Is New Jersey the Next Napa?
Atlantic City, boardwalks, saltwater taffy, sure. Tank tops and reality TV, of course! But fine wine isn't what first comes to mind when you think of New Jersey. Still, a look at southern New Jersey's climate and terroir invites experts' comparisons to the famed conditions in Bordeaux and Burgandy that produce some of the world's most sought-after wine. After the "Judgement of Paris" in 1976 transformed the California wine industry, New Jersey wine investors are hoping to create a similar buzz about vines in the Garden State.
The Outer Coastal Plain might be the perfect place to make fine wine in America. The region, which has nearly the same sandy soil composition as Bordeaux, experiences a warm growing season; spring frosts are rare; and the breezes from the Atlantic Ocean and a local bay are ideal for winemaking. The O.C.P. has only one real challenge: it’s in southern New Jersey, a state associated with many things — Springsteen, Snooki, industrial pollution, the mob — but not great wine. Much of what is bottled there, in fact, isn’t even grape-based.