What to do When the Skies Aren’t Blue: Tastings & Tours

Cape May Winery & Vineyard

Many tend to think that a rainy day at the shore can’t be any fun, but the local breweries and wineries beg to differ! Prepare to send your taste buds on a journey as you travel this beer and wine trail and experience local hops and grapes to pass the gray day away.

Cape May Brewing Company, located at 1288 Hornet Rd., Cape May at the Cape May Airport, is one of the most well-known breweries in the area. During daily tours, the brewery’s resident “beer geeks” walk visitors through each careful step of the brewing process and answer any and all of your questions. For just $5, guests can enjoy both the informative tour and tastings of four of the brewery’s beers. Add an additional $5 and you can take home a souvenir pint glass! For those patrons who just can’t get enough, the brewery now offers 32 and 64 oz. refillable growlers. The passionate staff makes this brewery experience one that guests will not soon forget. For more information, visit www.capemaybrewery.com.

New to the area, Slack Tide Brewing Company, located at 1072 Route 83, Clermont, operates on a simple philosophy: create a diverse and high-quality line of beers made with all natural ingredients sourced locally whenever possible. Stop by for a tour or tasting and you’ll see why visitors look forward to coming back. For more information, visit www.slacktidebrewingco.com.

Historic Cold Spring Village has added another historic building to its exciting collection. The brand new Cold Spring Brewery is housed within a restored and reconstructed 1804 three bay English-style Cape May County barn from Upper Township. Located at 733 Seashore Rd., Cold Spring, Cape May within the Village’s 30 acres of restored historic structures, this beautifully finished tasting room is sure to transport you back in time. Try four samples for just $5, and take home a piece of history for $5 more with a souvenir glass. 32 and 64 oz. refillable growlers are also available. For more information, visit www.hcsv.org.

Another new brewery, Ludlam Island Brewery located at 9 Stoney Ct., Ocean View, brings a unique variety of craft beers to the north Jersey Shore area. With names like “Fish Alley IPA” and “Harry’s Coffee Pale Ale,” you can’t resist visiting this new spot to see how great beer is made! For more information, visit ludlamisland.com.

Containing over 70 acres with four different vineyards, Cape May Winery & Vineyard, located at 711 Town Bank Rd., Cape May, offers enticing spots to unwind, relax, linger and enjoy, both indoor and out. From the multiple seating areas in the spacious tasting room and port cellar, to the scenic deck overlooking the vineyard, guests are guaranteed to enjoy the ideal tasting treat. Experience six of Cape May Winery’s wines and get a souvenir glass for $8, or spend $20 and get a tour, a lesson, a wine tasting, a fruit and cheese tray and a souvenir glass to remember your experience. For more information, visit www.capemaywinery.com.

Jessie Creek Winery, located at 1 N. Delsea Dr., Cape May Court House, 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. When it comes time to taste, choose from a variety of wines which includes Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and fruit wines. For more information, visit www.jessiecreekwinery.com.

Willow Creek Winery, located at 160-168 Stevens St., West Cape May, is home to a 50-acre vineyard. On daily vineyard tours, guests can learn about the growth of these vines and how to identify each specific grape. Post-tour, guests can take a seat at the beautiful wine bar for tastings of the estate wines, signature sangria slushies and wine cocktails. Tours and tastings occur daily, and reservations are suggested. Basic wine tastings are $10 a person and include five wine samples. For $25 a person, hop aboard the eco-friendly electric tour cart and enjoy a tour followed by an educational wine tasting. Also for $25 a person, experience a privately seated wine tasting as an educator walks you through the winery’s finest seven wines and sangrias. For more information, visit www.willowcreekwinerycapemay.com.

Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery is located on a sprawling 100+ acre farm at 600 S. Railroad Ave., Rio Grande. Nestled between the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the vineyard is a natural born safe harbor of serenity and abundance. Visit the wine bar for an educational tasting of a selection of wines while a guide answers any questions you may have and helps you to find a wine you love. Or, get a more in-depth experience as you tour the facility. Taste through the wines as your guide leads you through every step of the wine making process, from the vineyard to the vast steel tanks and French oak barrels, and learn the history of Hawk Haven as you sip. $25 per person includes the tour, the wine tasting, cheese and a souvenir glass. Reservations suggested. For more information, visit www.hawkhavenvineyard.com.

Experience wine made from 14 different varieties of French, Italian and Spanish grapes at Natali Vineyards, located at 221 N. Delsea Dr., Cape May Court House. Recently, Natali Vineyards has expanded its wine making craft to the production of fruit wines. Come try these wines and more at one of the winery’s daily tastings, or tour the premises and see how this wine is made to please the local palate. For more information, visit www.natalivineyards.com.