Until I went to Cape May I did not know that there were wineries in the area. There are five wineries nearby on the Cape May Wine Trail. Cape May has a similar climate to Bordeaux in France with wineries producing a variety of grapes including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pino Grigio, Merlot and Riesling. You can buy the wines from the wineries or in local liquor stores and in some restaurants. I would buy a bottle and take it to the BYOB restaurants like the Peter Shields Inn or to the many others in town.
I had a chance to visit and try:
Cape May Winery & Vineyard: At 711 Townbank Rd., north of downtown, this is a winery offering dry white and red varietals as well as sweeter whites and reds. On the dry red wine side, you can taste Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Rose.
Willow Creek Winery & Farm: The beautiful winery and tasting room is located at 160-168 Stevens St. near the Cape May Lighthouse. It produces a number of whites plus a good number of reds, including Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. On the property are six rental cottages where you can stay in the summer months and during the fall harvest.
Other wineries on the Wine Trail include Jessie Creek Winery, Natali Vineyards and Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery. I was able to visit all of three on my recent trip.
Jessie Creek Winery is located at 1 Route 47 North in Cape May Courthouse, NJ, north of Cape May and west of Wildwood. This winery first planted in 2002 and and opened their tasting room in 2012. The vineyards are harvested and processed by hand. They produce a number of wines including a chardonnay, rose, port, red blend, merlot, chambourcin and two fruit wines. I enjoyed the rose and the chambourcin, which is a varietal that I have had in Missouri and Illinois. They have special events including music performances and paint and sip classes.
Nearby is Natali Vineyards at 221 N. Delsea Dr. (Rt. 37 North) in Cape May Courthouse, NJ. They grow 15 different varieties of grapes produce 27 different types of dry whites and reds, semi sweet whites and reds, blends and fruit wines. I enjoyed tasting the Cedar Hammock which is a blend of cabernet franc and cabernet.
Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery is located on a 100+ acre farm north of Cape May. Operated by a husband and wife team on a third generation farm, they produce a number of white and reds. I enjoyed very much the Quill Blend and the Flying Press Rose. They have a large tasting room that also features the Rootstock vineyard concert series Friday nights in July and August. On Saturdays they feature wine, music and food pairings and on Sundays they have Sangria Sundays with live music, house-made sangrias and food offerings.