The Garden State Wine Growers Association (GSWGA), a coalition of 43 member wineries across the state of New Jersey, will kick-off its festival season on Memorial Day weekend with the “Wine & BBQ Experience” returning to Schooley’s Mountain Park in Long Valley on Sat., May 28 and Sun., May 29 from noon to 5 p.m.; rain date Mon., May 30.
This will be New Jersey’s biggest wine and barbeque holiday extravaganza. Tickets are priced at $25 in advance and $30 on-site and can be purchased at www.newjerseywines.com. Sampling will take place from noon – 4:30 p.m. each day. Those 21 and over that show proper ID will receive a wine glass and wristband with their admission. Those that do not want to sample will pay a $5 admission fee. The Admission Tent will open at 11:30 a.m. each day.
Twenty-one of the state’s finest wineries will be sampling more than 200 wines at the event. NJ wines continue to be regularly recognized as high quality in national and international wine competitions. The two-day event will also feature award-winning pit masters selling their barbeque including Ben’s BBQ, Texas Smoke, Spanky’s BBQ & Catering, Lost In The Woods and food trucks such as Oink and Moo BBQ, Nomad Pizza, and Cherries on Top with delectable frozen dessert treats. Wineries present will also be providing a list of their wines for sale that pair best with barbeque.
The Garden State Wine Growers Association has named the Fisher House Foundation as the official charity partner of the Wine & BBQ Experience. Proceeds from each ticket sale will go to the foundation which supports a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. These homes are located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide, close to the medical center or hospital they serve. In addition to selecting the Fisher House Foundation as its official charity partner for the event, all military personnel with valid ID will receive 10 percent discounts for purchases at all winery tents.
In addition to the great award-winning New Jersey wines and barbeque, the event will feature a large selection of artisan crafters and music performed by two nationally-acclaimed touring bands. On Saturday, attendees will be entertained by the Honey Island Swamp Band and Sunday’s band is Astrograss. Attendees will also have the chance to see their favorite wineries honored when results of the annual New Jersey Wine Competition are announced on Saturday afternoon for best dessert, best fruit wine categories and the announcement of Winery of the Year.
Satellite Parking has been secured with the Washington Twp. School System. A shuttle will be activated to run between Cucinella Elementary School and Schooley’s Mountain Park both days in case of overflow crowds.
The Schooley’s Mountain Park event is one of four premier wine experiences that the GSWGA will offer wine enthusiasts throughout the state. The GSWGA will be at Fosterfield’s Living Historical Farm in Morristown for the “Jersey Fresh Grand Harvest Festival” on Sat. and Sun., Oct. 1-2.