Now that it is Spring and the weather is actually warming up in NJ, it is time to head outside.  I like to appreciate the end of a cold winter by soaking up the sun at a local winery.  Working Dog Winery (formerly Silver Decoy) is a great place to do just that.  They have a covered patio, an open patio, and a vast field of grass leading up to the vineyard.  Even if the place is crowded, which it often is if the weather is nice – a great outdoor space is a fabulous way to attract crowds – there is ample room for everyone, people and dogs (they are a very dog-friendly establishment).   You just might need to bring your own blanket or chair to sit on – there are not always enough of their brightly-colored Adirondack chairs to go around.

My significant other and I walked into the Working Dog winery building for a tasting.  They make dry whites and reds, a rose (which I was told will be released in May), and sweeter wines.  We were walked through the tasting by a friendly and knowledgeable staff member, who has worked there for three years.  She is an executive assistant at her (week)day job and works at the winery on the weekends.  She provided the winery’s background story…

We learned the winery was originally owned by a group of eight friends (now five) of varying professions, including a teacher, a carpenter, and an owner of liquor stores who was the wine buyer.  That latter friend became the winemaker and what was a hobby among these friends has turned into a business. We were told there is a female assistant winemaker who travels for part of each year to places such as France and Washington to further her winemaking studies.  She is currently in New Zealand.

Although I am typically more of a red wine drinker, I often go for a white when it is hot out so on this day at Working Dog I grabbed a glass of white and headed outside.  The sun was beaming in the bright blue sky.  I pulled over one of those Adirondack chairs to face the vineyards, sat down with my wine in hand, and basked in the heat.  A toast to the end of the cold weather (at least for now) and a warm experience at Working Dog Winery!

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