Saturday, September 18, 2010

Valenzano Wine Fest 2010 - Shamong, NJ

I know what you are thinking,and we were thinking the exact same thing, but it realy turned out to be a great afternoon with god friends!  Special thanks to Charnel for putting this all together, and organizing this event and reserving he private tent.  Getting a tent really is the way to go, and as you can see from the picture at the right, Rory had a grand old time!  LOL!

Along with the tent came 3 bottles of some of Valenzano's most horrific finest wines.  The got a bottle of their world not so famous Shamong Red, Cranberry, and 2007 Cabernet Merlot.  Now don't get me wrong here, as there are definitely people that like these wines.  I gave them all a chance, and tried each and every one of them, and I wasn't impressed to say the least.  For those who liked sweet wines, these just might be for you.  The cabernet/merlot I expected to be kind of interesting, but to me, it tasted like an oak stick.  I actually wonder if they add oak chips to the barrels to enhance the flavor of the oak.

Needless to say, we had a great time, and actually enjoyed some good wines, though not in a way that I am proud to admit.  But I will say that empty Dasani bottles can come in handy, along with bottles of your favorite wine in a cooler in the car!  ;-)  Thank God for large pockets in cargo shorts to make it easier to smuggle these in.

As far as the food goes, it was "carnival food" for the most part.  I grabbed a gyro from one of the catering places that was there, and it was your typical processed gyro meat on a cold pita that seemed a bit on the stale side.  The sauce was boring, the lettuce was wilted, and the onions tasted as though they were chopped 2 weeks prior.

Zelda opted for some wings from the Pic-A-Lilli where we have gone many times.  She got a basket of ears, wings, and tails, and these had great flavor, although they could have used some more time being cooked as they were not exactly hot.  But again, we weren't there for the food, and in the future, we now know that we should just order a giant 8 foot haogie to feed everyone.  We were smart enough however to bring snacks, and Charnel made a great dip.  There were also other chips, and brought a giant tray of pretzels from he Philly Pretzel Company.

The grounds themselves were beautiful with grape vines growing all over the place.  Unfortunately, I have no idea what kind of grapes they were, but from the looks and taste, I am guessing they were all Concord, and guessing that they were just there for show.  But with that said, it is effective, and it did look nice.

There was plenty of live music being played, and the grounds were absolutely packed!  You could also do some tasting, and the lines for tasting and to purchase other bottles was ridiculous.  What I found most amusing was the people walking around with bottle in one hang, glasses in another as though they were drinking Krug!  It really was a funny sight, but all that matters is that it was a great afternoon with great friends.

Definitely lookig forward to this event again next year, and again, we will be BYO'ing and drinking something other than NJ's finest!  It really was almost like being out in wine country, and what more could you ask for other than a great afternoon with great friends?  More to come! 

Below is information cut and pasted from their website:

September 18 & 19, 2010 - Noon to 5:30pm Valenzano Winery, Old Indian Mills Rd, Shamong, NJ

All information from their website at:

Come out and enjoy New Jersey's Favorite Wine & Music Festival. WineFest is our opportunity to celebrate the coming harvest and to put on a great party for our customers and friends. This will be our 8th year hosting WineFest and the event grows bigger and better each year. We doubled the size of the festival grounds to make room for more seating, picnicking area, more crafters and vendors. We also will have a larger wine sales tent making it easier and more convenient to get a glass or bottle of wine as you enjoy the concerts.

Musical Performers Include:
Gas House Gorillas - Saturday & Sunday
Scoville Blues Band - Sunday
South Saturn Delta - Saturday


* Wine Tasting with souvenir wine glass
* New Model Car Show by Cherry Hill Auto Group
* Helicopter Rides of the Pine Barrens
* Cheese Tasting by Cabot Creamery
* Children's Concert and activities by Studio Lulu

Participating Restaurants and Food Vendors:

* UpperCrust Restaurant & Pizza
* Murphy's Market & Catering
* Pic-A-Lilli
* Best of Show Catering
* J-Dogs Catering
* Corny Island
* Mom's Food Concessionaires

Advanced Tickets: $8.00
Tickets at the Gate: $12.00
Children Enter for FREE (under 17)
Tickets are valid for ONE DAY ONLY.
Two day ticketing is available.

Be sure to get your advanced tickets. It will save you money and time getting into the event.


* Parking on the road is prohibited. There is 20 acres of open parking right next to the entrance of the event. Why people continue to park on the road and walk a mile to the festival is beyond me. Last year I posted 75 signs along the side of the road informing people about our CONVENIENT FREE PARKING and asking them not to park on the road. All 75 signs were run over by parked cars.

* Alcoholic Beverages other than Valenzano Wines are strictly prohibited.

* Coolers and picnics are permitted but security will search bags and coolers upon entrance to the festival.

* Any found beer or liquor will be confiscated and consumed by our staff at a later time and location.

* Small, well behaved dogs are permitted as long as we do not get many complaints. I can handle a few complaints but if there are more than a handful we will no longer allow dogs.

* Pop-up Tents are not permitted. We sell Private Party Tents. If we are sold out of Private Party Tents it means that there is no more places that a tent can be placed where it wont be an obstruction to the other guests attending the festival.

* Wine consumption and having a good time is permitted and recommended

* Being drunk and out of control is not permitted. We reserve the right to stop serving anyone for any reason at any time. Refunds will not be given.

* Discounted Tickets are available to Designated Drivers. We encourage everyone to have a designated driver.

* Please be nice to our volunteers. It takes over 85 friend, family and volunteers to pull off WineFest. Not everyone is informed about all the aspects of our winery or the event.


1) There is no line for wine tasting
2) Step up to the tables and let our volunteers know what you would like to sample
3) step back to make room for the people behind you while you sample your wine
4) step back to the table when you would like another sample
5) Drink dry whites first, then dry reds, than sweet wines, and fruit wines last. If you sample in this order there is no need to constantly rinse your glass and you can actually TASTE the different characteristics in the specific wine.


phillywinefinder said...

There was an article in the Inquirer today about NJ Wineries. They were saying they want to compete with Napa, but it sounds like they have a long way to go.

Anonymous said...

For real, you had to sneak wine into this place in water bottles? How bad can their wine really be?