Blending wine and ballet

A winery in New Jersey, USA, is partnering with the local ballet company to put on dance performances in its vineyards…


Ballet dancer Kaito Kurokawa among the vines at Old York Cellars, Central Jersey, USA

Blending wine and ballet
  • Chris Boiling
  • 2023-10-03
Here’s a wonderful and unusual pairing: wine and ballet.
A winery in New Jersey, USA, is teaming up with the local ballet company to put on performances in its vineyards this weekend.
Old York Cellars, in Ringoes, is partnering with Roxey Ballet Company to bring the taste of wine and the beauty of dance to the hills of Hunterdon County on Saturday, October 7 (October 14 if it’s raining on the 7th).
The first performance of its kind for the Roxey, Dancing on the Green was designed to connect the rural cultural identity of Hunterdon County with the professional artistry of Roxey Ballet. The wine team at Old York Cellars will be pairing free samples of wines with each of the four short dances: an Albariño with an homage to the strength and beauty of Colombian women; a Vidal Blanc with a dance about someone trying to find where they are from, with movements inspired by the shapes of different plants; a rosé made from Chambourcin with a duet that tells the story of unattainable love; and a Malbec with a piece that explores the colours, sounds and culture of Brazil.
The wines will be served at the start of each number: at 12.30, 1, 1.30 and 2pm, and then again, after a break for the troupe, at 3, 3.30, 4 and 4.30pm. The four pieces have been selected especially for this event “to embrace the beauty of landscape, classical music and the talents of the dancers”. You can get a flavour of it here.
“We are excited about bringing the wine and dance communities together,” commented David Wolin, owner of Old York Cellars. “Combining the two with the beauty of Hunterdon County is icing on the cake.”
Guests at the vineyard that day will be able walk among some of the oldest vines in the Garden State to view the performances.

Old York Brunch
The winery (above) will be offering its menu of wine and food to guests at tables or in cabanas and will have live music between dance performances. Additional seating and standing room will be available for guests who just wish to watch the dancers.
Ballet is another addition to Old York Cellars’ variety of experiences, which include weekend music events (Wine & Music), monthly comedy shows (Wine & Comedy) and film festivals.
The wine business, which is nestled in the foothills of the Sourland Mountains, has supported the arts since its opening in 2010, as owner David has a passion for them. Over the years, hundreds of artists have been featured at the winery, during monthly art exhibitions in the Vista Room and outdoors, among the wide range of vines (Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Landot Noir, Seyval Blanc, Marechal Foch, Merlot and Syrah). Below is one of the sculptures on the 11ha property (4.8 of which are vines).

Old York Corkscrew

‘Central Jersey Exists’

Old York Cellars was part of the campaign to get recognition for Central Jersey. Last month, a new law was signed, defining the region as Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, and Somerset counties. The law requires the Division of Travel and Tourism to re-draw the state’s tourism map and include Central Jersey in all regional marketing campaigns, including on the state’s tourism website
Previously, Jerseyans had been forced to identify themselves as coming from North Jersey or South Jersey when many of them lived somewhere in the middle.
As part of the ‘Central Jersey Exists’ celebration, Old York Cellars has produced a series of wines “to celebrate the landmark towns and beautiful scenery that makes the central region so remarkable”. This eight-bottle collection has something for everyone, including a Central Jersey Barn Red blend (Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin and Cabernet Sauvignon), a Central Jersey Vineyard White blend (Vidal Blanc, Cayuga and Chardonnay), and a Central New Jersey Does Exist Blush – a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Old York CJ Exists
The Central Jersey Exists wines are part of Old York’s ‘What Exit Wines’ charitable series. For each bottle sold, $2 is donated to two non-profits engaged in promoting heritage tourism in Central Jersey. They are Canal Watch, which works to protect the D&R Canal State Park, and the Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition, which protects and promotes the Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway in three of the four counties.

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