Cava Winery is very much a hidden gem of Sussex County, NJ. Situated outside the state’s three growing regions for grapes, it’s not a place that automatically comes to mind when thinking of vineyards. However, the surrounding area is beautiful, known for its rolling farmland and rich soil content. Cava Winery is also located just a short drive from New York, one of the top wine-producing states in the country.
With help from Cava’s assistant winemaker, Garrett Winton, I was able to find out more about this young vineyard (started in the last 5 years) and create a video to inform locals and tourists. Wine is a subject that evokes interest in so many people, myself included. I am personally fascinated by the process of winemaking and hope others enjoy learning about the first step – growing and maintaining grape vines – the focus of the video below. In the future I hope to produce more content about “crush” or harvest, fermentation, and bottling wine at Cava.
The shots of the vineyard were some of the most stunning visuals I have ever captured on film. I took Garrett’s advice and arrived at 7 a.m., just as the sun was rising. A fog still lingered in the valley and the plant life seemed to sparkle with dew. Meanwhile, autumn leaves had just begun to change color. I absolutely loved being there – so peaceful. Plus I gained a newfound appreciation for the vineyard’s beauty and its ability to bear the fruit that we can eventually savor in a glass of wine!
Here’s a tip about YouTube: it automatically plays videos at the setting of 360p, which doesn’t quite do the footage justice if it was shot at higher quality. This video, like most of mine, was shot in HD so you really want to see just how pretty it is. To get the full effect, hit “play” then “pause.” Click the pinwheel icon in the lower righthand corner of the video to adjust the setting to 720p HD. Allow a moment to load, then hit “play” again, and you’re in business.
Side note: Garrett discusses in the video how challenging it can be for grapes to grow in the climate of Northern New Jersey. He mentions, for instance, the vineyard experiencing a bud break followed by a frost. It so happens that I snapped a photo earlier this year that further illustrates this point. You would think at the start of springtime, the vineyard would be buzzing with birds and bees, but in fact it was covered with snow. As it turns out though, these struggles give the grapes more character in the end, much like humans.