HAMMONTON – More than 50 talented amateur wine makers went head to head at the 12th annual Hammonton Rotary Club Homemade Wine Event, held April 1 at Hammonton Independent Fire Company No. 2.
Elvins Hall was filled to capacity as wine makers, wine enthusiasts, friends, family and Rotary Club supporters came together to taste the creations, and find out whose wine would be judged the best.
This year’s event featured a record number of entries, with 109 being submitted.
Wines were judged the week before by a panel of 13 wine experts and sommeliers organized by Gary Pavlis, Ph.D., Rutgers University agricultural agent for Atlantic County, who has participated in the every year since it began.
The experts organized the entries into categories or “flights” based on such criteria as dry vs sweet, type of grape or fruit, year of vintage, or the region in which the grape was grown.
The professionals named first-, second-, and some third-place winners for each flight plus a best of show.
Event patrons also voted, choosing just one People’s Choice winner in each flight, and a best of show.
This year’s best of show as selected by the judges was a 2016 dry California peach fruit miscellaneous by Charles DiGerolamo.
People’s Choice Best of Show was a 2016 semi-sweet New Jersey pomegranate, blueberry, blackberry by Michelle and Megan Storey.
Winners received certificates, medals and bragging rights to call themselves the best until next year’s event comes around.
Rotarians Jerry Daunoras and Don DeFiccio emceed and co-chaired the event.
The evening also featured a buffet dinner by Rocco’s Townhouse, music by James Ammann of TNT Sound Productions, door prizes, a chance auction and a 50/50 raffle.
Proceeds support the Hammonton Rotary Scholarship Foundation, the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, youth sports, the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) program and the club’s many other local and international humanitarian and service projects.
Photographs of the evening’s winners have been posted on the Hammonton Rotary Club’s Facebook page.
CLICK HERE for complete list of winners and entries.