This Wine Wednesday I am getting back to my roots or better to my home state. I have been trying wines from across America this year and this week I finally tried one from my home state of New Jersey. The wine in question was the Rainer Rose from Tomasello Winery. While they say it was moderately sweet, for my palate it was very sweet, with raspberry and strawberry notes coming through quite strongly and then balanced with nice savory notes and minerality. It actually paired well with shrimp and with cheese. It brought out the sweetness in all of these other foods. While I have never visited the winery, it looks like the rest of New Jersey has. A great wedding location, the website gives many options for visiting and events you can attend. The family is now in its third generation running the business. It was started in 1933 by Frank Tomasello. He was a well-known berry grower in Hammonton, New Jersey. Apparently Frank was one of the first in the entire US to get a license to grow grapes and sell wine when Prohibition was repealed. His license number was 68. The winery is located in the Outer Coastal Plain AVA. The Rainer Rose was one of the first wines he made from Catawba. Catawba is a cross between vitis lambrusca and vitis vinifera grape vines. Catawba grows in the Northeast and is a hearty variety and is said to make great sparkling wine. Apparently even in the 1800s Nicholas Longworth made sparkling wines with Catawba in Ohio using this grape variety.
The AVA runs from Atlantic to Camden County. They have a long growing season because of their location and the mitigating impact of the ocean. The soils are sandy and loamy. They have over 30 varieties growing on their 70 acres. I’m open to trying more of their wines.