AWG Correspondent

Charlie Toms

Jessie Creek Winery Photos

Jessie Creek Winery Review

Regions: Outer Coastal Plain AVA, New Jersey

Reviewed: August 24, 2013 by Charlie Toms
Published: September 7, 2013

Jessie Creek Winery is located in Cape May County, a major New Jersey resort area. The vineyard was originally planted in 2002 by Joseph Yuzzi, a Cornell-educated agronomist. He named it Jessie Creek Vineyards, a tribute to his mother whose first name was Jessie, and the town of Dias Creek where the winery is located. In 2007, the vineyard and accompanying farmhouse was purchased by marina operator Art Reale, family physician Bruce Morrison, and architect Juan Fernandez. The three men decided that they wanted to operate a winery with a bed and breakfast. They converted the farmhouse, which was built in 1846, into the four-suite Inn at Jessie Creek. The bed and breakfast opened in 2010, and Jessie Creek Winery had its debut in 2012. The winery is in the Outer Coastal Plain Viticultural Area, which consists of more than 25 Southern New Jersey wineries, and is a member of the Garden State Wine Growers Association. Currently, Jessie Creek has 5 acres of grapes under cultivation, and produces around 1,200 cases of wine per year.

Jessie Creek is easy to find – a large cardboard wine bottle marks the entrance. Upon entering the unpaved driveway, I was struck by the serenity and beauty of the winery. There are rows of well-tended grapes vines, big shady trees with picnic benches underneath, and a tasting room with veranda on the back where one could sit back and enjoy the summer day while sipping a glass of wine. The bed and breakfast is just as charming, being a historic colonial homestead hidden from the street by a large lawn and leafy trees. The tasting room is plain, consisting of a wooden counter, behind which is a rack of wine bottles and glasses. To the side of the tasting room is a banquet facility where events are held, and behind the tasting room is the production facility where the grapes are fermented. When I visited, Art Reale and two servers were present, and their laid-back personalities were a perfect fit for Jessie Creek’s tranquility.

Jessie Creek produces wine from Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Concord, Merlot and Pinot Gris grapes. Their wine list is simple – there are no blended wines, and cranberries are the only other fruit that they use for winemaking. The Chardonnay was dry, but was a little sharper than I prefer. The Pinot Grigio was just as dry as the Chardonnay, but much smoother. It would go well with a poultry dish. The Cabernet Sauvignon was advertised as having a soft flavor, but instead had an unpleasant harsh taste. I liked the Chambourcin and Merlot much better. Both were dry medium-bodied reds, but the Merlot had a bit of spicy kick to it. I would pair the Chambourcin with pasta, and the Merlot with a BBQ steak. The last wine I tried was the Concord, which was very different from the others. It was light, fruity, and very sweet, and tasted a lot like Welsh’s grape juice. I see the Concord being used as a party wine.

I’m glad that I visited Jessie Creek. Their selection of wines is limited, but the wines that they offer are good, and the facility is gorgeous. Jessie Creek is easy to find, being on Route 47, and they are open 11 AM to 5 PM every day. They charge $5 for five tastings, but nobody was counting when I was there, and the fee includes a souvenir wine glass. If you cannot make it to Jessie Creek, their wine is sold at a few festivals throughout the year, and can be shipped to residents of New Jersey and 38 other states that permit wine deliveries.

Address & Contact Information: 1 North Delsea Drive Cape May Court House, New Jersey 08210. Telephone: 609-536-2092, email:, website: Tasting Hours: 11:00-5:00.

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