The Outer Coastal Plain Vineyard Association hosted a Tasting Reception for 150 people in the media and distinguished guests on May 7th at Tomasello Winery in Hammonton, NJ. Guests had an opportunity to taste the new red wine blend Coeur d’Est from 9 wineries located in the Outer Coastal Plain American Viticultural area. The AVA encompasses 2.25 million acres in Southeastern New Jersey. Coeur d’Est means “Heart of the East” in French. The name was chosen to reflect the French heritage of the grapes used in the blend and the fact that the AVA is located in the center of quality winegrape growing in the mid Atlantic region of the East.
The blend is a combination of 2 to 5 varietals grown in the Outer Coastal Plain AVA: Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Chambourcin, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The association established blend parameters for use of these varieties with the intent to make a wine blend of consistent high quality from vintage to vintage. All of the wines were sent to an independent judging panel for scoring. Only wines scoring sufficiently highly to be awarded the equivalent of Silver or Gold medal are granted permission to use the trademarked Coeur d’Est brand.
Larry Coia, President of the Outer Coastal Plain Vineyard Association, noted the blend was created to raise awareness and help further establish identity of the Outer Coastal Plain AVA as a quality winegrowing region. Wineries participating in the program include: 4 JGs Orchards & Vineyards, Amalthea Cellars, Auburn Road Vineyard, Bellview Winery, Cape May Winery & Vineyard, Coda Rossa Winery, Heritage Winery, Jessie Creek Winery, Plagido’s Winery, Sharrott Winery, Tomasello Winery and Valenzano Winery.
The wine release date to the public is officially May 17th. A variety of activities are planned to promote the wine blend and to encourage visitors to taste Coeur d’Est at each of the wineries. Visit www.coeurdest.com for details and the official release dates.