Hoping wine bill gets better with age
Like a good merlot, winemakers’ direct-shipping bill could get better with age.
An interesting story in the Press of Atlantic City focuses on the bill’s long-term effects, since it clears the way for New Jersey to issue new winery licenses. The region envisions this will make South Jersey a tourist destination for oenophiles, like California’s Napa Valley or the Finger Lakes, in upstate New York.
Wine is clearly a growing practice in the state. When I attended Waterloo Village’s annual wine and blues festival — before Waterloo Village became a deer-and-squirrel paradise following its defunding by the state — there were a few dozen wineries in New Jersey; now, the number is 50 and growing. And just like its people, wines from North Jersey (brash, intense, hampered by proximity to New York) are very different from those in South Jersey (mellow, smooth, hampered by proximity to Philadelphia).
But whether it creates a tourism industry is another matter. Personally, I take the three-hour trek to Cape May at least once a year to visit what I consider the state’s best winemaker, and more importantly, to keep my case club membership valid. Sure, I find other stuff to do, but the ability to have the wine sent straight to me would probably put a big dent in those pilgrimages.
Hopefully, though, my experience is an outlier, and there would, in fact, be a tourism boost here. That would be especially good since the state’s other top tourist attraction has mysteriously lost some of its luster. (Link is NSFW, for language.)
I’m even more irreverent on Twitter @joe_arney.