As luck would have it, the bottle of sangria that I picked up at Passion Vines last night was harvested at a winery right on the way home from the shore … Bellview Winery. We were unsuccessful locating this place in the past but gave up too soon. I sincerely regret that, because the vintages here are fantastic.
Bellview is located a couple of quick right turns and a left off of Route 40 in Buena Township. If you’re familiar with the area and have seen the enormous Padre Pio shrine, turn there. From the outside, the winery is a bit nondescript but once you walk in, you will be surprised by the warm, inviting environment.
Upon entering the front door, a tasteful cafe-like arrangement of tables greets patrons. They are encouraged to hang out and enjoy some wine & food if they choose to do so. Appetizer platters are for sale onsite and if the weather cooperates, visitors can bring picnics to enjoy outside at the vast picnic area. Beyond the cafe is the large tasting room. The wines are racked up on the wall behind the bar and the whole place is nicely decorated. Very authentic feel to the place.
Bellview offers a complimentary tasting of eight wines of your choice. We were greeted by Sofia, an extremely well informed student of wine culture. She served as an intern for Bellview and now works part time pouring wine and educating visitors on top of her full time job (She called this her “fun” job hahaha).
The winery produces wines from 20 grape varieties, all grown on site. They also produce fruit wines derived from cranberries, blueberries and raspberries which aren’t harvested at Bellview but imported from local farms. The selections range from dry whites & reds, semi-sweet wines, sparkling & fruit wine as well as a few specialty offerings. They offer a Port, which is very authentic and created in old world style. I swear it was from the Douro Valley.
I picked up some more Fiesta for a homemade batch of my sangria which was a big hit Easter weekend.
Bellview Winery does not release a vintage until the previous one sells out and all of their wines are bottle aged. I was disappointed that our visit fell between releases of the Cabernet Sauvignon (My favorite), but this twist of fate was probably a testament to the quality. Almost every wine in the house ranged from ten to twenty dollars, well worth the price for this excellent, locally grown vino. Bellview is a member of the esteemed Outer Coastal Plain Vineyard Association. I can personally attest that this is an exceptional wine stop for the Philly shore crowd. A very nice addition to my perfect anniversary weekend.