Derby fashion and wine at county festival

Veterans Island at Cooper River Park was full of enticing aromas from local wines and graced by vibrant Derby Day race fashion on May 4, as county commissioners and the orginzation Visit South Jersey hosted the fourth annual Down and Derby Wine Festival.

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From 2 to 7 p.m., attendees had the opportunity to taste a variety of wines provided by some of the area’s top vineyards, including Salem Oak Vineyards, Auburn Road, Sharrott Winery, Tomasello Winery, Valenzano Family Winery, Plagido’s, Villari Vineyards, Wagonhouse Winery and White Horse Winery.

Guests could also to purchase bottles at the event, for which Commissioner Jeff Nash expressed his enthusiasm.

“We looked forward to this event every year, as it was a great opportunity for residents and visitors to come out and experience all of the wonderful local wine and cuisine that this region has to offer,” he said.

“We encouraged everyone to join us to watch the biggest day in the horse racing schedule while supporting local businesses here in Camden County.”

The festival wasn’t just about wine tasting: Attendees were entertained and fed by food trucks, games and live music. The event’s was also a fashionable affair, with many attendees donning Derby-themed attire.

Michael Snyder, director of operations for Visit South Jersey, highlighted the distinctive aspects of the festival.

“This was one of our premier events highlighting nine award-winning wineries from South Jersey’s Outer Coastal Plain Wine Region, all of which cultivate their grapes from vineyards right here in South Jersey,” he explained. “It was without a doubt a great day of wine, food and music on the river, but my favorite part of this festival was seeing so many guests dressing in full Derby attire.

“It’s become a signature of the show and really sets it apart.”

Visit South Jersey, the official destination marketing organization for Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties – as well as the Outer Coastal Plain Wine Region – partnered with the commissioners board to host the event, supported in part by a grant from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism.

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