Tag Archives: local

A Post-Sandy Tour of Cape May – Part 1

People thought my mom was crazy for coming to visit me the weekend after Hurricane/Nor’ Easter/Superstorm Sandy. Living in Cape May County, two blocks from the bay, even she was sure I must be under several feet of water and sand. Looking at the devastation elsewhere throughout the East Coast, we are more than lucky to have experienced little to no damage. Our prayers go out to the many people who have suffered such great losses as a result of this storm and we hope you will join us in providing relief by donating to the American Red Cross.

Despite Sandy, Cape May is back up and running. My husband and I recently took a trip around to various landmarks and local businesses to see how things were looking, and I was so happy and grateful to find many people out and about and nearly everything open for business. Here are some pictures from our tour of Cape May.

The Red Store of Cape May Point

First stop: The Red Store of Cape May Point. If you haven’t heard of this place, you may already know of the owners if you’ve ever been to Quahog’s Seafood Shack in Stone Harbor. Chef Lucas Manteca and his wife Deanna run this lovely restaurant and the menu is not to be missed. They serve breakfast all day, but they also have a lunch and dinner menu with something for everyone.

I had the shrimp tacos which I’m still dreaming about, and my husband had the Maine Style Lobster Roll filled with chunks of delicious lobster. Like many restaurants in Cape May, this one is a BYO but it is also one of Hawk Haven’s retail outlets, so you can purchase our wine by the bottle at this location.

After lunch we were off to the lighthouse at the Cape May Point State Park. Oddly enough though I have been to the park many times, I had never actually been in the lighthouse. For only a few bucks you can climb to the top, and the occasional landings allowed us to catch our breath while learning some interesting facts about lighthouse operations as well as the surrounding area.

Cape May Lighthouse

At the top is the breathtaking view of Cape May Point. From this vantage you can see the old World War II bunker, Sunset Beach, and the beautiful wetlands where birdwatchers will love to catch a glimpse of all sorts of birds.

There is usually a staff member at the top of the lighthouse who is available to answer any questions about the history of the lighthouse. It’s actually very interesting and the view alone makes this outing well worth the admission price (not to mention you get plenty of exercise).

Cape May Point State Park is open all year from dawn to dusk, and

WWII bunker on the beach

the beach is free and open to the public. There is plenty of parking, clean bathrooms, and pavilions with picnic tables. Call (609) 884-5404 to find out if the lighthouse will be open for tours on the day you decide to visit.

Another fun place to visit in Cape May is Sunset Beach. Located at the West end of Sunset Boulevard is a small beach best known for Cape May “diamonds” and Atlantus, the concrete ship that has been stuck in a sandbar since 1926.

Sunset Beach, Cape May

Watch the ferry come and go, search the sand for sparkly quartz pebbles, and of course view a gorgeous sunset over the bay. There is also a cute little gift shop as well as mini-golf and The Grille with fresh cooked food and outdoor seating. Everything was open during my visit last week.

I have so many more pictures to share with you but this concludes today’s post. Check back next week for my next stops, including The Cove, the boardwalk, one of my favorite places to get drinks (besides Hawk Haven of course), and more! Also, please feel free to share your favorite places around Cape May, with pictures if you have them. If there are any spots you’d like me to feature in one of my future posts, send me an email at info@hawkhavenvineyard.com.



Made in NJ: A Look at Jersey-Made Products

One of the things we at Hawk Haven are very passionate about is supporting our local environment, communities, and businesses. For starters, our award-winning wines are made with 100% Jersey-grown grapes, most of which comes from right here in Cape May County. Our wine pairing dinners feature local chefs and/or locally grown produce. We love the farm-to-table movement and some of the items on our Saturdays on the Crushpad menu are grown right here at the vineyard.

Hawk Haven Vineyard

We are always thrilled to see local businesses thrive, whether it be here in Cape May County or throughout the state of New Jersey. That’s why we’ve decided to do a little research and see what kinds of businesses and manufacturers are around here keeping things Jersey fresh. We think you’ll be just as pleasantly surprised as we were to find out how much of our everyday items are not just Made in the USA, but right here in NJ.

image from www.anewscafe.com

So the first business we want to highlight is located in the town of Towaco in Morris County, New Jersey. In 1928 a Camden physician created an all-natural nutricious chocolate syrup by the name of Bosco Syrup. Does anyone remember it? Bosco Chocolate Syrup was very popular in the 1950s-1970s and you can still find it on grocery store shelves today. There are also a few restaurants and delis serving Bosco Chocolate soda. I even read that it was used as fake blood in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, and artist Vik Muniz did a few paintings using the famous syrup.

painting by Vik Muniz

If you’ve had Bosco Syrup, tell us what you thought, share your memories, let us know where you’ve found it. If you see it at the grocery store, buy a bottle and know that you’re supporting a New Jersey business. And if you know of any other New Jersey businesses or manufacturers that you’d like to see on our blog, we would love to hear your suggestions!

