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Vine vignettes hit the airwaves tonight

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The tasting room at Unionville Winery. A crew member who posted a photo of the winery drew surprise on social media when he revealed he took the picture at Unionville, not Napa.
The tasting room at Unionville Winery. A crew member who posted a photo of the winery drew surprise on social media when he revealed he took the picture at Unionville, not Napa. - (NJBIZ file)

In its latest bid to build awareness from residents about Garden State vintages, the New Jersey Wine Growers Association will begin airing a half-hour long feature about the industry on Comcast channels around the state tonight.

Association spokesman Tom Cosentino said the show, produced last fall by NJ Discover, fits into the group's overall strategy of keeping the industry at the forefront for residents.

Cosentino said the perception is that California has always been a hotbed for wine, but in reality, the industry did not take off there until the mid-1970s. In terms of industry development, he said, New Jersey is in a similar situation as California before the explosion of interest in wine.

The show, which will air every Wednesday on local Comcast networks at 8:30 p.m., is composed of several vignettes featuring winemakers from around the state. Stories include the history of the craft, some of the legal roadblocks to growing the industry and how technology is changing the way wine is made.

Cosentino said the show is part of a new marketing strategy, based on branching out from the association's popular festival schedule. The strategy is designed to get people out onto the wine trails that cross the state. The association is also working on transforming its "passport" into a mobile app that will guide guests to the different locations.

Because many of the wineries in the state are off the beaten path, Cosentino said he hopes that, in conjunction with new maps, the television show tells the stories of these wineries through photos of the various locations.

He said an NJ Discover crew member sent out a photo from Unionville Winery through social media, with the question "Where am I?" Responses included Napa and Tuscany, but it created a stir when the crew member revealed he was in Ringoes, Cosentino said.

Correction appended: NJ Discover produced the show. An earlier version of this story had the wrong name.

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