Sunday, 3 July 2016

From Ireland to NJ

Here we were visiting our old stomping grounds in southern New Jersey and were most pleased to learn that scores of vineyards had popped up all over the sandy reaches of the southern shore. We were staying at the Southern Mansion and decided to visit Cape May Vineyards. A relatively recent vineyard by French standards, it's a small place, impeccably detailed for tours.

The main building where the shop and tastings are done also has local products that complement wines, like bottle stoppers, glasses, Chesapeake Bay spiced peanuts, and lots of stuff with great quotes about wine.

We learned the oldest grapes were planted back in revolutionary times and that the current vineyards' oldest grapevines are about 20 years old. Some of them were aligned with the sun, others - the oldest section - were square to the house. They were trained so that the main stem reached the lowest support, two branches were tied to the main support in either direction and the branches up from there were all new growth. The grapes hung in clusters from the lowest branches. Interesting.

Their lowest supports were higher than ours by about a foot. I surmised it was to make it easier to harvest - no bending down required. Unfortunately, our main stem is not long enough to stand any higher! We'll have to wait and train a few years longer.

We learned from Genie (who wants to come to Ireland) that one wine, a merlot, holds it acidity longer. Alex thouht it was corked.
 Aside from that one, the others were very pleasant. In fact the white wines made from chardonnay grapes were very pleasant, aged both in oak and stainless steel vats

 We didn't understand why a vintner who managed to make an
exceptional wine high in tannins and almost reminiscent of a Bordeaux would allow one that was awful to be sold.

No matter. I am looking forward to the day when we too have awards to boast about. We learned a fair bit again. Let the learning continue. d