“The last thing people associate New Jersey with is fine wine, mostly because of negative pop culture images,” says Jim Quarella, owner and winemaker at Bellview Winery, less than an hour west of Atlantic City, adding “Most people think that New Jersey is all gangsters, trash, smells funny, etc. They've only ever experienced maybe Newark or the New Jersey Turnpike. They rarely view us as the Garden State and see how beautiful it is, down here in the rural areas.”
There's a rather feisty attitude among many wine drinkers, buyers, sellers and writers who inhabit "the other 47." With panel topics like, "We Don't Need No Stinkin' Vinifera," wine fans who don't live in California, Washington or Oregon gathered in St. Louis recently for the third annual Drink Local Wine celebration.