Monday, November 15, 2010

Four Sisters Winery at Matarazzo Farms

It was Sunday morning. 10 o'clock rolled around. I woke Jonaid up with my usual vigor, "Goood MORNING!" to which he mumbled something about getting breakfast.

As I ate a cinnamon scone I suggested we continue the wine tour this weekend. He hesitated, but I insisted it technically is still a birthday celebration, and he gave in. When you're on the seventeenth winery, sometimes all you want is a beer.

The stunning sixty degree day made our drive to Four Sisters Winery pleasant. Making one wrong turn we ended up at a sign threatening wayward game hunters and barbed wire... Not sure what that was all about but we high tailed out of that driveway quickly. Pulling in at the actual winery, every employee we encountered greeted us. The back room of the small tasting structure was the tasting room hosted by Betsy. "I guess I'll serve you, despite your Steelers jersey," she commented. Our taste was free.

White Wines
Seyval Reserve - Betsy's favorite. The flavor lingers here; tasty and light.
Seyval Blanc - did not try
Vidal Blanc - I didn't enjoy this as much. Has a lemon flavor this was quite tart. Perhaps in the summer this would be a good thirst quencher.
Cayuga - did not try, but it seems many wineries in NJ are growing or purchasing this NY grape.
Warren Hills White - did not try
Cedar Hill White - did not try
Niagara - did not try
Filomena - did not try

Any wine that is a reserve here has the oak added, meaning oak chips are added to the wines during fermenting. The wines are fermented in fiberglass tanks. Nothing is aged in a barrel. Betsy explained the fiberglass is a European method not common yet in America which makes sense as this is the first winery I've heard of that practices this. It is done to produce a crisp flavor. The Leon Millot Reserve and Chambourcin Reserve are the only ones that are from start to finish grown and produced on site. The rest of the wines in some way shape or form may be grown or made offsite.

Rose Wines
Merrill Blush - not available; sold out
Cedar Hill Rose - A sweet treat rose; pretty standard

The winery is named for the owner's four daughters. It initially was an investment aimed to generate revenue for college funds. Now each girl has at least a masters and the eldest (I think) is working on a PhD.

Red Wines
Leon Millot Reserve - Heavy but enjoyable.
Leon Millot - not available; sold out
Chambourcin Reserve - Jonaid tried this and all I got from him was a "mmm".
Chambourcin - Despite a bizarre aftertaste that was almost salty this was good.
Papa's Red - "Smooth with a kickback aftertaste," Jonaid said. I didn't try it, but I hope a kickback aftertaste isn't heartburn.
Warren Hills Red - Imagine this: a grape fruit roll-up without the sugar. That's exactly what this tastes like. Jonaid looked at me strangely when I said that, but upon his sip he agreed completely. "Slight tanginess to it," he added. We bought a glass of it for $4 to enjoy at the end.
Beaver Creek Red - did not try
Holiday Seasoned - can be served warm, room temp, or cold; all good. With the cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg this smelled like a holiday ham.

Fruit Wines - There are multiple fruit wines but at least one named for each of the daughters.
Sadie's Apple - did not try, but this is the only "daughter" wine available now.
Spicy Sisters - did not try
We also did not try the sparkling Maggie's Magic or the two ports, Pop's and Matty's Apple.

The bottles of wine had very unique labels, many custom made celebrating birthdays and anniversaries. The wall of the winery posted events such as a recent murder mystery. "We usually sell more sweet wines than dry," Betsy explained. "That seems to be a general rule; there are a lot of 'beginner' wine drinkers with sweeter tastes on the market." I was surprised to hear that fact. I wonder if it is true nationally, or just NJ, or just at Four Sisters.

Heading outside we sat on the deck that had almost all of the furniture removed. With the remaining seats we overlooked the grapes and hills that are likely stunning in snow, spring, and fall.

Walking around many fall items were still for sale.

And some more decorative cabbage! Jonaid wonders if it is edible.

Opposite of the gourds Jonaid picked up on a familiar scent. Looking downward, he commented, "Is that mint?"

Sniffing it, I said yes. Wine and fresh breath - what more could you want!

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