About Tomasello Winery
To make great wines you need a few key ingredients. Naturally, things like good soil, healthy vines, sunlight, plentiful grapes and good barrels are all necessary. However, truly great wines require something more, something our family has cultivated alongside our 70 acres of premium varietals since 1933, hard work and passion.
Founded over 80 years ago by our grandfather, we are the third generation of Tomasellos to build upon his great vision. Not only through dedicating our lives to growing and producing excellent wines that are a true expression of the Outer Coastal Plain, a historically celebrated American wine growing region, but by bringing our wines closer to your families with elegant tasting rooms and gift shops throughout the great Garden State. There is a saying in the wine business that “great wines are made in the vineyard.” We would like to take that a step beyond and say that: Yes, great wines are made at our vineyard, but it is the celebrations, the gatherings, the good times with family and friends that makes a wine even greater. Thank you for your continued love of our wines and loyalty. As our family grows, and our children learn the ways of the vineyard, we look forward to a place at your table for generations to come.
All the very best,
As was common during Prohibition, many in this great American wine-growing region became traditional farmers. In the 1930’s, our grandfather, Frank Tomasello was a berry farmer in Hammonton, New Jersey. He was known for his raspberries, strawberries, peaches and sweet potatoes. But he had a special knack for growing grapes and a passion for wine.
In February 1933, when Frank heard the federal government was repealing Prohibition and was ready to once again issue winery licenses he did not waste any time. He jumped into his truck and drove through a snow storm to Washington, DC to be one of the first in line for a license. Tomasello Winery was bonded that year, license number 68 for the entire country. That June, New Jersey passed the 21st amendment repealing prohibition and Tomasello Winery was officially in business. Our grandfather understood that the soil and climate in this area were perfect for grape growing. In fact, native grape vines were so common that the Vikings declared the neighboring town “Vineland.” Prior to prohibition, New Jersey was home to nearly 100 wineries, some of the oldest in the country. This special state was, and still is, known for it’s outstanding produce, proving that it could also be ideal for growing exceptional grapes.
The first wines that Frank produced were Ranier Red, Ranier White and Ranier Rosé, in honor of his wife’s maiden name. The delightful blend of American varietals were a huge success, so much so that they are still being made today and are among our top selling wines with a very loyal following. In the 1940’s, Frank welcomed his sons, Charles and Joseph, into the business. They grew their Tomasello Winery into a commercial business while adding some new products to the portfolio, including sparkling wines made in the classical French method known as methode champenoise. By the 1960’s, sparkling wines accounted for half of all the wines produced at Tomasello Winery. Joseph Tomasello passed away in 1971, leaving Charles Tomasello, Sr., then 48, to expand the family’s vineyard. He added the first generation of French American hybrids, many of which were in the experimental stages, being developed and introduced by Cornell University’s Extension Station. While many of these grapes are currently being planted throughout the United States, Charles Tomasello, Sr. was the first to plant many of the successful varieties at the Tomasello vineyard.
Nearly 10 years later, the third generation joined the business when Charles’ sons, Charles, Jr. and Jack came on board. Together they worked to expand the winery and revamp the vineyard. Planting Vinifera vines, adding Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Tomasello now grows 30 different varieties and produces nearly 50 wines, including Cabernet Franc, Riesling and Petit Verdot. Almost all Tomasello products are made from estate-grown grapes and local fruit. Tomasello Winery uses only the best blueberries from the top growers from Hammonton, the Blueberry Capital of the World. Quality wine making is a function of quality fruit, therefore we use only the finest fruit from around the country to make our wines.
Today, almost 90 years after its inception, Tomasello Winery farms nearly 70 acres of vines and stands as the only third generation, family-owned winery in the state of New Jersey, Products can be found in thousands of stores across 37 states along with select locations in Canada and Asia. Our high-end products have earned the winery many prestigious national and international awards, as well as the praise of critics, chefs and wine drinkers alike.
The Terroir of Tomasello
Tomasello Winery is located in the heart of the Outer Coastal Plain – American Viticultural Area (AVA). This federally recognized viticulture region is home to some of the oldest wineries in the country. The grapes grown at here are carefully cultivated at the family vineyard in Atlantic and Camden County, New Jersey.
Positioned along the Atlantic Coast line and the Pinelands, we enjoy a longer growing season as a benefit of the warming maritime effects on our climate. The soil is sandy and loamy with a slightly higher pH – most comparable to soil acidity levels found in the famed Loire Valley of France, which is known for bright, beautifully balanced wines.
For those familiar with the Davis Heat Summation Scale, we are in Region 3 – exhibiting a mid-heat range. According to the USDA Hardiness Zones, Hammonton is found in zone 6B. Harvest generally commences in the last week of August through the first week of October. During dry seasons, the harvest parameters are typically high sugar with a strong underlying acidity.
We currently have 70 acres under vine, with more than 30 different varieties of grapes including Native American, French hybrids and classic vinifera. Throughout our three quarters of a century in the wine business, we have continuously experimented with new varietals to see which are best suited to our location and produce the highest quality wines. New varietals in our vineyards include Sangiovese, Shiraz, and Petit Verdot. We invite you to get to know our region and our great wines.