Vino, verily, arriving soon

By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 


Starting next month, the Kearny Farmers Market will be offering a new, sweet treat as part of the fresh, Jersey-grown produce for its patrons.

We’re talking vino, folks.

The town governing body voted last Tuesday night to permit the Four Sisters Winery in Warren County to conduct wine tasting and sales on specified Thursdays – Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 – at the Farmers Market on Garfield St.

That’s contingent on state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board approval.

Councilwoman Susan McCurrie, Fourth Ward council representative on the Kearny Urban Enterprise Zone Development Corp. board that sponsors the market, said that during the past year, the state amended its regulations to allow the licensing of wine sales on a temporary basis.

McCurrie said she’s been advised that, “they run a very controlled operation.”

The only downside, from the customer’s point of view, is that senior vouchers won’t be accepted toward the purchase of wine at the market, McCurrie said.

Still, she noted, there will be opportunities to taste the product. “They’ll pour out a one and a half ounce free sample,” the councilwoman said.

Asked if there would be any restrictions on the number of samples available to a customer, McCurrie said: “I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. … We’ll have to be very diligent in checking IDs.”

And what will the winery people be charging for a bottle of their finest vino? “I understand the price is $20 and up,” McCurrie said.

“It’s all part of our policy of promoting New Jersey home-grown products,” she added.

If you’re wondering about the product, here’s some background on Four Sisters Winery from its website: The Belvidere-based property “sits nestled in a beautiful valley amidst the rolling fields and picturesque hills of Warren County ….”

The business, opened in 1984, is run by Matty Matarazzo “on his 250-acre farm” where visitors are welcome, January through April, for “educational tours and comprehensive wine tastings.” It has “won over 100 regional, national, and international awards for red, white and fruit wines.”

Don’t expect to find “traditional European varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, etc.,” the website warns, since they can’t abide the frigid winters of America.

Their wines “are made from grapes known as a Vitis Labrusca (Native American) and a French American Hybrids, which are a crossbred of traditional European varieties and Native American varieties” adaptable to “cold weather viticulture” in the U.S.

Four Sisters has recently planted “two new varieties [of grapes] known as Frontenac and Marquette from the University of Minnesota that are very cold hardy and can produce exceptional red wines.”

And they have a sevenacre apple orchard that produces juice for several of their wines, such as “Sadie’s Apple, Spicy Sisters and Captain’s Choice.”

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