Located in the sleepy farm country of Shiloh, New Jersey, Swansea Vineyards is well worth a stop-in should you be driving through the area (they are located just a few minutes away from the excellent Marlboro Farm Market & Garden Center). Cumberland County, it turns out, has fine soil and climate for growing wine varietal grapes, and all fruit used in Swansea’s wines from from their own vast acres of land – save the limited edition “Kiwigold” wine made from imported kiwi fruit.
Their tasting room is in a charming old farm house, and they will happily allow you to chose from several tasting options from $5-7, including a “design your own tasting”. On a recent visit I sampled a number of their excellent red and white wines and was very impressed with the quality – and their prices. The “Cygneture White” chardonnay ($15.99/bottle) aged in stainless steel is lovely and refreshing, similar to Pinot Grigio and I preferred it over the oaky “Chardonnay Reserve”. Of the reds, the best I tasted were their delightfully smooth “Cygneture Red” made from Chambourcin grapes ($15.99) and the Cabernet Franc, always one of my favorite Jersey reds and a steal here at $9.99/bottle. They have a nice red blend as well, the “Ship John”, blended from Cabernet Franc, Caberet Savignon and Merlot aged in Oak. At $15.99/bottle, a portion of the Ship John sales are donated to the Cumberland County Historical Society.
Swansea Vineyards also has some surprisingly good fruit wines, not overly sweet but actually very refreshing for hot summer days. I enjoyed especially the Orchard Nectar made with nectarines ($7.99), a nice change of pace from your typical Jersey fruit wines. Also tasty is the unique and tart Kiwigold ($17.99). Any of their fruit wines would make for great sangria!
Swansea Vineyards is located at 890 S. Main Street, Shiloh, NJ 08353. Phone: (856) 453-5778; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Their tasting room is open Saturdays & Sundays, 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm or by appointment.