Wine lovers, rejoice!

The Garden State Wine Growers Association has released its new app aimed at assisting wine enthusiasts in exploring the state's wineries, planning adventures and discovering off-the-beaten path wineries they never knew existed.

Garden State Wine Growers Association Executive Director Tom Cosentino said the "Passport to New Jersey Wine Country" app allows people to navigate and find where all wineries are located in New Jersey, plan a visit, make a reservation for a wine tasting and even search for restaurants and hotels local to the wineries where someone may be visiting.

"It is a passport. It's basically allowing you to check in, allowing you to plan a visit, and learning about every winery that there is here in the state," Cosentino said.

Cosentino said New Jersey is divided into six wine regions where multiple wineries are located. When someone uses the app, they can find those regions and use the app to plan a trip.

For example, let's say someone wants to visit the central region of New Jersey, they can see all the wineries located in that region which include Hunterdon, Mercer and parts of  Burlington counties. The app allows people to find the winery, learn how far it is from a person's starting point and plan a trip.

Upon arriving at the winery, people can check into the winery and get credit for visiting. The app also lets users record notes, add photos, save their wine country adventure to an itinerary and privately rate the wines that are most memorable.

"So that the next time you go to that winery, you can remember, oh, what was that Cabernet Franc I tried here last summer. I really liked it. I wanted to buy a bottle of it. It's right there in your app," Cosentino said.

The wineries may also offer special deals that people can take advantage of during their visit. With the app, people can also find, view and follow Regional Wine Country Trails and share winery information with friends and family via social media or text.

Cosentino said if someone visits all 51 New Jersey wineries in the app, they'll be eligible to win an all-expense vacation to an exotic wine country destination. It's an annual contest that takes place every May.

Not only are people eligible for a prize if they visit all the wineries in all six regions, but if someone finishes all the wineries in just one region, Cosentino said they'll be eligible to win a $20 to $25 gift card somewhere.

If anyone owns a restaurant or a lodging business in New Jersey, they can also benefit by becoming an app sponsor. Cosentino said any business that wants to on the app can do so for free until the end of the year. After that, there will be a small fee.

On the app, there's also a button to search for "eat" and "stay." When planning a winery itinerary, people can also find a local restaurant, bed-and-breakfast, inn or hotel in the region too. Cosentino said people can visit multiple wineries during the day, and then eat and stay somewhere local at night – all with the touch of a fingertip via the app.

Cosentino said the restaurant and hotel is a great feature and the association hopes to see it grow in the coming months.

With six New Jersey wine regions, Cosentino said the app just makes it easy to understand where there is a cluster of wineries, especially in rural areas, where they may be hidden from sight.

Beautiful sunflower fields to visit in NJ 2021

Among reasons why the “Garden State” remains a fitting nickname for New Jersey — late summer means the arrival of sunflower season.

There are at least six fields, spanning the state. Some are in bloom as of early August, while others are planned to peak from late August to late September.

Calling or emailing before heading out is always advisable if weather appears to be an issue. 


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