More than 100,000 people visit New Jersey wineries each year, and wine grapes represent the fastest growing segment of the state’s agriculture, according to The Winemakers Co-Op.
And, the industry will likely get a boost with a new law signed Thursday that establishes a marketing and advertising campaign for state wineries and viticulture attractions.
Sponsors of the bill say the wine industry has bolstered the state’s economy and tourism, attracting both residents and out-of-staters.
“Having received national recognition and prestigious awards for the quality of our local wines, the industry is helping grow and diversify our economy, creating jobs and bringing more visitors to our state,” said sponsors Assemblymembers Roy Freiman, D-District 16, and Clinton Calabrese, D-District 36, in a statement. “To keep at pace with other neighboring states and fuel growth, it is important our state does its best to support the industry. With this legislation we’re supporting local marketing efforts and spurring new creative collaboration between our residents and small businesses.”
Artists will be invited to participate in the creation of unique road signage and outdoor displays, they said, which “will help generate even greater buzz and traffic for the wineries in the state.”
Sens. James Beach, D-District 6, and Bob Andrzejczak, D-District 1, also sponsored the legislation.
According to Garden State Wine Growers Association Chairman Louis Caracciolo, New Jersey residents have a thriving winery agri-tourism “wonderland” right in their backyards. The state boasts over 50 wineries, offering many wines that have garnered national and international acclaim.
“New Jersey has a long history of grape growing dating back to the times of our founding fathers. Today we are producing wines of great quality and interest that rival any in the world,” said Larry Sharrott III, Managing Partner at Hammonton’s Sharrott Winery in a statement. “More than ever New Jersey’s farms need support and vineyards are growing. With the support of Governor Murphy and the State Legislature New Jersey will be a recognized quality wine region.”