Owner(s): Beneduce Family
Winemaker: Mike Beneduce
Open to Public
Wed, Thu, Sun 12 to 6; Fri, Sat 12 to 8
1 Jeremiah Ln, Pittstown, NJ 08867
phone: (908) 996-3823
Beneduce Vineyards Profile
Written by Brian—Jul 11, 2018
Throughout the Mid Atlantic there are many wineries of note, many of which are trending toward world-class status. It is fair to say that Beneduce Vineyards in Pittstown, New Jersey is one of those top-tier, world-class producers.
The Beneduces are farmers who—like many agrarian families—made wine for personal consumption. So there was some familiarity with winemaking prior to planting their first vines. They also approached the endeavor without romantic notions and understood that winemaking is at its core an agricultural pursuit.
A line of greenhouses along the approach to the tasting room is still used to raise ornamentals for commercial sale, but in 2009 the primary focus began to shift as grapevines were planted on much of the property. To support this move into viticulture, Mike Beneduce attended Cornell University where he was part of the first class to graduate with a degree in viticulture and enology.
Beneduce Vineyards opened to the public in 2012. As of this writing, twenty acres of estate vines contain ten French and Austrian grape varieties that are used to produce between 4000 and 5000 cases annually.
During our most recent visit, we sat down with Mike Beneduce and tasted through part of his lineup. We had encountered some of the wines previously, but we were still blown away by the overall quality of everything on the tasting menu. The Austrian grapes are the main story, but not the only story. All were wines of note, but a few rose even above that high standard.
Among the whites, the dry-style Riesling and Gewurztraminer stood out, but the Chardonnay was also of extraordinary quality. Blaufrankisch is a signature Beneduce red, but the Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir are potential award winners. It is always encouraging to find a quality Pinot Noir on the east coast and this one is just over the top.
By design, the production area and tasting room share the same space. Fermentation tanks, barrels and other winemaking equipment border the tasting bar and guest seating. In this way, visitors are able to witness the winemaking process. This shared-space concept works and does not detract from the tasting experience.
In addition to amazing wine, music events and locally produced cheeses and charcuterie await visitors to Beneduce Vineyards. Only a short drive from New York City and just south of Interstate 78, the tasting room is easily accessible. In any case, this is one winery that should be on everyone’s short list. After you stop in, please let me know what you think.