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Tomasello Winery
by
K.L. Sullivan

Tomasello Winery in Hammonton, New Jersey is the state’s largest producer of wines.
The winery produces unique regional reds and intensive flavored fruit wines. When you visit, be sure to try the fruit wines and the American Almonique.

On a warm summer day, with lush foliage lining country roads, we found our way to Hammonton, New Jersey where the oldest family-run New Jersey winery is located. Tomasello Winery established in 1933 is also the largest producer of wine in New Jersey, producing 42,000 to 45,000 cases of wine today.

As one travels through southern New Jersey, it is easy to understand why New Jersey is known as the “Garden State.” Farms still line the roads. Vegetable and fruit stands are in abundance. By the time we reached Hammonton where a sign said Blueberry Capital, we were thoroughly enjoying our journey into the countryside of southern New Jersey. Turning into the driveway for Tomasello Winery, we saw in front of us an inviting small picturesque white building. To the right is the tasting room and to the left is the Vintner’s Room Special Events Facility. A lovely courtyard is between the two sections.

 

Behind the wine tasting room are five acres of grapes. Another 65 acres are planted nearby. Grape varieties grown include Concord, Chambourcin, Petit Verdot, Catawba and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Frank Tomasello, a farmer growing truck crops, established the winery in 1933. The winery is the result of a hobby in the basement “growing out of control.” His sons Charles Tomasello Sr. and Joseph Tomasello dedicated themselves to continuing the work started by Frank. Today Charles’ sons, Charles Tomasello Jr. and John Tomasello continue the winery. As the third generation, Charles Jr. is the winemaker and John is the vineyardist. The fourth generation is showing an avid interest in following their footsteps.

 

We were fortunate and Charles, Jr. found time to talk with us about the history and wine at Tomasello Winery. Thirteen years ago, they added the Vintner’s Room Special Events Facility. Much planning is evident in the design of the room. Able to accommodate 50 to 180 guests, the room is elegantly styled with crystal chandeliers and cathedral ceilings. Cloth tablecloths cover large round tables with fabric-covered chairs. French doors lead to the cobblestone courtyard. This lovely facility is for wine dinners, an opera plus dinner four times a year, and wedding receptions.

Harvest season means long days for the winemaker. After the six weeks of harvest are over the weeks until the holidays are just as busy because of the intense amount of selling that occurs. The winemaker and staff can look forward to relaxing in January.

Today Tomasello Winery produces more than twenty wines and three sparkling wines. The winery has five retail stores and sells their fruit wines through distributors to 29 other states.

Charles takes pride in his fruit wines. In making these fruit wines, he chooses the best fruits available in the country in order to produce the best fruit wines. These fruit wines include red raspberry, blueberry, cranberry blackberry and cherry.

After our discussion with Charles, we returned to the tasting room and tried several wines. The tasting room has paintings decorating the walls. A small sign says, “Reality is only an illusion that occurs due to lack of wine.”  A few accessories are available in this tasting room, but Charles’s mother explained that at the retail stores the giftware is more extensive and picked out by hand.

We enjoyed tasting the wines at Tomasello Winery. Chambourcin is fruity and dry. Shiraz has a fruit taste with a fruit and pepper aftertaste. Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 has a red berry bouquet and has a balance of fruit and acid. Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 has red fruit cherry flavor and is a balance of fruit, acid and tannins. Almonique has a pecan flavor. It would be great in the kitchen for use in cooking or dessert. Fruit wines are made with 100 percent fruit. Although the fruit wines are sweet, they are not syrupy sweet. They have a nice balance between sugar, fruit and acid. Blueberry is produced with local blueberries from the blueberry capital of the world. Cranberry is produced with New Jersey and Massachusetts cranberries and has a sweet taste with tart aftertaste.

 

 

The Tomasello Winery keeps the past in mind but is focused on the future. Charles is pleased with the reception by the public of his fruit wines and plans to focus on fruit wines in the future. If you have an event to plan, check out the Vintner’s Room Special Events Facility. When you have an opportunity, taste their special wines, especially their fruit wines.

Tomasello Winery
225 N White Horse Pike
Hammonton, NJ 08037

GPS: N 39° 39.179’ W 074° 47.795’

 

 


 

 


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