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Archive for December, 2013

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On our recent west NJ wine trail, we stopped at Alba Vineyards and then drove farther up the road to Villa Milagro Vineyards. I’d recommend visiting this place for the drive up to the winery – it was an experience in itself. The whole trip was an adventure. Once we got off the highway, the drive was beautiful. Winding country roads, creeks, rivers, and roadside antique shops transported us to a vacation-like atmosphere. When we found Villa Milagro by their sign on the road, we turned in and drove up a steep winding driveway that appears to cut through a farm. On the right of us was a dilapidated stone building with the roof caved in, which gave impressions of what may have happened on this property in the 1800’s. On the left was the remains of a ceramic silo that’s unique to NJ with a sign telling you so. We drove along the road and continued up hill. More signs pointed to wildflowers unique to NJ. I glanced to the left and noticed we were directly next to and above the Delaware River. I didn’t realize how close we were. It was a spectacular view. I noticed run down train cars beneath the cliff we were driving along and an expansive view of precipices and trees up river. The road hooked to our right and there was the Villa Milagro building ahead of us.

The tasting room looked like a converted garage. White fabric was draped around the walls of the room with grape lights hanging from the top providing a soft glow. A dining table was set up in the middle of the room with 2 extremely friendly women seated on the other side to assist tasters. There was an aged dog lying on the floor, worn out from the excitement of visitors and relaxing in the comfort of the warmth and friendliness in the room.

Compared to Alba, you would have to change your expectations of this vineyard. Vila Milagro is a smaller operation that enjoys the craft of wine making and maybe less of the business side. The kind people you meet here make it worth the stop. They had a smaller selection. We sampled 4 wines. Here’s what we had.

Gracias – Gracias was a light and dry wine that didn’t provoke any thoughts of specific flavors or fruits. For someone who doesn’t like sweet wines, reds, or strong flavors, this might be a good option.

Rosita – Rosita was characteristic of a typical blush wine. What made it different, was that it was sweet with a slight kick.

Incendio – Incendio may be a preferred wine for red drinkers. It’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc and is heavier than their other wines. The Cab Franc flavor was more prominent in this wine. 

Casi Dulce  They must save the best for last as this was our favorite wine of their’s. Casi Dulce, pronounced in a Spanish manner rather than Italian like I initially thought, is a very unique wine. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything like it. Casi Dulce is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and others. I think they also said white wine, but my notes don’t mention that. It has the richness of red, but the easiness of white. I can taste the oaky quality, Cab grapes, and the heavier flavor, but meanwhile I get the lightness of white wine. It’s almost sweet, but rests in the middle between bitter, tart, and sweet. It’s a very pleasant wine.

Villa Milagro is different than other vineyards and smaller, but if you appreciate good people and nice experiences, than you will enjoy your time here.

Wine Glasses 2 (out of 4)

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