some of my favorite posts throughout the semester.

  1. Wine Tasting with Heath Brown at Wagonhouse Winery
  2. Uncork the Fun at Sharrott Winery
  3. Meet Joanna Clarke
  4. Next Stop Plagido’s Winery
  5. SJS Wine Trail

Cheers,

Amanda Dean

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A Visit to Summit City Farms and Winery

Many people are unaware there is a winery located right in Glassboro, New Jersey. Before visiting Summit City Farms and Winery on Tuesday, December 13th, I couldn’t believe this winery was right around the corner from Rowan University.

Summit City Farms was established in 1922 as “Boulevard Orchards” by Gaetano DeEugenio on a 7 acre farm. Today, the land has stayed in the DeEugenio Family as they grow a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Five years ago, Lewis DeEugenio Jr. saw a new vision of the farm land and proceeded to grow grapes to produce wine. Lewis DeEugenio Jr. explained to that “We wanted to add a retail venue to our whole sale business. We raise acres of fruit but a small part of the fruit is not up to the quantity that could be sold to a retail market. We had the notion to turn the cold fruit into a useful product, and what an intriguing way to use the fruit and turn it into wine” (Lewis DeEugenio Jr ). It was interesting to hear Lewis DeEugenio Jr. speak about the benefits and challenges of owning his own winery.

While I was visiting Summit City Farms and Winery, I had the privilege to speak with Jim Johnson who is one of Lewis DeEugenio Jr.’s childhood friends. They grew up with each other and today they are business partners. Jim Johnson is the Winery Manager at Summit City Farms and Winery. Jim Johnson shared with me the most popular wines that Summit City Farms and Winery produce.

Jim John explains that “the number one in popularity is something we call the Summit Red. Which is a concord, great base, sweet wine and that is neck and neck with our White Peach Wine. Other interesting wines that are surprising popular is our Pumpkin Wine. We have sold a lot of pumpkin wine in the past few weeks” (Jim Johnson). 

While speaking with Lewis DeEugenio Jr. and Jim Johnson, I was able to understand that they didn’t establish the winery as an investment but a place where family and friends can come together and gather. This is one thing that stood out to me compare to other South Jersey’s wineries. Summit City Farms and Winery’s mission is to create an environment people can gather by celebrating life with wine, music and dance. Every weekend Summit City Farms and Winery provides live music and a open dance floor. 

Lewis DeEugenio Jr explains, “Our marketing theme as we began our winery within the past 3 years was to take old forms of music and dance .Oldies such as the Jitterbug, Cha Cha, Wagner Walk, Swing Dancing, Country Line Dancing and bring these music venues to our winery. We also enjoy live music. We have boughten local Jazz bands in to play here at our winery. Every Fridays and Saturdays we do music here”(Lewis DeEugenio Jr). 

Jim Johnson also shares his connection with music and explains that “When we were young kids, Lewis and I played in a band growing up. Music and dancing has been apart of our 60 year of friendship. Music and dancing is apart of who we are and we bring that to life here at this winery every weekend” (Jim Johnson). 

Watch this video and find out more about Summit City Farms and Winery. 

Wine Tasting with Heather Brown at Wagonhouse Winery

It’s official, I found my favorite winery here in South Jersey! On Thursday, December 1, 2016, I took a much needed study break and visited Wagonhouse Winery located in Swedesboro, New Jersey. I enjoyed every aspect while visiting this winery. Between tasting the delicious wine, meeting the friendly staff, exploring the vineyards and driving through the South Jersey scenic country side I actually forgot about school work for once and enjoyed myself. My favorite part about this winery was the tasting room. The room was decorated with beautiful Christmas decor that displayed a cozy feeling. While enjoying a wine tasting at Wagonhouse Winery, I had to privilege to speak with the owner, Heather Brown. Watch this video and learn what sparked her interest of starting her own winery.