Jon Paul, Dawson and myself and Max took a short trip out to Warren county on Saturday to take advantage of the state's wine trail weekend. The trip was well worth the effort as it turned out to be quite an enjoyable afternoon. We ended up visiting Alba Winery in Milford, NJ, which is located about a 1/2 hour south west of my home. Our visit began with a stop in their tasting room where we sampled 13 of their wines. The tasting room was located in a actual wine cellar. It was a very nice atmosphere, sampling their wines surrounded by dozens of huge oak barrels aging various types of wine. A $5 tasting fee entitled us to taste all thier wines and got us a complimentary wine glass.
The wines we tasted were:
1.Mainsail White (which JP purchased)
2. Dry Riesling
3. Riesling (which Dawson purchased)
4. Barrel Reserve Chardonnay
6. Old Mill Red (a Blend)
7. Chambourcin (which I purchased)
8. Heritage 2003 (Red Blend)
9. Alba Apple Wine
10. Blueberry Wine
11. Red Raspberry
12. Vintage Port
For the most part, we all liked the Whites, especially the Reislings and the Chamourcin. Also, as I recall, we could all do without the fruit wines, especially the Raspberry.
Next we were taken on a short tour of the winery where we were shown how the grapes are fermented, pressed, barrelled and corked. This was quite interesting and Max enjoyed the bottling machine the best. Finally we took a walk through the vineyard which was 30 plus acres of various types of grapes. The interesting part about the vineyard itself was the how little water the vines actually require. In fact were were told they prefer, near drought conditions. Each vine has a root systems that goes 10ft deep and is able to absore enought moisture from the earth to produce fruit. Because it was so early in the season, the grapes on the vines were hard as marbles and could not be eaten.
All in all, it was a fun and interesting afternoon and we all agreed we'd look to visit other New Jersey wineries in the future.