Cape May Winery
Home to the oldest roots in the county, Cape May Winery is a staple of Exit 0. The winery was started by the Hayes family in conjunction with Rutger’s Agricultural Co-op in 1989. The first test plot of Cabernet Sauvignon was planted that year at the Townbank Vineyard. After a few years of pruning, maturing, and patiently waiting- the first bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon was released in 1996. Today, the winery continues to grow and produce some of South Jersey’s finest wines!
In 2003, Bill Hayes sold the winery to our current owners- the Craig Family. Toby Craig and his daughter Betsy Sole have worked over the years to create a special vibe and atmosphere at the winery. When the Craigs took over, they hired winemaker Darren Hesington who worked as head winemaker for 16 years. While Darren has moved on from Cape May Winery, he will remain a pillar of our winemaking process. The current winemaker, Mike Mitchell, worked closely with Darren as his assistant winemaker for 11 years. The 2019 harvest was Mike’s first as head winemaker. Mike and assistant winemaker Jackson Sole lead our production team, while tasting room manager Shelley Rhoads oversees the front of the house. The attention to detail and love of wine starts with Toby and Betsy and works its way through our production team, to the tasting room, and into every bottle. We hope you stop by to taste our wines and stroll through the vineyard, because life’s too short to drink bad wine!
The year Toby purchased the winery, production was just over 1,000 gallons of wine. In 2014, the winery produced 40,000 gallons- which equates to ~16,445 cases or ~197, 333 bottles of wine! Today, we are the 5th largest producing winery in New Jersey. The Cape May Winery is unique in that we are 100% retail- our wines truly call Exit 0 home! Cape May Winery’s farmland encompasses over 150 acres around Cape May. Currently, we harvest 26 of these acres across 4 vineyards home to 11 grape varietals.