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Melovino Craft Meadery founder and mead maker Sergio Moutela, left, and assistant mead maker Greg Iannarella pour samples of Garrido for a tour group. Photo: Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal
Melovino Craft Meadery founder and mead maker Sergio Moutela, left, and assistant mead maker Greg Iannarella pour samples of Garrido for a tour group. Photo: Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal

New Jersey Has a Honey of a Wine – Melovino Craft Mead

The Garden State’s first and only meadery is tucked away in a shopping mall in and Vauxhall

By Lettie Teague
Wall Street Journal

Melovino is New Jersey’s first meadery, a place where mead aka honey wine is made. It is also the Garden State’s only meadery—so far. And yet founder Sergio Moutela would be perfectly happy if there were more. “We’d still be the oldest meadery in New Jersey,” he pointed out.

Mr. Moutela opened his meadery nearly two years ago in Millburn Village Mall in Vauxhall after receiving a special permit from the state. As part of the permit process, he had to go before government officials to explain what a meadery is. They had initially turned down his request, citing the requirements for a winery that included a minimum of 3 acres of land, which his tiny part of the shopping center site clearly didn’t.

Many people—not just state officials—find the concept of a “meadery” baffling. Indeed, when Mr. Moutela tells people he works at a meadery, they often reply, “ ‘Like a butcher shop? You make meat?’ ” Mr. Moutela recalled.

Mead isn’t a wine that most people have heard of, let alone tasted. “Mead is closely related to wine, but most wine drinkers have never heard of mead although most craft-beer drinkers have,” Mr. Moutela told me when I stopped by Saturday for a chat and a tasting.

Our conversation was an hour before the first of two tours Mr. Moutela conducts every Saturday afternoon in the summer. (He offers more in the fall.) For $10 a person, the tour includes an overview of how meads are produced—by means of honey, water and a wine yeast that starts the fermentation; a tasting of six meads; and a walk through the production area, which is basically a room with a bottling line and some tanks.

Full Story: New Jersey Has a Honey of a Wine

Meadery Profile: Melovino Meadery

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About Rob

Rob
A novice mead maker, but a huge mead enthusiast! I'm also the owner and Site Administrator of TheMeadery.net and reside in Manchester, New Hampshire.