The wineries in Cape May are just a lovely way to spend an afternoon, whether you hit just one or do a mini winery tour as I am suggesting. For me visiting wineries is not just about the wine (let me be clear I do love the wine), it is actually about the whole experience. Wineries are venues like no other and I always want to take it all in from the lush vineyards to the alfresco dining.
The three wineries I will cover here are fairly close to each other. They all have their own distinct personalities and vibe. Please note that due to current health concerns, the wineries have had to temporarily adapt their offerings.
Let me start with the smallest winery, Turdo Vineyards & Winery, on 5 prolific acres. A family-owned and operated winery that has produced excellent award-winning selections for over ten years. Sal and Sarah Turdo with their son, Luca take tremendous pride in the quality of their hand-crafted wines and welcoming visitors for a tasting or to enjoy some wine with a snack on the patio. Private wine tastings and parties can also be scheduled two weeks in advance during the summer months.
When you go, I do recommend sampling the “orange wine” TURIS Arancio. It is a copper-colored wine that has a unique robust and bold flavor. Their Facebook page has tons of fabulous reviews and clearly very loyal and devoted fans! Fun Fact—they are the only winery in the state of New Jersey that is entirely powered with solar energy! Don’t be fooled by the size, this little piece of Italy it is definitely a must visit.
Our next winery, Cape May Winery & Vineyard is less than two miles away from Turdo Winery—that’s just 3 minutes by car or 7 mimutes on a bike. You have likely seen and sampled Cape May Winery wines available all over town, but it is so much better in person if you know what I mean.
This much larger winery sits on over 150 acres around Cape May. They harvest 26 acres across 4 vineyards and grow 11 grape varietals. The current owners, Toby Craig and his daughter Betsy Sole, purchased the property in 2003. The entire history is a fascinating read that can be found in Our Story on their website.
The Cape May Winery experience is similar to some of the west coast wineries I have visited. In addition to tours and delightful wine tastings, they have their award winning wines by the bottle and on tap (need that for my home). There are also culinary options such as Tapas, Sunday brunch in Summer and Fall and a lovely Pop-Up Dinner Series. The Tapas menu is awesome with offerings from your typical (but not ordinary) cheese and charcuterie board to lobster sliders and Tuna Poke Tacos. The large patio with bright, colorful umbrellas is the ideal spot to enjoy! Wait, maybe the decks are the ideal spot… The live music and soft sounds of the fountains adds to the tranquil mood. Then there’s also the comfy fire pit areas with lounge furniture for chilly days or evenings. There are also several comfortable seating areas inside as well (make sure you check out the cool grapevine chandelier). It’s all divine!
Cape May Winery is also a spectacular choice to host your private event. Although they do not do wedding ceremonies or receptions, many other smaller parties are perfect for one if their 3 event rooms such as rehearsal dinners, bridal and baby showers, anniversary parties —the list goes on. The Main Tasting Room can accommodate up to 100 guests comfortably. For smaller events, there is also the Tap Room suitable for up to 75 guests and Port Cellar for up to 35 guests. Of course, outside is also another amazing option. If you are so inclined, it is possible to rent the entire winery! Catering is either from their in-house Chef or The Washington Inn. There is a full FAQ with tons more info on their website.
I would be remiss if I did not also mention that the Cape May Winery was doggie friendly. You can read more about other pooch friendly Cape May things in my earlier post.
Last but by no means least, let’s finish at Willow Creek Winery which is only 5 miles away and the only winery on Cape Island. The largest of the three wineries, it boasts 50 acres of vineyard producing 13 varietals of award-winning wines yet again. The owner of the winery, Barbara Bray Wilde, opened it to the public in 2012 and is also the owner of the Southern Mansion, a magnificent Bed and Breakfast on Washington Street in Cape May.
Once again, there are wine tastings and tours, but Willow Creek offers lunch and dinner as well, with a Farm to Table menu. Reservations can be made on-line and are highly recommended. The grand indoor space has towering beamed ceilings and breathtaking crystal chandeliers. Outside the patio wraps around the building and is adjacent to the vineyards. There are rocking chairs, Adirondack chairs, cozy seating areas, umbrella tables and fire pits (check out Fire Pit Fridays) to satisfy everyone’s pleasure. A lovely outdoor enclosed wine bar area adds additional fun seating.
Willow Creek does host wedding and receptions up to 400 guests in addition to smaller events (as few at 10 guests). Their team has over 20 years of experience and can assist with coordinating your day including florists, photographers, transportation and even overnight accommodations. A convenient event inquiry form is available on their website.
Sleeping accommodations are unique to Willow Creek. There are six stunning cottages and one house for rent onsite! Each one has its own unique style and charm. They range in size from 1 bedroom to 5 bedrooms and 1 to 3.5 baths. They are available through Airbnb, but you can see quickly find them from the Where to Stay section of their website.
All three wineries can get very busy during the weekends especially. They are very active in the spring and fall as well as the summer. I highly suggest making reservations on their websites when even they are available. I also suggest checking out their event calendars, because they are always being updated with the latest and greatest. Here is a handy map to guide you to each location. Click on it to take you to it in Google Maps.
I truly hope you visit each one and enjoy them as much as I do. There is so much to cover on these great wineries, so let me know if you think I missed anything.
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