Protecting New Jersey Farms:
Hopewell Valley Vineyards proud to become preserved farmland!
Hopewell Valley Vineyards is THRILLED to now a member of New Jersey farms that are permanently preserved.
By conserving indefinitely NJ farmland, we ensure green, open spaces, agricultural vitality in the Garden State, and a civic pride in the land with which we've been endowed to enjoy and protect.
On behalf of Hopewell Valley Vineyards, we'd like to say a big thank you to all those involved in our preservation.
New Jersey farms have a stronger future because of you!
Press Release from the New Jersey Conservation Foundation:
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP - Anyone who has savored the scenic views of Hopewell Valley Vineyards while sampling master vintner Sergio Neri's award-winning wines probably couldn't imagine the land as anything but agricultural.
Theyll never have to.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation and its partners just preserved 67 acres of the Hopewell Valley Vineyards property off Yard Road in Pennington, ensuring it will remain farmland forever.
Weve been working on it for 10 years, so were glad we finally preserved it, said the Italian-born Neri, who runs the vineyard with his wife, Violetta.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation used grants from the State Agriculture Development Committee and the U.S. Department of Agricultures Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program to purchase the development rights on the property. The land will continue to be owned by the Neris, but is permanently limited to agricultural use.
I believe in farmland preservation. I think its good for the state, and for the country in general, commented Neri. Otherwise its easy for farmers, especially in this economy, to give up to development and speculation.
The newly-preserved property includes 20 acres of grape vineyards, 20 acres of fields planted in wheat, rye and soybean, and woods surrounding the fields. The winery buildings on 6.6 acres are not included in the farmland easement.
Were thrilled to be able to preserve this beautiful property to make sure it will always be agricultural, said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. We commend Sergio and Violetta Neri for deciding to preserve their land, and wish them continuing success with their winery.
The Neris grow seven varieties of grapes in their vineyards, and use them to make 15 types of wine, including sangiovese, pinot grigio, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, porto rosso, chambourcin and spumante secco. The winery has won numerous international, national and regional wine-making awards.
Neri bought the vineyards first 25 acres in the late 1990s and added another 50 acres a few years later. We built everything from scratch, he noted.
Neri said he and his wife, who both come from wine-making families, work hard to make their vineyard a destination for visitors. We do a lot of tastings, and we host a lot of events, he said.
People think its very romantic to run a vineyard and it is! he added. But like any farming activity, its a lot of hard work. For us, its demanding but fun.
Were delighted to work with New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the State Agriculture Development Committee and the Neris to preserve another farm in New Jersey, said Carrie Mosley, State Conservationist for the USDAs Natural Resource Conservation Service. Opportunities like this take some of the pressure off of family farms such as Hopewell Valley Vineyard and protect valuable natural resources in New Jersey to continue to produce food and fiber.
We were pleased to partner in the preservation of this land to ensure that it always will be available to support diverse and thriving farming operations and a strong agricultural industry, which contribute so much to the economy and our way of life in the Garden State, said Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher, who chairs the State Agriculture Development Committee that administers New Jerseys Farmland Preservation Program.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a private nonprofit that preserves land and natural resources throughout New Jersey for the benefit of all. Since 1960, it has protected 125,000 acres of open space - from the Highlands to the Pine Barrens to the Delaware Bayshore, from farms to forests to urban and suburban parks. For more information about the Foundations programs and preserves, go to www.njconservation.org or call 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).
SANDY PERRY, COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
PHONE: 908-234-1225, EXT. 104
67 acres of Hopewell Valley Vineyards land preservedFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ 06/27/13
Photo by Lisa MacCollum
Because of the long-term thinking and planning of foundations like the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, along with local and federal governments, it is possible to protect New Jersey farms - which is a true triumph in a small state that's being ever-threatened with waves of over-development.
We are proud and grateful to be a preserved New Jersey Farm, and believe more NJ farms should also seriously consider joining the cause and investing in the sustainability and beauty of our Garden State for the many generations to come.
Interested in policy advocacy for New Jersey Farms?
Read our editorial about the importance of agritourism for the future of NJ farms...
Read here a bullet point overview of the
Rutgers Agritourism Study (2006)
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