Put Your Money Where Your Memories Are

When’s the last time you tried a new wine?  Gone out for an adventure instead of just another shopping trip?  Do you think that if you purchased an experience for your money, you might be happier than if you just bought some stuff?  We think that a glass of wine shared with friends beats anything you can buy at the store, and you know what?

Science agrees with us.

Recent studies have shown that when people buy material goods they don’t feel as happy as they could.  What they should be doing is buying life experiences.  A life experience can be as easy as taking a loved one out to dinner, going on a vacation, or relaxing and talking with friends over a glass of wine.  It doesn’t have to be hard to do, it just means you trade your money for not just some thing; but a story you can tell, and maybe share with a friend.

Those that choose to spend their money on a social experience, shared with family and friends, always seem to come out on the better end of the deal.  Get out there and do something new and you tell us if you don’t feel happier than just buying something at the store.  One science article puts it like this:

The study demonstrates that experiential purchases, such as a meal out or theater tickets, result in increased well-being because they satisfy higher order needs, specifically the need for social connectedness and vitality — a feeling of being alive.

Link To Article

If that wasn’t enough, the same studies go on to show that people who purchase experiences rather than things are better liked by others.  So not only are you happier, but people like you better too!  Think about the last time you had a conversation with someone who only talked about the things that they had, and now think about the person that always has a new story about something they’ve done.  Who would you rather talk to? The article says it like this:

In another experiment using a survey, the researchers told people about someone who had purchased a material item such as a new shirt or a life experience like a concert ticket. They then asked them a number of questions about that person. They found that simply learning that someone made a material purchase caused them to like him or her less than learning that someone made an experiential purchase.

Link To Article

Something to think about the next time you head out shopping.  Instead of grabbing some material thing that might make you happy for a fleeting moment, why don’t you grab someone you know and have an experience you’ll talk about for years?  Go out to a special dinner, take a trip out of town, there are a million different things you can do!

We might suggest a wine tasting, but that’s just us.

Eat Local;Drink Local (TM): Movement and Event by Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery

Eat Local Drink Local Draft Art

It’s official: Hawk Haven will pair with Sean’s Restaurant to emphasize the environmental and economic importance of drinking local wine. We will kick off the campaign with a weekly small-plate dinner event on premises beginning November 6th.  Pair a beautiful local meal with a local wine.


The first “Eat Local; Drink Local” small-plate dinner will take place on November 6, 2009 from 7-10pm in the Hawk Haven tasting room. Reservations required. $50 per person. Call 609. 846. 7347. Join the movement: “Eat Local; Drink Local”

Yesterday I talked to Sean about local food.  Sean is as sunny as his little orange restaurant.

Messing around with my camera before our interview...

Sean with some local lima beans

He started the restaurant with his wife Jennifer because he loves to cook and, “My wife likes french fries.  We bought a restaurant so she could have them the way she likes them – no one else makes them.”  He’s all about high quality food – that’s why we knew he was perfect for our “Eat Local; Drink Local” campaign and event.

Sean is animated as he explains the importance of local food and wine.  “We all work together.  The more local I buy, the more it keeps everyone else in business.”  As he explained that most of his produce comes from Vineland, he reminded me that local foods just taste better – fresher.  “I’ve grown up eating out of a garden.  And the more people that start eating local food, the better everyone’s food will be.”

Fresh Corn

The “Eat Local; Drink Local” campaign is also about the environment.  Rich Saunders of BrighterPlanet.com says, “With all the focus on local food it often becomes easy to forget the climate impact of the manufacture and distribution of beverages. If you live in New York, Hawk Haven’s wines would travel 150 miles to your glass, instead of the thousands that wines from elsewhere often cover.” That is a huge carbon differential. So drink local wines – drink Hawk Haven wine!

We gave the event a trial run last night at Sean’s Restaurant.  Everything was delicious, but we might mix it up a little for the first event.  Can’t wait!

Kenna and Todd at the Eat Local; Drink Local test dinner at Sean's Restaurant

Lindsey and Cate at the Eat Local; Drink Local test dinner at Sean's Restaurant

Eat Local ~ Drink Local
Hawk Haven Vineyard and Sean’s Restaurant
6 November 2009
All Three Small Plates and Wines Included

Small Plate One
2008 Pinot Grigio

Spinach and Seared Scallop Salad dressed with Toasted Sesame and Siracha

Small Plate OneSmall Plate Two
2007 Red Table Wine

Pork brushed with Blackberry Barbecue Sauce served over Jasmine Rice and Chef’s Vegetables

Small Plate Two
Small Plate Three
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

Rack of Lamb with Dijon Drizzle served over Roasted Garlic Mash and Chef’s Vegetables

Small Plate Three

Signing off from Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery in Cape May County, NJ – Cape May Wine Country ~ Cate