UPDATE: We added more wines and a location description after we visited the winery in mid-July 2020.
We’re now in the middle of the Coronavirus lockdown, when most stores and business are closed. Liquor stores are not closed, however individual producers (breweries, wineries, distilleries) are struggling since they can’t have in-house customers anymore. That’s why I’m trying as much as I can to order directly from the producer, to support our local businesses.
For wines, my first pick was Plagido’s Winery in Hammonton NJ. This is part of New Jersey’s Outer Coastal Plain region, the center of the state’s wine production. I’ve never been there before, but I always enjoyed their wines at New Jersey wine festivals. I could still remember some names and i enjoyed trying new products. It’s now almost 2 months into the pandemic lockdown and I already ordered 3 times from them.
Here’s an overview of the Plagido wines I tried.
- Plagido Red: My favorites, a great dry red with strong big flavors.
- Antonia Rosso: Deliciously semi sweet red with Fredonia grapes, another one of my favorites.
- Concetta’s Casalinga: If you like sweet wines, you’ll love this and its strong fruity flavors (a bit too sweet for me though).
- Cabernet Franc: One of their best dry reds.
- Chambourcin: This red Northeast grape makes a very nice wine at Plagido.
- Coeur d’Est: A very flavorful blend of Cab Franc, Cab Sauv and Chambourcin, nice creation of the winery.
- Cabernet Merlot Blend: This was my favorite dry red at Plagido, with amazing aromas.
- Rose: A bit too dry for a rose, but still had nice, soft floral aromas.
- Empire: This is a stronger Port wine at 20%, with delicious fruity flavors in the Ruby style.
- Niagara: My favorite Plagido white wine, semi-sweet, without overdoing it, using one of the best Northeast grapes.
- Chardonnay: A smooth wine with light oak and citrus aromas.
- Reverence: Another good dry white, with stronger flavors than the Chardonnay.
I was mostly impressed with their reds! NJ wineries are better at making sweet white wines, and it’s very rare to find good red wines around here (sorry guys, I love touring New Jersey wineries, however most reds are below average at above average prices). But Plagido’s somehow mastered the art of making great New Jersey reds.
I strongly recommend ordering from Plagido! The prices are more than affordable for the quality of their wines, and don’t forget to email or contact them on Facebook to get a discount if you order a case. If you’re in New Jersey, you’ll also get them delivered in no more than 2-3 days.
On a July weekend, I visited the winery for the first time. It was a great experience! The staff is very friendly, and the waitress knows the wines very well. It’s a small, quiet seating area by the vines where you can sample about 10 wines as a flight, or drink by the glass or bottle. Reservations are strongly recommended due to Covid rules, especially on weekend.
Plagido’s Winery was started in 1999 by Ollie Tomasello Junior and Senior (who has since passed), who are 3rd and 4th generation farmers. The name comes from their ancestor Placido Tomasello, who came from Italy and started the first farm here. They grow most grapes at this vineyard, but they also have a few other satellite locations that they pull from. All wines are made on site in Hammonton at the winery. Candice and Ollie work hand in hand on the farm and are doing the wine making together.