MCCC to Host Jersey Fresh Wine & Food Festival Aug. 14-15


New Jersey wineries, restaurants and farmers are teaming up to celebrate the Garden State's wealth of summer in one of the largest wine and food festivals the State has ever seen. On Saturday and Sunday, August 14th & 15th, visitors to the Jersey Fresh Wine & Food Festival at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor will sample award-winning wines from the State's most celebrated vineyards, while feasting on summertime dishes prepared with the season's locally grown vegetables, fruits, seafood, chicken, meats, etc., dished up by some of the most exciting chefs in New Jersey. Visitors will also be able to purchase local produce and seafood to take home with them at the festival's Farmer's Market and Seafood Market.

The festival is being presented by the Garden State Wine Growers Association in conjunction with The New Jersey Restaurant Association, the Central New Jersey chapter of Slow Food , and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture -- organizations devoted to promoting the amazing abundance and variety of the Garden State. The festival is sponsored in part by Wegmans Wine & Spirits and Marriott Fairway Villas at Seaview.

This year fifteen of the State's finest restaurants will be providing exciting summertime dishes. Gourmet food made from New Jersey produce, meats and seafood will be provided by Tre Piani, the Forrestal Village restaurant which has received New Jersey Monthly's Reader's Choice Award; Rat's Restaurant, which perennially is voted one of the top restaurants in New Jersey; Restaurant Serenade, named one of the best restaurants in New Jersey by the New York Times; and John Henry's, the extraordinary seafood restaurant in the Chambersburg section of Trenton. Also participating are Hopewell's Brother's Moon, Amarone's, The Ship Inn, Princeton's Mediterra, Bahr's Seafood Restaurant, Slow Food, Central New Jersey chapter, Mercer County Community College's culinary program and more.

Seventeen award-winning New Jersey wineries will be participating including Alba Vineyard, Finesville; Amalthea Cellars, Atco; Amwell Valley Vineyard, Ringoes; Balic Winery, Mays Landing; Bellview Winery, Landisville; Cream Ridge Winery, Cream Ridge; DiMatteo Vineyards & Winery, Hammonton; Four JG's Winery, Colts Neck; Four Sisters Winery, Belvidere; Heritage Vineyards of Richwood, Richwood; Hopewell Valley Vineyards, Pennington; King's Road Vineyard, Asbury; Silver Decoy Winery, Robbinsville; Sylvin Farms, Germania; Tomasello Winery, Hammonton; Unionville Vineyards, Ringoes; and Valenzano Winery, Shamong.

Tickets, $20 for adults (children free), are available at the door and will include free wine tasting, a souvenir wine glass, and entrance into the cooking demonstrations and wine seminars. Food will be available for a nominal fee. The event, which will be under tents, will be held rain or shine. There will also be cheeses made from local artisans, cooking demonstrations, wine seminars, cook book authors, honey producers, displays from the New Jersey Mycological Association and the Garden State Seafood Association, a Jersey Fresh produce sampling tent courtesy of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, a farmer's market and seafood market with produce and seafood for purchase, craft vendors, a Kids Zone with activities especially for the younger attendees, and great jazz music performed by Central Jersey's renowned jazz artists the Dan Tobias/Joe Midiri Quintet and the Paul Midiri Trio - just back to their hometown from their national tour.

This fun and informative event will take place on Saturday and Sunday, August 14th & 15th from noon to 5 p.m at Mercer County Community College, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor, New Jersey. Directions are available at the college website.

Slow Food is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 in Italy in response to the opening of the first McDonald's in Rome. The organization currently has 100,000 members worldwide in 45 countries. Slow Food "promotes a philosophy of pleasure, protects small food producers who make quality products, counters the effects of industrial and fast food culture, and works towards safeguarding traditional food and wine heritage." For further information on the Central Jersey Slow Food chapter contact Jim Weaver at (609) 452-1515.

The Garden State Wine Growers Association is a non-profit organization created by the owners of New Jersey vineyards. Today 26 wineries take advantage of the fertile soil and moderating winds from the Delaware River and the Atlantic Ocean to produce award-winning wines. With over a million gallons of wine bottled and more than 40 different varieties, New Jersey is the fifth largest wine-producing state in the nation.

The New Jersey Restaurant Association is a non-profit trade organization representing the State's largest private sector employer, the restaurant and hospitality industry. Headquartered in Trenton, NJ, the 62 year-old organization is charged with representation, education, promotion and support for its members.

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