Kegs & Corks: Jessie Creek Winery

For this week’s “Kegs & Corks” special feature, we sat down with co-owners Art Reale and Dr. Bruce Morrison at Jessie Creek Winery’s Friday night Sunset on the Vineyard to savor slow-cooked BBQ delicacies in a charming ambiance. Set aside from the bustling scene of Route 47, Jessie Creek features a wrap-around porch equipped with several rocking chairs that overlooks its beautiful 5-acre vineyard. New this summer season, Sunset on the Vineyard Fridays allow visitors to celebrate the winery’s breathtaking dusks with live entertainment, food, and a bonfire from 5:30-8 pm through Labor Day. Co-owner Art Reale invites all Cape May County residents and visitors to “come eat and enjoy our wine. We always have fun here.”

The performer and menu varies week to week, making each and every Sunset on the Vineyard experience unique. BBQ pulled pork grilled to perfection accompanied by fresh salad and hardy Italian entrees and sides are just a few of the past Jessie Creek specialties diners have enjoyed. Jessie Creek’s facilities include both ample indoor and outdoor spaces, making it the ideal Friday night destination in both rain or shine. Sunsets on the Vineyard also afford visitors a chance to sample this young winery’s acclaimed wines.

Having celebrated its one year anniversary this past April, Jessie Creek Winery has accomplished in its short life what most renowned wineries hope to achieve over several years. To date, it has received five medals at the annual New Jersey Wine Grower’s Competition. In 2012, Jessie Creek’s Cabernet Sauvignon won a silver and their Merlot came away with a bronze. With an even more impressive showing in 2013, the Jessie Creek Merlot was awarded a silver medal while both the Cabernet and Chardonnay received bronze.

Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay, Jessie Creek is equipped with the perfect sandy soil within this unique “Micro Mini Climate” that allows for an extended grape growing season. The vineyard at Jessie Creek is harvested and processed on site by hand. This results in a flavor and quality that can only be captured in a boutique facility.

$5 tastings are available daily from 11 am to 5 pm and feature Jessie Creek’s lovely Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, a Chambourcin, a Pinot Grigio, and a bright Chardonnay. More recent additions to the Jessie Creek inventory include the On the Way to Cape May Cranberry and Concord Grape Fruit Wines, light, sweet, and perfect for a summer evening. Co-owner Dr. Bruce Morrison also gave us an exclusive taste of Jessie Creek’s latest fermentation project, blueberry wine made with Jersey fresh berries.

Jessie Creek’s tasting room allows visitors a unique view of the intimate side of boutique wine’s production. Staff walks visitors through the entire production process, from the vine to the crusher to the fermentation process. From there, guests are introduced to the hand bottling and corking process through which Jessie Creek staff truly puts a personal touch to each wine bottle.

Jessie Creek Winery also hosts dozens of benefits, weddings, and special events throughout the summer season and features its own banquet space to accommodate such crowds. To schedule your own event on Jessie Creek’s beautiful grounds or for more info on tastings, call 609-536-2092 or visit them at 1 North Route 47 in Cape May Court House.

By Megan Kummer