BURLINGTON COUNTY — The Garden State Wine Growers Association (GSWGA) is ready to usher in the fall harvest season with a brand new wine festival later this month.
The Burlington County Fairgrounds, located on Route 206 in Springfield Township, will be the setting for the Jersey Fresh Wine Festival, the newest fall wine festival promoted by the GSWGA on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29-30 from noon to 5 p.m.
With the summer season over, we have now entered the Fall Harvest season in New Jersey and that means apple, pumpkins, squash and other great Jersey Fresh products are ripe to be picked, including award-winning grapes from wineries throughout the state.
Eighteen GSWGA wineries will be on hand to provide sampling of more than 250 locally-produced wines at the event, which will also feature live music and crafts and food vendors. Tickets for the festival are $25 a person at the gate. Advance discount tickets for $20 can be purchased only at the association website www.newjerseywines.com. All ticket purchases on-site are cash only. Large groups and bus groups can call 1-609-588-0085 for more information. Admission includes a souvenir wine glass.
A highlight of the weekend will be live musical entertainment. The featured performers for the Jersey Fresh Wine Festival are the Steve Reilly Band on Sept. 29 and Gas House Gorillas on Sept. 30.
Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Steve Reilly has become a prominent singer-songwriter in the New York City music scene. His cross-pollination of folk, rock and Latin soul has attracted the attention of audiences and fellow musicians in Europe and the U.S.A. through the vehicle of compelling songwriting and his dynamic three-octave voice.
After earning considerable recognition in Europe with his first self-titled EP and his captivating live performances, Reilly recorded his second EP, Tossa Sky, and moved to New York to extend his listening audience and further his music career. He has been performing, both solo with an acoustic guitar as well as with the backing of his outstanding band, in New York City venues such as The Bitter End, The Red Lion and The National Underground, and on New Jersey stages such as The Stone Pony, Paramount Theatre, Convention Hall and The Saint. He has been joined onstage by numerous renowned musicians, including John Popper (Blues Traveller), Vini “Maddog” Lopez (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band), Joe Grushecky, Patrick Bergin, Willie Nile and Danny Clinch. Reilly has recently completed his third collection of songs, titled Into the Night.
If Cab Calloway, Freddy Mercury, Illinois Jacquet and Johnny Ramone started a garage band, it might sound something like the Gas House Gorillas. This intensely energetic six-piece from Brooklyn, N.Y., know how to put on a show that will get you up on your feet. From catchy choruses to wild saxophone solos and snappy guitar riffs, every song has a swinging beat you can dance to. As bassist Crusher Carmean puts it, “The Gorillas are all about as much fun you can possibly have packed into the small amount of time we get to play. It’s an absolute blast.”
The band takes inspiration from many genres, artists and times gone by. The name itself is a reference to a 1946 Bugs Bunny cartoon titled “Baseball Bugs,” about a terrible team called the Tea Totallers who play against a powerhouse team called the Gas House Gorillas
Garden State Wine Growers Association wineries participating at the event are:
- Amalthea Cellars, Atco
- Auburn Road Winery and Vineyard, Pilesgrove
- Bellview Winery, Landisville
- Cava Winery, Hamburg
- Chestnut Run Farms, Pilesgrove
- Coda Rossa Winery, Franklinville
- Cream Ridge Winery, Cream Ridge
- DiMatteo Vineyards, Hammonton
- Four Sisters Winery at Mattarazzo Farms, Belvidere
- Heritage Vineyards, Mullica Hill
- Old York Cellars, Ringoes
- Plagido’s Winery, Hammonton
- Renault Winery, Egg Harbor
- Sharrott Winery, Blue Anchor
- Tomasello Winery, Hammonton
- Unionville Vineyards, Ringoes
- Valenzano Winery, Shamong
- Wagonhouse Winery, Swedesboro
For more information on the Garden State Wine Growers Association, visit www.newjerseywines.com.