Valenzano Winery gears up for 10th annual WineFest

Valenzano Winery is gearing up for its 10th annual WineFest running Sept. 15 and Sept. 16.

“Our goal is really just to put on a great party that everyone will enjoy,” said Tony Valenzano, owner of Valenzano Winery, in a statement. “It seems we know how to throw a party, because WineFest has grown from a few hundred people in 2002 to New Jersey’s largest wine festival. We expect over 8,000 for our 10-year anniversary.”

Valenzano’s will have a sample table, in addition to the other wineries in attendance. Guests can expect to try new wines, including two new red wines.

“We will be sampling our 2009 Merlot Reserve and our 2010 Cabernet/Merlot which both took gold medals in their category in last month’s anticipated New Jersey Monthly Magazine Wine Competition. Our 2010 Cabernet/Merlot was the overall highest scored wine in the competition,” Valenzano said.

The other wineries in attendance this year include, Hawk Haven Vineyards from Cape May, Cava Winery from Hamburg, N.J., Alba Vineyards, DeBella Winery, Coda Rosa Vineyards and Old York Cellars. This will be the second year wineries other than Valenzano’s have participated in WineFest.

“This will be the second year that the Valenzano’s will be opening their doors to fellow N.J. wineries. We look forward to the friendly competition and to helping new wineries grow their business in N.J.,” Valenzano said.

Samples of Jersey Devil Honey Wine, Blueberry Bubbly, Cranpange and Red, White and Blue Sangria will all be available, as well, for tasting. Additionally, each bottle of Red, White and Blue Sangria sold will contribute $1 to Operation Troop Aid, a fundraiser Valenzano’s has donated $64,000 dollars to.

“To date, Valenzano Winery has donated over $64,000.00 to our foundation. Their contributions have been extremely helpful and greatly appreciated by the men and women serving our country,” said Mark Woods, founder of Troop Aid in a statement.
Woods will be in attendance at WineFest, pouring glasses of sangria to guests and talking about his charity and those who benefit from the donations.

Troop Aid isn’t the only charity Valenzano’s is donating to. More than a dozen charities locally, including Indian Mills Athletic Association, local animal shelters and Boy Scouts of America, are all supported through WineFest in addition to numerous other foundations.

More than 60 local craft vendors will have products available in the craft bazaar for guests. Shoppers can experience local fashion, crafts and hobbies and allows guests to leave with more than just bottles of wine.

“The bazaar is always a big part of WineFest. It’s a truly unique shopping experience hosted by great crafters available to talk about their crafts, hobbies and products. They’re a great group of people with lots of good conversation,” Valenzano said in a statement.
Local music and eateries, including the Pic-a-Lilli Inn, will be in attendance to WineFest.

“Mom’s Concessionaires, Star of The Sea Seafood and Tony and Dom’s Crabby Fries will all be there,” said Valenzano.

The event is kid and family friendly. Activities for the kids are offered, including music and crafts. The Honey Babes will be playing their pop songs specifically written for kids. Parents can also take their children to create sand art, get free pony rides and face painting.

“Its not too often that parents can enjoy a wine festival and not have to worry about their children being bored,” Valenzano said.
Tickets are $20 at the door, and $15 in advance through www.localwineevents.com and visiting Valenzano Winery at 1090 U.S. 206 located in Shamong.

The event will run from Sept. 15 through Sept. 16 beginning at noon and ending at 5 p.m. It is located at 1320 Old Indian Mills Rd in Shamong.

For more information on the event, call Valenzano’s at (609) 268–6731 or email events@ValenzanoWine.com.

“WineFest is our annual celebration. We do our best to make sure everyone can kick back, relax and enjoy a fun weekend,” said Valenzano.