Wine event hosted by Hammonton Rotary
The Rotary Club of Hammonton hosted their 17th annual Hammonton Rotary Wine Event at the Hammonton Independent Volunteer Fire Station 2 on March 25 at 7 p.m. Winemakers took part in the event as they poured wine samples to guests. Each wine was divided by categories and as each guest tried a different sample, they got to choose which was their favorite wine and cast their vote in a ballot box with the wine labeled.
The Rotary Wine Event is one of the few fundraiser events that the Rotary Club does for the year and the money raised from the event helps raise money for various charities and projects that the Rotary Club supports. The Rotary Club raises money for youth sports and for handicap-accessible projects that they have been a part of in years’ past.
“Over the years, we’ve redid a bathroom for a family that was handicapped. We just put the bathroom building up at the soccer field so they have a building there that has both a concession stand and bathrooms so we’ve funded that a couple years ago. We help with the Food Bank every year by helping them set up once a month and giving them donations for Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving. We have a scholarship program every year, we give out $2,000 scholarships to high school students going to college and we sponsor students to go to a rotary leadership conference at Stockton University where they have sessions that they talk about things like leadership and community service,” Rotary Club Wine Event co-chairperson Jerry Daunoras said.
The event has homemade wines that local winemakers give to the club and it’s a two-part process, the first part took place a week prior and the second part being this event, according to Rotary Club Wine Event co-chairperson Donald DeFiccio.
“The first part is a week earlier, we bring in professional judges and they set up the categories that you see here, they’re all set up in that category and they judge them and then we give awards from the professional judges. Tonight, we set everything up the exact same way that the judges did, everyone comes here, sample as much wine as they want and then they go and vote on the best wine they like. At the end of the night, we will give out awards from the peoples’ choice,” DeFiccio said.
Many of the categories were labeled as flights and some of the categories included dry and semi-sweet blueberry, dry white miscellaneous, semi-sweet and sweet blueberry and semi-dry and sweet blueberry blend. The prizes that were on display for the winners include a gift basket by The Health Tree and Tales of the Olive, a Coach designer bag, Willet bourbon whiskey, $100 gift card by DiDonato Family Fun Center, $50 gift card and two bottles of wine by Sharrott Winery, three piece luggage set and a WiFi projector. Winners were announced by night’s end and in addition to trying out wine samplings, guests were also served with pizza, salads and pasta.
This event is the fourth time that it has sold out and the first sold-out event since the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Daunoras.
“It’s a great event, people love coming to it. It’s fun, the winemakers love entering their wine so that’s why we have 114 wines in Hammonton so we’re seeing everybody having a good time,” Daunoras said.
The Professional’s Choice first place winners are as followed: Charles Mish, Joe Pauline, Brandon DePasquale, John Chilari, Steve Alessandrini, Frank Raso, Dan and Elyse Schenker, Joe Midure, Larry Longo, Matt Pinto, Frank Mazzeo, Steve Calascione, Craig Samborski, Dawn Calascione, Maryann Midure, Joseph DiGerolamo and Brandon Raso.
The Professional’s Choice second place winners are as followed: Andrea Mish, Charles Mish, Greg Schenker, Kelsey and Nick Chille, Frank Raso, Katie Daunoras, Austin Griffie, Brandon Raso, Chuck Mish, Chris Calascione, Matt Pinto, Craig Samborski, Joseph DiGerolamo, Tiffany Irzin, Joe Pauline, Janet Gonzalez, Anthony “Skeeter” Berenato and John Holroyd and Friends.
The Professional’s Choice third place winners are as followed: Neal Magnotta, Frank Raso, Greg Schenker, Julia Schenker, Joe Midure, John Holroyd and Friends, Charles Mish, Dominic Calascione, Frank Mazzeo, Steve Calascione, Turtle Ingemi, Dawn Calascione, Chris Calascione, Michael Ambrozaitis, Joe Pauline, Anthony “Skeeter” Berenato and Brandon Raso.
The People’s Choice winners are as followed: Andrea Mish, Charles Mish, Greg Schenker, Hartford Nine, Steve Alessandrini, Katie Daunoras, Frank Raso, Joe Midure, Larry Longo, Ed Marinelli, Chuck Mish, Matt Pinto and Steve Calascione, Craig Samborski, Ritz-Italiano-Krason, Dawn Calascione, Maryann Midure, Joseph DiGerolamo, Brandon Raso and John Holroyd and Friends.