Last year we started a tradition with Carol, Tom’s sister from Michigan. Each May she will come visit us. We will either do a weekend in NYC or Cape May. Last year we did NYC, so this year it was Cape May.
If you haven’t been to Cape May yet, you absolutely should go! It’s a perfect getaway. Cape May has beautiful beaches, Victorian architecture, rich history, ghost stories, amazing panoramic views from the lighthouse, coastal bunkers, Cape May diamonds, and a shipwreck, just to name a few. Also, if you watch carefully, you will see dolphins swim by the beach.
For this trip, we found a cute little motel, Capri Motor Lodge, to stay at for the weekend. The room was inexpensive, the weather was gorgeous and we were just ahead of the summer traffic. We drove down on Friday night, woke up Saturday to go for breakfast, let our food digest during some rounds of mini golf, or put-put as Tom and Carol would say, and then we were off to some of the Cape May area wineries. There are 4 active wineries in Cape May and 1 opening up soon. We started with Hawk Haven Vineyards & Winery.
When you drive to Hawk Haven you have to look out for it carefully. We always seem to pass it. Just want to give you the heads up. As you enter their property, you drive past some rows of vines and right into the parking lot. Straight ahead of the parking log is a pebble pathway that leads you to the 2 main wooden doors with square, black, brass-like windows and a wooden archway overhead. To the left of the pathway is a nice big tree with a little wooden swing hanging from the tree. To the right of the pathway is a wall of tall bushes. Behind this wall seems to be a patio meant for outdoor events.
Straight ahead through the 2 big wooden doors, is a nice quaint tasting bar. There’s another room directly to the right – we haven’t even been in there yet. Behind the bar is a large wooden shelf with thin wood beams crossing to hold bottles of wine. In the middle of the shelf is an open space where they have placed their award winning wines with medals hanging proudly from their necks. On the opposite side of the bar are recently added tables and chairs to accommodate an influx of people, or folks that just want to relax inside. On the left is a stone wall fireplace. To the right of that is a shelf of merchandise.
Sadly, for white fans, they were out of Pinot Grigio and Reisling – I was disappointed.
So, we started with…
American Kestrel – This Chardonnay is un-oaked, with hints of apple and pear. I could taste and smell the pear and it had a little bit of a bite to it. Tom liked it because he could taste the alcohol. I think it was better than the one served last year. If I were to pick my favorite here, this might be it. Carol tried this one too, but her stomach didn’t seem to be in the mood for alcohol.
2010 Barrel Chardonnay – Described as presenting flavors of kiwi, mango, and lemon crème brulee, I could taste the kiwi and the lemon. The lemon seemed a little strong for me. Overall, it was sweet on the tip of my tongue and light. To be fair, I think I prefer Chardonnays that are aged in Oak. I didn’t use to. If you prefer un-oaked Chardonnays, than you might like this and the one above. Carol attempted to try this white too. Not right for her tummy. The kind sommelier thought he could enhance the experience by helping Carol fully enjoy the wine. He swirled the cup in front of her nose, so she can fully enjoy the fruity aromas. Still no success, but got a funny picture.
Northern Harrier – A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Charmbourcin, Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc, this wine was sweet, spicy and light. It also presented a fruity grape smell.
Carol gave up at this point. The sommelier broke out something that wasn’t event on the list. He pulled out a bottle of Gerwurtztraminer. Carol loved it. It was like a Reisling, but lighter, not as sweet, no alcohol taste, and juice-like.
Red Table Wine – Earthy, mild and slightly sweet, this one is a middle of the road red. Slightly bitter finish, this appropriate table red would be good with pasta.
2008 Quill – The sommelier decanted this wine before serving us. It was nice that he put in this detail and aerated the wine which opened up the aromas. I tasted the plum flavor and mineral tone. This one tasted almost peppery. This wine was almost sold out.
2009 Merlot – Dark and smooth. Described as having a kiss of vanilla, I thought it had a kiss of darkness. It was mildly sweet. My sister would like this one. This would be good with chocolate.
2009 Talon – This one was also decanted before serving. It smelled good, like a jam, light and fruity, but not sweet.
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon – Decanted before tasting, this wine had an old world flavor to it, earthy smell, not sweet. I felt like this one made me hot or I was just getting hot.
Red – Tailed Rose – Thought this was better in the past. This year’s was more bitter than sweet. Last year was sweeter.
Tom and I enjoy the nice knowledgeable staff. We’re disappointed that they’re wines year on year are inconsistent. However, the sommelier said different isn’t bad. It’s a matter of what you prefer. If you do enjoy Hawk Haven wines, they are sold in local liquor stores and restaurants.
Started in 2006, they have an interesting back story. You can find out more here: http://hawkhavenvin.wordpress.com/about/
3.5 Wine Glasses (Out of 5)